"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Friday, August 20, 2010

5 tips to becoming a better writer

Do you want to become a better writer?

1. Write every day. E.v.e.r.y. d.a.y. If you can’t get your brain going, take a sentence or an idea from your story or a character and write anything that comes to mind. Sometimes telling yourself to write is like the nurse telling you to urinate in a plastic cup. It will happen. Just keep trying.

2. Dedicate time to improving your skills by reading blogs and books on how to write. There are so many helpful writing blogs out there. If you click on one, you will see links to others listed in sidebar. I also find Grammar Girl helpful in honing my skills. (But this is no time to judge me.) And don’t forget about online writing courses.

Warning: Blog reading is addictive. Limit yourself or you may have to join Bloggers Anonymous.

3. Don’t be boring. Write the outrageous. Use your imagination. This mindset will make your story better. Even though you were taught to color inside the box in grade school, I’m telling you to stop it! I want you to color outside that writer box.

4. Think as a writer. Let no activity in your life go unnoticed in your mind. Jot down news stories, silly stuff that happens to you at the grocery store, or things that make you pause. These life experiences can be a setting in your next story/book/script/poem. Those hateful or quirky people along the way can be your next characters. Let nothing escape you.

5. Read. What better way to learn to write than to read those who are successful authors and the genre in which you wish to write.

Finally, this article by Mary Jaksch on 73 ways to become a better writer is worth reading.


Now it's your turn, share one of your “becoming a better writer” tips.

15 comments:

  1. I agree these are most important. Great list, JW!

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  2. I agree with all of them. I'm finding blogging so addicting that I spend too much time doing that and less of number one. I have to go to BA (Blogging Anon).

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  3. Great tips! I agree wholeheartedly. One of the things I have to remind myself to do is what Julia Cameron says: Fill Up the Well. The well is your life and you fill it with your experiences so you have something to write about. It's so easy to stay in all day and write and read and daydream. But I'll dry out if I don't fill up my well!

    Thanks for that terrific link!

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  4. Excellent post and great tips. I especially like one and four. I'd add: Respect your writing.

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  5. Dare to send your work out to get published. Starting with a local publication for short work, write a blog, keep submitting, and you'll find an audience.

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  6. Totally great advice girl! Thanks

    God bless and have a fantastic weekend!!!

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  7. Great tips, now I have to make a wish to become a writer.

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  8. Very good list. Wise advice. I try to do all of these. Periodically lists get long and technical and make me think 'what the heck am I doing' but these are all manageable.

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  9. Good tips. I think I've been doing them pretty much, but I could stand to read more books and articles. I probably do need to join Bloggers Anonymous.

    I'll have to check the 73 tips now.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  10. All very important tips, especially writing every day. The longer the gaps between your writing sessions, the harder it is to get back into the flow, and you lose the piece's innate rhythm.

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  11. These are some great and inspiring rules to live by for a writer. Writing everyday is a definite and I don't think most writers have trouble thinking outside of the box.

    Write on!

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  12. I think that at some point, you should send in something to be published, even if you are afraid of rejection. Good list, I have to keep myself in check about visiting and reading other blogs. There are so many good ones!

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  13. Cool! How did I missed this one?
    Awesome tips! I think that it would be a great success if you'd send in some stuff to be published.
    I believe in you/your writing!

    B xx

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  14. Wonderful tips. My computer has been moving so slow lately that I have not been able to pursue my writing the way I would like and lots of my ideas are being placed on paper for now.

    I am sorry, Teresa, that I missed all these posts. I had no idea!! I had to delete my camera program to get my computer to budge. :-)

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