We’re coming to the end of another year, so I thought I’d throw out a couple of quick tips to improve your writing.
I hope that, if you are a writer, 2017 has been a creative and rewarding year. But what if it wasn’t? What if it was a real struggle? How can we minimise this for you in 2018?
I don’t know. I don’t have any real answers, and you just be sceptical of anyone who claims to have tidy and neat solutions. If you follow this blog, you probably already know that I’m not a fan of “rules” for writing, so just see these as suggestions that may or may not work for you. Enjoy!
Write Every Day
Consistency is king when you’re working on a more ambitious writing project. Writing every day, even if it’s not much, can really take you to the next level. You think you don’t have time? Just write a few hundred words. Just a couple of paragraphs. Even one paragraph. Just a sentence! Anything.
Writing just a little bit each day helps put you into a routine, where you’re used to writing each day. It’s almost like a form of Pavlovian conditioning on yourself. Slipping behind on your writing deadlines? Even if they’re self-imposed? Give this a go.
Read Every Day
The best writers are solid readers. You don’t have to be really conscientious. Don’t worry about writing down special passages and making notes about styles and form that you like. You might end up just imitating them in bland and predictable ways. Just absorb other people’s work. The good stuff will stay in your mind subconsciously. And when you start adding this stuff into your own work, you’ll probably find it’ll come out as a more creative variation of the work. As Picasso said, “all artists copy. Great artists steal.”
Don’t Edit As You Write
When you write, just write. I know it’s tempting to tweak as you go, but try and resist that. Getting stuff out of your head and onto the page is hard enough. Don’t make it impossible by trying to do it elegantly the first time around. Even if you do edit as you go, you’ll find that you probably will still go back and edit later anyway, because your first pass at editing wasn’t good enough.
I personally do a little light editing after writing chunks of work. Then the real edit happens after the first draft is done. It makes the whole process faster, and I don’t get bogged down in re-writing something that’s not even properly written yet. Editing as you go makes it even harder to remove things that I’ve written previously, which is something you’ll often need to do.
Anyway, these little power-up tips might work for you or they might not. But there’s little harm in trying out something knew. Either way, good luck in your upcoming writing projects!