Three Helpful Writing Tips

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(British accent) A wild typewriter in its natural habitat.

Don’t look at it. I SAID DON’T LOOK AT IT!

You’ve got to sneak up on it.  If you don’t it’ll run away.  Then you’ll need all the luck you can get to catch it.

That’s how it feels sometimes when you try to write.  The muse is as fleeting and swift as a deer.  It’s very likely that you won’t catch it.   I’m going to give you three little tips that will help you get your butt in the chair and get to writing!  (pssst…you’ve probably heard these before, but we are stubborn so here you go again. You’re welcome.)

Many times as writers we tend to wait for inspiration before we write.  I’m reminded of the Esurance commercial, where the lady says, “That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.”

True, you can wait for inspiration to hit you like a meteor from out of the sky, but what you need to do is build the habit of writing daily.  The more you do it, the easier it becomes. Imagine that!  Sit down and start writing.  I read a tip somewhere that has proven invaluable.  When you stop writing for the day, leave yourself in an unfinished sentence.  That way the next day you can pick up right where you left off.  The hope is that you will finish your thought and just keep going.  It does seem to work.

One thing that helps me enormously is to change where I write.  Instead of writing in my regular place, I’ll go to the kitchen table and write.  I know what you’re thinking, but your tagline says you write in the dark!  While my favorite place to write is in complete darkness with cool air and awesome tunes; I don’t do that all the time.  Let’s be real, it can only be dark at night unless I lock myself in a windowless room, and don’t think I haven’t thought of that! You’re a writer, be creative! Change up the setting.

Another thing that is helpful is free writing.  Sit down and think of a subject or a phrase you want to write about. Type it, write it, or chisel it in stone it doesn’t matter just let your mind go.  Type the very next word or phrase that comes to mind.  Keep doing it.  I like to do this for about 3 to 5 minutes.  When you read back over it, it will only make sense to you.  It’s very likely that no one else would be able to follow the incoherent babblings you’ll be pounding out.  Don’t worry about that.  This isn’t the “thing” you’re actually writing.  This exercise is going to get  your creative juices flowing.  I love it!  Save these writings.  They will prove invaluable in the future.  You never know when these random words and phrases will fit somewhere.

What have we learned kids?

So, let’s recap these three things that can help you get your fingers flowing and the words oozing from you like sweat on a hot Alabama day.

  1. Write EVERY DAY! (no excuses)
  2. Change your writing location
  3. Do some free writing!

I’m talking from experience.  Start putting these things into practice and you’ll begin to see your word counts improve.

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