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By Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine Staff Writer

Writing is an art that needs to be studied like any other fine arts. Remember the four skills of integration—reading, writing, listening, and speaking—that our teachers used to teach us when we were in elementary school?  Each of these four skills stemmed from the premise of beautifying our intellectual capabilities. Whether one is self-educated or graduated from one of the finest conventional schools in the land, unless these skills are studied and practiced with an utterance of skillfulness, the recognition that we all long for in academia as well as in the publishing world will never materialize.

For those who thrive to make writing their social and intellectual terrain from which they will be empowered to display the exuberance of their intellectualness, especially when it comes to creative writing, there are some important tips to know. Here they are:

  1. Test your grammar skills. This is extremely important. Grammar—a set of rules designed to write properly—is the quintessential element in language arts. No one can claim to be a writer if he or she does not know how to handle his pen. But knowing how to handle your pen alone does not guarantee a work of art. A writer MUST be first and foremost an artist, which means he or she must learn how to manage the adjectives and the adverbs to create colorful sentences and beautiful, novelistic prose that will eventually hook the reader through the entire story. This is especially true in creative writing.      
  2. Find a writing coach. It is not easy to find someone whom you can trust, even if that person is not your regular teacher or professor. It is necessary to have someone with whom you can share your work—someone who is your guiding light, guiding you down the path to success.
  3. Remove all feeling of inferiority or egocentrism. Be open to criticisms if you intend to push your way into the publishing world. Whether you like it or not, your published work will be critiqued by others. If your work is critically acclaimed, you have the right to be overly excited. But if the critics give you cold shoulders, take it in stride. A media shun is in no way a literary blunder. When Jacques Roumain’s Les Gouverneurs de la Rosée (Masters of the Dew) was first published in 1944, it received token recognition. Today, this literary masterpiece is considered as one of the best literary oeuvres in academia.
  4. Believe in yourself. You should be your number one cheerleader. But don’t put your faith on relatives and close friends who may not want to tell you the truth in order to avoid hurting your feeling; and while you need their encouragements to urge you forward, you must never deviate from the fact that only YOU can make it happen.
  5. Put your writing first. It takes a long time to conceive a masterpiece. But it is important in the world of writing to have a self-imposed deadline. Without this, you may run the risk of plunging into the world of procrastination. A writer CANNOT be slack-offish. Polishing one’s work can take weeks, months, or even years. But a literary work must first be built before one can start polishing it. Set a time to write each day, and stick to it.
  6. Build your own niche. Once you choose your literary genre, you need to look for its targeted audience. One of the things publishers want to know before getting you onto a negotiation table is who would be interested in your story. Submit articles to local newspapers or even online publications. That is some of the ways to build credibility.

7. Be relentless. Do not give up no matter what the obstacles are. Success never comes without a price. Last but not least, read, read, and read. One can never be a good writer if he is not an avid reader.

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