Posts with the Tag: writing tips
If you’ve been the type of writer who never has an idea, then you need to change the way you look at creativity. While you already know this, creativity isn’t always something you can summon on demand.
Even the best writers may not have had their best ideas when they wrote them down. But what does that mean?
Let’s think about the last time you had a great idea. Maybe you were at a restaurant and a conversation reminded you of something that you wanted to say in your writing.
But when you got home, you couldn’t remember what the creative insight was. You couldn’t remember what your brilliant idea was. You shake your head and wonder why you can’t remember this flash of writing perfection.
It’s no surprise that established writers often give the same advice, something along the lines of, ‘Sit in your chair and write. Don’t get up.’ While stepping away from your desk is a good thing too, the point of this advice is to create some sort of routine for your writing.
You want to create a time when your mind and your body knows, ‘Hey, it’s time to write.’ When you’re used to a certain time being work time, then you’ll jump in and do what needs to be done.
Here’s how you can create a routine that works for you:
When you’re writing for an audience, your job gets harder. If you were just writing for yourself and for your own pleasure, it really wouldn’t matter what you said, so long as you were happy with it.
But chances are good that to be paid, you need to appease an audience. You need to speak up for an audience to entertain them, to educate them, or to inspire them.
You can do this by:
You’ve gotten to that point. That point when you can’t think of anything to say that will impress an audience. All writers have. Some call it writer’s block; others call it burnout.
No matter what you might call it, it’s a sign that you need to push away from your desk and get away from the keyboard.
But what can you do to keep your mind from slowing down if you don’t have time to step away for a vacation?
While the quote is often attributed to Faulkner, Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch is the one who said, “Murder your darlings.” This piece of writing advice has been given to new and old writers alike, helping to remind writers that the best writing isn’t always the writing you should share.
Your darlings are the sentences or the ideas you can’t seem to remove from a piece of writing. You love them and you want them to shine, but if you were to be honest with yourself, you’d know you need to toss them aside. Sometimes, you need to ‘murder’ those darlings.
You don’t want to be a bad writer. But when you’ve been sitting at your desk or your computer for hours, without a single word written, you may begin to question your abilities.
You’ve read the advice from famous writers, and now you need to take the advice of ‘bad’ writers.
Maybe it’s the chlorine in the water or the mercury in the vaccines, but this world is more distracted than ever. Some think the constant access to information is to blame, while others think the lack of family time and sleep are the culprits.
No matter the reason, your job as a writer is harder than ever.
You have five, maybe seven seconds, to grab the attention of your readers and keep them interested in what you have to say. If you can’t capture their attention in that time, your writing will get passed over. What can you do?
The stereotype of the solitary writer is pervasive – and accurate. However, when the goal of the writer is sharing an idea with an audience, more people need to get involved in the process. As David Ogilvy says, “If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it.”
While we writers might want to believe every word we place in a document is perfect (or every word is horrible), we need another opinion. One way to ensure you have the best possible look at your writing is to find three people who can look over your finished book, article, blog post, etc.
(If you’re getting paid to write, you may want to take this blog post with a grain of salt. You need to do what your client tells you to do. But if you think another approach would be better, it can’t hurt to speak up and let the client know.)
If you’ve ever tried to do something just for the sake of getting good feedback, you know that’s not the best decision. Even if you think you’re doing something that an audience will like, if YOU are trying to be liked, then you need to stop for a minute to reevaluate your goals.
Whether you’ve been given an assignment, or you’re just writing something to share information, you can’t say it all in one piece. There are some who might try to talk about every single thing that’s important about a topic, only to find their readers are less than willing to spend hours reading an article.
There is a way to streamline this writing process – and fine tune the result: say one big thing.