For writers, all we want to do is create meaningful work that actually matters to people, all the while satiating our own creative desires. Even the most inspired of us sometimes have trouble making it work – whether it be the motivation to start, avoiding distractions and negative self-talk, or staying focused. Here are a few short and sharp ways you can quickly become a better writer.
1. Just Do It
Stop hesitating; just sit down and write. Even if the work sucks at first, keep going and you’ll find your way. It’s how these things go.
Everything in our lives these days is a distraction. Try and work on a computer that isn’t connected to the internet, or use a plug-in that turns off social media for a set period of time.
Once the internet is gone, turn your phone off and work from somewhere quiet and peaceful with minimal distractions. Don’t jump from task to task; stay locked in to the work at hand.
4. Have An Outline
It’s always easier to work from a plan than to start with a blank page. Even if you diverge from what you had, it’s fine, let your creative energy take you wherever it may roam.
There’s nobody else to make you write but you. Choose a time every day, and refer back to point 1. Even if what you’re writing isn’t awesome (for now, see point 11), the exercise of forming a habit is extremely valuable.
Write bad now, edit later; but just make sure you write. Set a goal – say, two pages a day. Good or bad, life changing or trash-worthy, every word you write is helping you get better. Everything will be edited anyway.
7. Ignore Fear
It can be a little intimidating going into a book, especially your first. There are a lot of words to write. It’s scary. But push through it. You have nothing to lose except the book you’re about to write. And you know you want to read it as much as you want to write it.
8. Proof Read
This goes hand in hand with editing. Re-read everything after you’re finished for the day. Proof read before you edit. Really get a feel for the work. Maybe it’ll grow on you.
9. Get Feedback
Don’t just rely on your own proof reading. Get a friend or family member to take a look. They may have some helpful thoughts that can transform your work.
Siting at a computer all day isn’t healthy for anyone. Get outside, take a walk, grab a coffee, call a friend. Breaks are key to the creative process. If you’re on a roll, run with it, but try and get in the habit of stepping away a few times a day to stay fresh.
11. Don’t Judge
Almost all creatives hate their own work as they’re creating. But after some time, some edits and some reflection, you just might come to love the work you initially couldn’t stand. Hold off on the judgements.
12. No Rules
Remember – the only rule is there are no rules here. Your book could be one long chapter. Your entire piece of work could be an internal monologue. Create how you want to create. Let it flow.