I’ve done my fair share of web surfing. My fair share of looking for the writing “diamond in the ruff” that works for me. Below are three tried and true writing basics that will help every author become a better author (or just get that darn manuscript finished).
#1 – Be consistent
How you define consistency is 100% dependent on you and your life. But every author (yes, every author) needs their version of routine to be successful at this craft.
I’ve tried all sorts of routines. The early morning, butt glued in the chair, write or die method. I’ve tried the late night, half asleep, slap the face and keep going method. I’ve even tried the method of locking myself in my room with a sign on the door for the kids that says: “No blood? No Broken Bone? No Enter.” All these methods had their perks, and all had downfalls (my 5 year old laying outside my door screaming for me to let her in while my husband tried to coax her back downstairs was one of the big downfall).
Given my full and crazy life, I’ve learn to snack write. I’m never entirely sure when I’ll have time to write, but I seize the moments I get and try my darnedest to write every day.
#2- Read. A LOT.
If any of you are working parents, like me, finding time to write (let alone read) can seem near impossible. But good reading does make better writing. I don’t find it coincidental that many authors, especially beginning ones, reflect their favorite author’s style in their own writing. It’s a good place to start. And hopefully it eventually carries them to find their own voice.
Reading also inspires you to write. Don’t believe me? Try it. Next time you have a slump in your writing, re-read a book that once struck your internal tuning fork. Just see if you can stop yourself from wanting to write.
Don’t limit yourself to paper or e-books. Audio books are great for commuters or busy parents like me who live in a car – driving one carpool after another. I also listen to books while I’m cleaning the house – laundry’s not nearly as awful with a great book on in the background.
#3 – Write – for goodness sakes, WRITE!
What? Did I really put that? Seems a tad obvious..hmm?
Well … it is.
But I know that I’m not the only writer that has gotten caught in the research whirlpool then wondered why my word count for that day was so low. You know what distractions you have to turn off to make you focus, so now, you just have to do it. Every day (or whatever version of consistently you have).
To keep your writing flowing you also have to stop editing yourself. Especially with that first draft. Make a mess! Know it’s not going to look great! Little secret here that some writers forget… no one has to see that first draft. No one. Your goal simple needs to be to finish it. Then, when revision time rolls around, you can spit shine it all you want. But first, you write.
On that note. This would be a great time to close this blog and get back to your writing (but not until you’ve left a comment below – ‘cuz I’d love to hear if you’ve got any other writing basics that are must haves for you).
Please tell me your thoughts below.
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