Writing is hard. If you have ever sat in front of a blank page or a blank screen and wondered “What the hell do I even write about?”.
Then you, my friend, know the struggle of being a writer. However, there are some things you can do to make the whole process a lot less overwhelming while firing up your inner muse.
Here are my Top Ten Writing Tips:
- READ. Read often. Read voraciously. Read fiction. Read non fiction. Read genres you like and read genres you have never tried. Read newspapers, magazines and periodicals. Read an encyclopedia. Read blogs. Read the classics. Read, read , read. You can not be a writer if you are not a reader. Reading allows you to experience the flow of an author’s writing cadence, to see and learn how sentences are built, and to build knowledge for your own personal writing style. It is only through reading that you can become a better writer.
- BECOME A WORD FANATIC. Words are the writer’s tool. Learn new words. Keep a collection of words you like in a notebook. Expand your vocabulary. Listen to how words sound when spoken and how they make you feel. When I was younger I had an enormous Webster’s Dictionary (I still have it!) and I would randomly open it up and highlight a word I found interesting and then I would try to use that word in conversation the next day. This is an excellent way to build your vocabulary and fuel your creativity! Try using the word “leucomelanous” in a sentence today!
- WRITE FOR YOURSELF. You need to write for yourself first. Write about the things you enjoy and do not worry about what other people think. If you like writing vampire romance stories than go for it! If you prefer more cerebral undertakings well then go on with your bad self! If you are not writing what you want then your writing will never be authentic. You have to know what you want to write. What are your interests? What types of books get you crazy excited? What types of books put you to sleep? Know what you like and write the story for yourself.
- JUST WRITE. Don’t know where to begin or what to write? Take a deep breath and just write whatever comes to mind. It does not have to make sense. Just get it on the paper first. Write words, write lists, write catchy titles. Just write. Get into the habit of setting aside time each day and getting something down on paper.
- DO NOT EDIT WHILE WRITING. This is so hard for so many of us writers! We are in the middle of a writing session and suddenly we find ourselves self editing as we are writing. STOP!!!! Do not do this. WRITE WITHOUT EDITING. It is more important and much easier to get the first draft done completely than to try to fix and edit as you write. Just get the book, story, blog post etc down on paper. You will edit when you are done with the writing.
- KNOW THAT YOUR FIRST DRAFT WILL BE SHIT. Just know this and accept it. No one but you will ever see the first draft. Every great writer, every best-selling author writes a shitty first draft. Do not expect perfection with the first draft. The first draft is the starting point. Do not beat yourself up over it. think of it like you are baking a cake. First you make the batter and then you bake it and then you add all the icing and decorations to it. The first draft is your batter. When you do edits and rewrites that’s your icing and decorations.
- EDIT AND REWRITE. ONLY AFTER YOUR FIRST DRAFT IS COMPLETE!! This is where you will add all your bling to your story. But be patient. Your story will not be perfect after one edit or one rewrite–you may have to repeat the process over and over again. Do not panic! You will know when your cake is done in the oven.
- BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. If you write then you are a writer. You are not a writer only if you are published or only if you wrote a book. You are not a writer only if you are a bestselling author. YOU ARE A WRITER RIGHT NOW. You need to believe in yourself and your talent and your abilities. Be confident. Be true to yourself. Believe you are a writer with every fiber of your being!
- CREATE A WRITING ROUTINE. You need to write and write consistently every day. So set up a routine that works for you and encourages you to get those creative juices flowing. My own routine includes getting a cup of coffee, lighting a delicious smelling candle and listening to classical music as I write. Its the little things that set the tone for me, so that my brain goes “Oh yay! Writing time!”. The routine helps me to be a much more productive and proactive writer.
- JOURNAL. I can not stress how important it is to keep a journal, a writer’s notebook, or a diary. You need a place to reflect and dream. Journaling is so empowering and soul cleansing. Just let your feelings flow onto the page and you will see how it can spark new ideas and inspiration. I carry my journal with me everywhere and just write in it as I feel called to during the day. It really lets me explore my inner musings and work through any thoughts or struggles I may encounter in my life.
These are my top ten tips for beginning writers. Which one resonated with you? Do you think you will incorporate any of these things into your writing habits? What are your tips for writers? Comment below and let me know!
Till next time!
Keep “Wright”ing On!