So you want to be a writer, the next J.K Rowling, Maya Angelou, Chinua Achebe,  Shakespeare, Edgar Alan Poe, Virginia Woolf (without the suicide part of course), then you have come to the right place. Before we begin,

  • Have a notebook or notepad
  • A decent pen
  • A computer or laptop (you can always borrow)
  • A dictionary

Let’s begin.

Write something

  • By write something, I mean a sentence (BTW a sentence is meant to make sense), a line, that image you can’t seem to get out of your head, write it down.
  • Do Writing exercises, challenge yourself.
  • Have a muse. It can be your pet, your best friend, your girlfriend/boyfriend, your best food, hell even your enemy.
  • Get inspiration, can be emotion, get those old photos, build up nostalgia, can be sad or happy memories, can be nature, your present situation, your life. Writer’s block affects all writers (except Terry Pranchett) from time to time and this little bits of inspiration can help.

    You can always blame Californians for writer’s block

Choose a specific theme or idea and form

This helps you to give your story, poem,drama a focus and a goal. It also helps the reader understand what is being writen and your train of thoughts. For example:

Anxiety issues and unapologetic


Read Examples of Stories, Poetry, Write-ups, Drama and so on

Helps guide you to form a background as to how the piece can be done. It does not mean you should copy the writers style or form or uniqueness. From seeing all their examples your subconciously improve and hone your skills.

Use your Literary Devices

The similes, the metaphors, Euphemisms, Irony, Personification, e.t.c are not just big words to show that literature is some pretensious art, they are there to spice up your work, to give it life. Put them to use ,and effectively so. Check out the following examples:

All the world is a stage and all the men and women merely players – Shakespeare ( a metaphor)

Trusting no man as his friend , he could not recognize his enemy when the latter appeared-Nathaniel Hawthorne (Irony)

Pearl Button swung on the little gate in front of the House of Boxes. It was the early afternoon of a sunshiny day with little winds playing hide-and-seek in it.”- Shakespeare ( Personification)

Avoid Cliches ( if possible)

As the saying goes, you’ve seen it once. you’ve seen it a thousand times. For Example:

Roses are red , Violets are blue because the skies are always blue.

Read your draft, get feedback from others

Keep a pen close. read your write-up, correct your lines if need be, don”t be afraid to ‘Kill your Darlings’, those favorite lines you like that just don’t seem to fit into the write -up no matter how hard you try.

Those unnecessary information and explanation, dragging dialog and so on that do not play a role in enhancing the quality of the prose, drama or poem need to go.

Constructive Criticism from others like your family and friends, your instructors, classmates and even other writers really go a long way in improving the piece and your writing skills.


  • Before you give it to others to read , make sure you ascribe the piece to you because the rate in which literary works get stolen the days, faster than ‘Jollof’ can finish at an ‘Owambe’.
  • Poems are best read aloud.
  • Revise your piece

Other Tips for developing your creative writing skill and improving your writing career:

  • Practice
  • Join a writers circle or club
  • Own a blog
  • Be on social media, promote your works.
  • Attend book festivals and spoken word meets
  • Read well written books
  • Go on a writing course.

Remember, writing can not be forced. Even though everyone can write, not everyone can be a writer and in the words  of Charles Bukowski in “So you want to be a writer”:


when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.

and there never was.

*It refers to writing.

Post by Diala Amarachi (400 level MBBS)