Writing on a daily basis is one of my goals for 2018. This is no easy task. Even though I love writing, it can be extremely difficult to make the time to actually sit and put words on paper (or Word documents…). With a desire to start strong, I began to scour the podcast world for some decent writing inspiration. What I found was basically nothing. There are tons of podcasts featuring writers who will, in the end, spend countless minutes talking or promoting their books and their style or going way to deep into creating characters for fictional writing. What I was looking for was SUPER practical tips and cool ideas for getting motivated and/or developing my own style. So, in light of my current disappointment, this blog will offer some of my own tips/inspiration for writers. Here are some practical tips to writing more and writing better:
This one seems pretty over the top obvious but it has way more impact than you would first believe. Too many times, we sit down to write and spend an hour just thinking of a good idea or trying to convince ourselves that we have something to say. Stop the madness! Just write. It doesn’t matter if it’s not that great. What matters is that you get the ball rolling. One you start writing, it’s so much easier to keep writing. So, tip #1 is just write.
Under think it
Everyone always says not to overthink things. Perhaps we can write a new word, “under thinking.” Instead of telling you what not to do, I can tell you what you can do. You can under think it. Readers will appreciate a relatable read much more than something that they struggle to understand or comprehend. You don’t have to prove anything. Don’t spend too much time trying to find one word. Just put something down and edit it later. Chances are, the first thing that came to your mind is the first thing that came to your reader’s mind as well. At the very least, it will be the most natural flow. Tip # 2 is to under think everything, especially if your work is not in its editing stage.
Go somewhere else
One of the biggest distractions or hindrances when I write is the responsibilities or people around me. If I try to stay home and write, it won’t lead to much productivity. Instead, I go to a coffee shop that I like. But, you can go anywhere. If you have good weather, you could write on a park bench and be productive. Go where you feel inspired and you can write without distraction. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, location IS everything! Tip # 3 is a shout out to coffee houses everywhere – get out of your normal and go somewhere inspiring.
Write for you, not for them
The first place our minds are eager to go is picking topics based on what will get us the most clicks but that will steal your energy and drain your motivation for writing. The most important thing you will ever write is the piece that matters the most to YOU. When you sit down to write, stop thinking about everyone else and start listening to your own heart. Sounds cliche, and maybe it is, but this will be the key to renewing your motivation for writing. When the doubt or the self-criticism tries to stop your progress, you have to make a point of remembering that you don’t write for fame or recognition; You write because what’s inside of you needs to be released. Don’t underestimate the power of what God has put in your heart. Tip #4 is my plea for you to realize the power of your voice.
R E A D
If you want to be a good writer, you need to be a good reader. The best writers are the ones who read the most. The more you read, the better you will write. Read books from incredible authors, read books that have words that are way too hard for you – challenge yourself. Read articles on current issues. Read blogs that inspire you. Read about something you’ve always wanted to learn about. Go crazy! Reading is never a waste of time. Honestly, if you are not a reader then you cannot be a writer. Writing is a skill and reading is the training ground. Tip #5 (and my last tip for today) concerns itself with the importance of reading to improve your ability to write.
That’s it! It’s not fancy or full of big words. It’s incredibly practical and each tip has been put into practice in my life with amazing results! Cling to these tips and start to put them into effect. Your writing will not only get better but you will start to flourish in your style and voice.