Composition : Principles of Good Writing

Principles of Good Writing

Always remember that regular and frequent practice is essential if you are to learn to write well. You learn to write by writing. It is no good waiting until you have inspiration before you write. Even with the most famous writers, inspiration is rare. Writing is 99 percent hard work and me percent inspiration, so the sooner you get into the habit of disciplining yourself to write, the better. 

If you keep your eyes and ears open, you will find plenty of things around you. Often a little piece of conversation heard in the street can start you thinking along interesting new lines. Imagine that you see around you, and start from there. 

Read the newspaper carefully. Every day there are example of human joy and human tragedy in it which can give you ideas for articles, essays or short stories. 

Keep a notebook in which to put down things that you notice, or ideas that come to you when you are out walking when you are reading a book or a magazine, or at any other time. Some people get the ideas in the bath, or when they wake up during the night. Unless they write these ideas down at once, they often forget them. 

Try to develop a warm, human understanding of people, their problems, their joys and their sorrows, so that you are genuinely interested in everyone you meet. And every incident you see. You will then find material for your work as a writer where before you could perhaps see nothing of interest. 

To be a successful writer, you must write interestingly; but different kinds of people have different interests, and it is most unlikely that you will be able to appeal to all of them. You, therefore, have to know exactly what type of reader you are writing for, and exactly what kinds of things interest such a reader.
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