People often ask me about writing. Why? Well, because I am a writer. I’ve learned that people who aren’t writers have this great misconception of what a writer is. Blame it on Carrie Bradshaw for painting this stunning illusion that all great writers are carrying a laptop with a cup of Starbucks getting the inside scoop on the latest while being in the company of generous individuals with a man on their arm that serenades you with excellent gifts and- OK maybe I should bring it back. In a simpler fashion, all I am saying is writing is not for the faint of heart and it is hard work. That is not meant to freak you out but to give you a brutal truth.
If you are sincerely passionate about writing the above will enthrall you and you should continue reading. If you aren’t a writer at heart, perhaps you will not even see this sentence. Chances are you have already redirected your attention to something else.
Those that are still present let’s continue. So, like I said plenty of people ask me about writing and what to do and where they should begin. I get this question a lot especially when someone has an idea they would like to manifest into a book.
So, I will tell you the most important rule of writing. This rule is so important considering that this one rule will be the make or break margin that defines you as a great writer.
Rule # 1- Write.
Yep, there you have it. You have to write – even when you don’t want to. Why? Well, that’s what writers do, and that is how to develop into a great writer. And yes, it is a process of development. There will always be great writers, but never the best writer, because it is a never ending process of development. There will always be room for improvement. However, to even get in the running to be among the greats you have to be just as engaged in the process from day one as you are to the day you receive an award for an excellent literary creation. It is a continuous process.
Now, let’s be honest, it usually doesn’t just flow like water, it’s a matter of discipline. But, Rules are rules, right? At least that’s the case when you’re aiming to be great in the world of writing. You have to go by the rule; there is no other way around it. So how do you keep the rules? I’m glad you asked.
Here are three tips:
Set daily writing goals. Perhaps start with a small daily word count and increase it by the week. No matter what you do, write daily. Consider taking one of those Facebook or Instagram breaks and channel it into writing. Mobile apps such as Evernote or Notes app on your phone, generally connected to your Gmail, will do. Google Drive is another good one. Considering they are phone applications, almost anyplace will work as a writing station, standing in line at the grocery store, sitting in the waiting room at the dentist or wherever else considered fitting.
Create a writing ritual. To be honest, when I first received this tip, I rolled my eyes and thought, “This is unnecessary. I am not doing that.” And, I didn’t, and I also did not keep my daily word count goal thus delaying development. So, once again, if you believe you are not quite disciplined to write daily; think again. You are. You simply need a little more structure. Write the same time every day. If at all possible, chose the same place as well and do not move until you reach your goal. Be sure to eliminate all distractions.
Read the work of others, but do not compare. Science proves frequent readers are better writers than those who choose not to. OK, well, I don’t know if science has proved that, but I like how it sounded. The truth, however, is the more you read, the more you know, and the better you become at executing your thoughts via written communication, therefore developing your writing skills. So read more, learn more, and grow.
Now, the second part of this is: Do not compare your writing skills to another. We are all a part of one big family of writers, but just like any other family, we all are different. There may be some similarities among us all, but you are unique, and your writing style will be as well. We all have the proper tools to become a great writer. Utilize those tools.
Now that you know the rule it’s time for you to get to writing! If you already have a writing ritual, tell us about it in the comments.
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