What are the habits that one must acquire to become a good writer?
To be a good writer, a reporter must be a good reader. Question may be raised on what to read and what not to read. A novice writer should start reading every thing. He will realize after some time what to read and what not to read. You must read good books, newspapers, magazines and journals. You will be in touch with all the relevant and current topics.
Visit a library. Browse through the catalogue and check the books in the shelves. You can start with English classics. There are so many writers. Take interest in a writer. If you have interest, start with Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s style is inimitable. Initially you may feel uncomfortable reading, but start and make it a habit to read for an hour or two starting with. After some time, you will find that there has been a sea change in your approach and imagination.
If you do not want to read Shakespeare, start with any book initially. The book may not be worth reading, but once you start and get into the habit, you would know gradually what more to read. You should never be fobbed by the high sounding names of writers that some of your friends may be reading. A novice writer should never get the inferiority complex syndrome. By getting to know the names of big writers alone, you are not going to gain any thing in your writing skills. You should learn writing and for that you can begin virtually anywhere. You can also begin reading a nice fairy tale such as the Aesop’s Fables or the abridged version of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels or whatever you can get.
Howsoever bad, a writer has certainly gone through the ordeals which you are yet to set sail on. In fact, if you are a discerning reader, you will learn the crux of what bad writing is. Once you know the bottom line, you will learn your first lesson not to write in a bad manner. You will put efforts to better your skills and gradually you will improve.
If you want to take up writing as a profession in any other language also, it is the same. The basics remain the same. The basic concepts remain the same for all languages. The basics of a good book or write-up never change whatever language it may be written in. That is why people take interest in even reading translations of classics and epics like Omar Khayyam or the Odyssey or the Mahabharata. Classics are written in simple and attractive style. The very first lesson in good writing is that you have to write in a simple manner so as to make it acceptable to an editor or sub-editor, who is likely to be the first reader of your write-up. Writing needs patience, hard-work and an understanding of what your reader needs. Writing is not easy. Yet if you want to be a writer “all you do is sit down and just go on writing”, that is what eminent writers say.