This is a guest post by Rose Scott – a tutor and freelance writer who describes herself as ‘born to write’.
She is self-employed, does what she loves and wakes up every morning with the desire to inspire and create.
You can connect with her on LinkedIn.
Doing regular things in a new, creative way is always a great chance to challenge ourselves, learn and grow, and see progress when feeling stuck.
The following post will give you ideas on how to express yourself in writing. What it teaches you can be applied to many areas in life even if you’re not a writer.
Putting pen to paper engages our mind in a different, unique way that no other activity can replicate. And the effect is huge. Once you express yourself better this way, you’ll also communicate more easily and even improve your relationships because of that by opening up to others and sharing what’s on your mind freely.
It will also get your creative juices flowing and let you think of innovative ways to deal with stuff in daily life.
Enter Rose, a passionate writer full of inspiration and creativity, and see the 6 best ways she uses to express herself in writing.
You need to come up with another great post. The topic is chosen, a cup of a fragrant Brazilian coffee is ready to perk you up, and a cozy setting doesn’t sidetrack you.
What else is needed to arrange your ideas? How do you keep from staring at a blank document for hours with no idea how to get started, how to proceed, or how to wrap it up?
Luckily, there are dozens of tricks to help you out.
Have you ever thought of paper cups as a fashionable décor option for walls, for example? Thinking-out-of-the-box is a good practice to beat writer’s block, and as the example shows, it’s a good way to save money on interior design, too!
It makes you broaden your horizons and see everyday things from a different perspective.
And that’s just the beginning. In this post you’ll learn how to easily transform thoughts into written words, use expressive literary devices to make your writings even more engaging, and much more.
How to Express Yourself in Writing
1. Take cue from renowned writers.
I do love reading expert recipes on achieving success. They give a hint on how you might communicate a message directly to your readers’ ears.
Here are the three I’m trying to stick to in my own writing:
Although Mark Twain wrote in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, his advice is always up-to-date. Here’s what he once suggested: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.”
So, why not write just three or five passages a day, rereading what has already been noted and making any needed corrections on the fly?
In one of his interviews published on The Atlantic website, Stephen King advised writers on what makes for a good introduction: “An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.”
This is what you should remind yourself of each time you start a new story, blog post, or article. Imagine you are your own reader, and omit anything that is too general, obvious, or overly sophisticated.
3. Just write something down.
And here’s what the author of “Bird by Bird,” Anne Lamott, finds helpful: “I encourage my students at times like these to get one page of anything written, three hundred words of memories or dreams or stream of consciousness on how much they hate writing — just for the hell of it, just to keep their fingers from becoming too arthritic…”
This is sage advice, especially when you need to let your negative emotions go before creating something worth reading.
2. Make the most of celebrity speeches, short films, and talk shows.
Why not write a speech along the lines of those delivered by Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, or Steve Jobs?
Analyze speeches of celebrities or famous political figures and keep track of the literary devices they use, noting which of them help evoke the feelings the speakers were aiming for.
However, only imitate their style for training purposes! After all, you don’t want to be accused of style plagiarism, not to mention duplicating exact phrases or statements.
Another thing to benefit from are the stand-up comedy and talk shows, and especially TED talks. The topics are diverse and can’t help but make you support or disapprove a speaker’s point of view.
Watch and listen carefully to a particular speaker, jot down the pluses and minuses in the speech, and again take note of what made the speech successful and what the speaker shouldn’t have mentioned at all.
Short films are also a great source of learning and inspiration. They don’t take much time, the action develops dynamically and should grab viewers’ attention from the very first second.
When you watch them, write down your thoughts about them. Then you can focus more on the details that helped convey the special atmosphere and “mood” of the film, such as the streets, buildings, gestures, colors, interior, etc. Imagine the way things might smell or taste!
3. Make your reader hungry for your words with literary devices.
Do you remember the numerous flashback scenes from The Butterfly Effect? Thanks to them, the movie has such a special thrilling tone.
Using literary devices cleverly will enhance the flavor of your writing with appetizing elements, or even make surroundings in a story a bit more mysterious.
Here, the goal is achieved thanks to alliteration. For example, “Mr. Shadow didn’t show himself shivering like a shy sheep.” The repetition of consonant sounds in close proximity also keeps a reader more focused.
Along with commonly used metaphors and comparisons, metonymies can come in handy as well. Simply put, they are a kind of comparison based on something closely associated with the action or subject described.
For example, instead of the sentence “office work is extremely wearisome,” you might write, “white-collar work is extremely wearisome.” See the difference?
Allusions are suitable for establishing a tighter cultural connection with your audience and making your content multi-layered. Knowing what countries most of your readers come from, you can choose their “super-hero” to compose a statement. For example, “I was really frightened, as if I were reading Stephen King in a dark, dark room.”
4. Avoid dry words and tedious sentence constructions.
Reading is second nature to every writer and blogger. Still, there are things you need to research. As you read, keep track of the things that irritate you most in articles, and then do your best to avoid them in your own writing.
Thus, if most of the posts on how to fight writer’s block recommend getting enough sleep and taking in some fresh air every time you experience difficulties, you may want to avoid including those two on your own list. Omit everything you as a reader think is too obvious or always repeated from post to post.
5. Compose a mini-book with your own quotes.
It’s a kind of a diary, but far more concise.
Wherever you go, record your brief notes no matter what they may be about. They might be statements describing anger, pity, sympathy, or delight.
Even if you didn’t like the sandwich you ate in a café, with its overdone meat or not-so-fresh vegetables… Let it be disgusting.
What’s the purpose? You can review these notes any time you need a good point to start with or continue your story.
In the course of time when you reread your thoughts written even two or three months ago, you may disagree with what previously seemed to be right. This way you can make your brain wake up and become more alert.
6. Psychology or neurolinguistic programming? Try both!
By reading books on human psychology, you can discover the way people perceive things and adjust your writing style accordingly.
Try experimenting with neurolinguistic programming to have more control over readers’ feelings. But the main point here is not to overdo things.
Whatever techniques you apply in your writings, there’s one saying I like to cite: Too much of a good thing is good for nothing.
Still, the more your practice, the better outcome you get. Never hesitate to take up a new creative approach.
Have any cool methods to share? You’re more than welcome to do so in the comments area below!