Still in the holiday spirit? When writers tell me that their productivity is low; I refer them to these writing tips. They work.
Got a writing habit? Writers who realize the importance of rituals and writing habits write more, more easily. They also sell more of their writing. Let’s look at five writing tips which will help you to write, no matter what.
5 writing tips to help you to write, no matter what
These tips are in no particular order. Do yourself a huge favor, and use them.
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1. Write about it: write about your writing tasks
I’ve often shared my favorite writing acronym: DDT — Do, Don’t Think. It’s my favorite acronym, because I find myself sharing it with a depressed writer at least once a week.
The secret of writing is… writing. Writers write: you’ve heard that before, I’m sure. Here’s a wonderful quote from Barbara Fine Clouse: “The act of writing stimulates thought, so when you cannot think of anything to write, start writing anyway.”
Consider this: the biggest mistake you can make with your writing is not writing. Stop thinking about writing. Solve your writing problems on the page (or on the computer screen.)
Just write, no matter what — it doesn’t matter how you feel about writing. Write.
Here’s a scenario. You’ve been commissioned to write a business plan. You have no idea what a business plan looks like. So, you either avoid writing completely (even though the deadline is coming closer and closer), or you sit and stare at your computer screen.
- Make a list of questions. Start with the simplest question: “What’s a business plan?” Keep listing questions, down the page.
- Next, answer your questions. If you don’t know an answer, write about where you might find the answer, and make a list of who might help you.
The question/ answer process is a no-brainer. It starts where you are. Assure yourself that no question is “stupid”.
Here’s another scenario. You want to write a novel. What do you do? Start writing with these words: “Once upon a time”. Keep writing.
This process works when you don’t have an idea in your head. I start all my novels and short stories much like this, with a simple sentence.
You can write about your project whenever you’re stuck. Your “about” writing may contain a lot of whining… 😉 That’s great. Whine away, as long as you’re writing, you’re doing fine.
2. Take your writing with you
I’m a great believer in taking your writing with you. Here’s why: when you’re away from your home office, you’re fresh. Just by moving your location, you’ve changed your perspective.
When I’m working on a long project like a book, I convert the file to a PDF every week (Scrivener makes this easy) so that I can read it as a reader would. Once it’s on my phone, I can read the PDF whenever I have a free moment: when I’m waiting for a meeting to start, or even if I’m stuck in a queue somewhere.
3. Draw something — or color something in — to spark your creativity
Doodling sparks creativity: it helps you to integrate your logical left-brain thinking, with your creative right brain. I often doodle during the day. It helps me to come up with fresh ideas, and clear my mind.
The current fashion for adult coloring-books may seem silly, but coloring-in works to enhance your productivity and creativity. Over the years, I’ve found coloring to be especially useful whenever I need to make a decision. Dover Books is my long-time favorite for coloring books.
4. Use your imagination: rehearse your writing before you sit down to write
Your imagination is powerful. Start mentally rehearsing your writing instead of worrying about it, and imagining that you can’t write a book, or whatever.
Rehearse the task in your mind. Imagine yourself sitting at your writing desk, and writing. You’re having fun, and your writing is going well — your fingers fly across the keyboard. You’re smiling, as solutions to writing challenges magically pop up for you. Imagine yourself creating the perfect solution to a writing challenge.
Do this throughout the day, and it will make all the difference to your writing.
5. Create a Happiness List, to keep your inner child happy
You really are as happy as you decide you’ll be. If you’re miserable, think about the things that make you happy, and create a Happiness List. My Happiness List includes books I want to read, movies I want to watch, and places to which I’d like to go.
At least once a day, choose something from your Happiness List, and indulge in it. Here’s why: your creativity depends on it. Your creative self is child-like. It’s your job to keep the kid happy. 🙂
In summary, write anyway…
I love this quote:
“The act of writing stimulates thought, so when you cannot think of anything to write, start writing anyway.”
Barbara Fine Clouse
And as I always say:
”Your writing challenges are solved by writing.”
I'm sure you've heard quotes like: "if you can imagine it, you can achieve it." And: "if you can dream it, you can become it."More info →
Do you find writing a struggle?
I work with writing students every day who believe that they “can’t write.” And yet, they must write, for one reason or another.More info →
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Updated: January 15, 2019
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