While searching the internet for inspiration for my writing, I stumbled upon this website called Knowledge Unlimited which offers a wide range of educational books ranging from art to social studies. A poster for a middle school writing kit called “The Only 12 1/2 Writing Rules You’ll Ever Need” caught my eye. Only 12 1/2 rules? That’s all we need?
Many times we writers tend to complicate things. We get stuck on ideas (or a lack there of) and forget that sometimes it’s the simplest of things that make the most sense. This poster may be intended for middle school kids, but I think it speaks to writers of all ages:
1. If you write everyday, you get better at writing everyday.
There are some writers who write almost everyday. Then there are some who write whenever great ideas flow in and they never stop. Write everyday- it doesn’t matter if it’s a short story, an essay or a paragraph a day.
2. If it’s boring to you, it’s boring to your reader.
Have you ever written a story that when you reread it, you yawned half way through the paragraphs? If you think it’s too boring, edit it and start again.
3. Get a writing routine and stick with it.
Pick a time to write. Whether it is on a fresh, bright morning or a quiet night, stick to your favourite time of the day. It helps you to write creatively. A good location helps as well.
4. Poetry does NOT have to rhyme.
You can have your own style of poetry. You don’t have to follow the “rules” all of the time. Break them once a while!
5. Resist stereotypes in real life and in your writing.
Try to stay away from stereotypes. It’s a plus point having a different storyline or characters. It can generate interest in readers from different cultures.
6. Writers read. Writers read a lot. Writers read all the time.
Read the newspaper, books, magazines, even the labels on your ketchup bottle! Read, read, read and read.
7. Make lists of your favorite words, books, places and things.
Do you know these are the things that can inspire and boost your creativity?
8. There doesn’t always have to be a moral of the day.
There is always an ending to every story but it doesn’t necessarily end with moral or a lesson. Readers are curious when it comes to an ending. You can either end it with a bang or leave it to readers to guess it which allows you to continue onto another book. It’s up to you.
9. Always bring your notebook. Always bring a spare pen.
This is a MUST. If you don’t have one right now, shame on you. Bring your notebook, a pen (or a few) and keep them in your bag for when the ideas flow.
10. Go for walks. Dance. Pull weeds. Do the dishes. Write about it.
If you’re the type who loves to blog on a daily basis but you oftentimes run out of ideas? Why not write on things you see, experience and share with the world? Do you have a special talent or interest? Well, write more of it. Different subjects appeal to different people.
11. Don’t settle on just one style. Try something new.
Need we say more?
12. Learn to tell both sides of the story.
Look at both sides, think and tell. Just like any other story, one sided is no fun to tell.
And the half of it? Stop looking at this and write something!
Linda Razali, a tour coordinator during daytime and a blogger/dreamer at night. She loves traveling, writing and would love to add photography to her list to do. Music and books are her best friends. So does her dictionary. She currently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.