The truth is, we are all writers. No matter your career, lifestyle, or education level, at some point we all need to write. Writing is a part of everyday life, a major part that most don’t consider. Whether you are working in an office and writing business correspondences, sending an email to a friend, or writing a letter to the teacher, there is skill involved in producing content that is readable. If you have chosen to write for a living these required skills are only intensified. Writing is an important life skill that many fail to learn, and no matter your path in life, being a ‘good’ (or even ‘fair’) writer can make or break your success.
- Writing is Exercise – Like with a sport, the more you practice writing the better you will get. You would not plan to participate in a Triathlon without first practicing little by little, working yourself up. Writing is the same, you can not expect to sit and write a novel without first practicing the basics, and composing some smaller pieces. This goes for blogging as well, take a look back at your first few posts and you will find that your writing has greatly improved since then, not because you have studied (though that helps) but because you have practiced and found what works. You improved by doing, and the more you continue to ‘do‘ the more you will improve. The great thing about writing is that there is always room to grow.
- Be Realistic – Making a plan to write for 4 hours is not a realistic goal. Making a plan to write 4 paragraphs, or even 4 pages is. Some days these pages will fill quickly, others they may not, but it is better to fill a few pages with nonsense than to force yourself to sit for hours and stare at a blank screen. Once you have reached your goal you may choose to continue if you are feeling inspired, or you can move on to something else knowing that you at least took the time to write, and managed to reach your goal. Some of the most foolish writings have turned into great pieces of art down the road. Save these files for future reference, no matter how badly written they seem. Don’t force yourself to write for a length of time, instead aim for the length of the actual writing, more words is better than more time.
- Consider the Consequences – No matter what you plan to write, how you plan to write it, or whom you are writing for, it is important that you consider this question… What are you writing that will be read in 10 years? and build your piece around that. It may seem silly, and perhaps you don’t want to have your writing read over-and-over again by many, but each and every piece written should be done with the care that millions may see it years down the road. Take your time and chose the right way to express whatever it is you are trying to say, especially these days, how often do things end up online that were never intended to be seen by others… In case that happens, you may as well make it worth reading! There are many great pieces that were probably written without the intention of ever being published, write for an audience even if you never intend to have one. This is not to say that everything you write needs to be perfect, great ideas come from the worst free writing sessions, it just means that you should take care to put passion into your writing at all times, no matter how loose it is.
- All the Time in the World – Forget the thought “I work better under pressure!” It is a bold-faced lie! No one works better under pressure, all pressure creates is quickly composed junk that should have been edited and re-written. Give yourself sufficient time to write, edit, and re-write anything you are producing. Writing can be magical and amazing if you give yourself the time to allow it to grow. You can create something that years from now may spark an idea in someone else’s mind that originated from a thought only you have had… It really is profound! Yet, as profound as it can be it is a process and you need to treat it as one if you hope for success. Yes, there are exceptions to this rule, as there are with any rule, but for the most part all writing should be carefully edited and considered before it is published in any form.
- Pieces of a Puzzle – See your writing as the answer to a puzzle, Finding a question and creating a response is the key to good writing. Go back to your school days and stick to the basics as much as you can. Have a clear point you want to discuss and focus your writing around that topic. This is especially useful for beginners as it is often simple to journey off topic once your thoughts start to flow. By sticking to one point you lessen the risk of running rampant in your ideas and losing sight of your main goal. Writing that wavers all over the maps runs the risk of confusing readers and sending them elsewhere to gather the information they require. This is another one of those important online writing tips because online readers want to gather information quickly and without much effort. If a reader can not find what they need in your piece quickly they will move on to another work that is more simply read.
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