Bits and pieces of my life
How to write professionally
I've always fancied professional writing, but each time I attempted to write something, be it articles, short stories, or a short memoir. I just, I don't know, I'm short of ideas, words, experience, etc. I am also inclined to colloquial form of writing. I found the following tips to be of great use;

  • Research your subject extensively. Read hundreds of articles and opinions until you get a real 'feel' of the subject. Experience your own vague views crystallizing into a strongly-felt opinion. 

  • Write down what you feel in your own words. It doesn't matter what the subject is - politics, religion, environment, business. Just scribble some notes on what you feel about the subject. Then stand back and read them and see if they're both factual and rational. 

  • Begin writing! There are several ways to do this. Some people start at the beginning; others write the 'meaty' middle parts before they bother with the 'intro' or 'conclusion'. If you begin with the intro, it can give you a sense of 'flow' and a good intro always gives you a mental boost. But some people may feel so pressured to write a great intro that if it doesn't meet their expectations, they lose the inclination to continue. One more way is to imagine yourself discussing the subject with a friend who knows very little about it. Keep in mind, having a 'conversational' writing style shouldn't mean you should start with 'Hey, did you hear about the latest controversy over (anything)? I mean, that really sucks, what?' This is okay for a blog, but an editor would never let something like this pass. Ever. 

  • Write smaller articles at first - 250 to 300 words or so. It's easier to write huge essay-type articles than it is to write crisp, concise copy because the latter forces you to be more expressive and convey your thoughts in fewer words. 

  • Try and give the reader a bit of a 'gift'. Leave him or her with something useful. A simple insight into a complicated issue. Another perspective to a commonly debated topic. Tips for improving the quality of their lives. Sprinkle a bit of wordplay and add a slice of humor. Stay away from cliches like 'At the end of the day...' or 'a wait and watch approach'. And please, don't have 'favourite' words or phrases that you keep smiting your readers with, such as 'a 110 per cent' or 'basically'. People hate that. 

  • Rewrite whatever sounds silly at first glance. Then if needed, read again and rewrite, this time, in a slower and more deliberate manner. Writing on a computer can tend to create more mistakes than when writing on paper for some people, so take a printout of your copy and read it sometimes. 

  • Don't rest too long on your laurels and keep writing. Try and spot obvious errors in other people's articles and make a mental note to stay away from those mistakes. Eventually, you'll develop a writing style all your own. Focus on refining and fine-tuning that style, because that's how all artists work. All the very best! 

  • Use descriptions and metaphor. Instead of saying "the giant night sky was starry," say, "the darkening sky was a silent black dome to infinity, pierced by mystique white eyes of charisma, gazing down upon the mundane lives of mankind."

I especially agree with tip no.4 and 7... so true in my ..

here's another useful thing I found, Example of Metaphors! I've always loved metaphors!

extracted from: wikihow
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