As a communicator who blogs in his free time, I write both for work and leisure. While my years of experience does make a difference to how elegantly I can put digital pen to paper, it can still be a bitch trying to craft amazing copy on a regular basis.
What then are the secrets to writing well?
1) Schedule it in your calendar. Make an effort to dedicate at least an hour (or maybe even two) to write something – or anything – on a regular basis. Committing yourself to a writing routine helps to keep the ball rolling even when the ground is rough.
2) Battle the demons of digital distraction. In the age of smartphones and tablets, one can easily fritter away one’s time endlessly scrolling through Facebook posts or watching YouTube videos. Prioritise your time to produce before you consume. Log off, close those windows and steel yourself to focus on filling that blank sheet before your mind wanders.
3) Read stimulating and inspiring content. This of course depends on the nature of your interest and passion. Try to give those gossip magazines a miss – unless of course your job or hobby is in writing about gossip!
4) Dedicate your first fruits to the altar of the written word. What this means is this: when you wake up in the morning feeling energised and fresh, head to the keyboard and write. If possible, choose to wake an hour earlier than everybody else in the house so that you have some quiet time to yourself.
5) Keep going through good times and bad. Understand that not every article, memo, proposal, or blog post that you craft will be a winner. In fact, it is quite possible that you’ll experience a string of duds before finally creating a successful piece of work. Don’t be disheartened by the lacklustre reviews or negative comments. Just keep on keeping on.
6) Bounce back to it – even when hell and high water threatens to rock your literary boat. There will be days when you’re faced with a hundred reasons why you shouldn’t write – a family emergency needs tending to, something sh***y happens at work, or your pet just urinated on your expensive Persian carpet. After you’ve tended to the crisis, try to get back to writing as soon as possible. Of course, take a deep breath first!
7) Eat well, sleep well and exercise. Yes, there will be authors who can only flow with a bottle of whiskey or a packet of cigarettes beside their laptop. However, the majority of us will probably write better when we’re in the pink of health and glowing.
8) Teach and learn from like-minded others by forming a community. Have you noticed how often writers (and bloggers) love to come together? Meet-ups are popular because they help otherwise solitary writers to enjoy a time of fellowship, idea sharing and support.
What other secrets do you know of?