Notebooks filled with scribbles, random quotes and lists. Piled up high, four years of ideas, false starts, some successful articles and half-finished short stories all start from the one place.
For as long as I can remember, I have carried around notebooks with ideas and reminders for future goals and writing fodder.
Actually getting down the words in a readable form is another story. (Pardon the pun)
What have a learned from four years of blogging and writing? Be like Nike. Just do it. Write something. Anything. It may make sense, it may not. Editing is the key to make your writing great. Not the first draft. You need the words on the paper to do anything with it.
Always try to improve your writing. Try a different writing genre. Short story, essays, novels, blogging. Complete a writing or editing course. It doesn’t matter. You don’t know what you don’t know. I recently completed an article for another writer to critique and was embarrassed to see it come back with all sorts of red lines and scribbles through it. Most of the mistakes were formatting and editing issues I knew nothing about as I have focused on improving my storytelling, not my editing. Big mistake. Huge.
Find out your personal writing habits and traits. I have realised my sentences are always too long and ramble a bit. Too many ideas in one sentence. I also need to get rid of boring words like: very and great, which don’t say much about what I am describing. Lazy storytelling.
Darren Rowse (the Aussie King of Blogging) shared his Mum’s advice at the last Problogger Conference which I found via Twitter, along the lines of “Your life will be better if you take action on the things you avoid”. For some strange reason this hit home for me. I normally ignore admin, paperwork & the financials. I enjoy the creating, the writing. So this year I took my head out of the sand and sent those invoices, followed up on the paperwork, admin side of things and wouldn’t you know, I now have a few more clients and a lot more writing work. Thanks Darren’s Mum!
Find some writing friends, but make sure they are in a similar situation to yourself. Most of my writer friends are online but I also have 3-4 friends who run their own businesses alongside being mums and partners. The first few years of blogging I was following people who didn’t have kids, or had the budget to use daycare options. They were able to work full-time on their blogs, which they turned into businesses. For the past 4 four years I have been juggling 3 boys, a hubby, being a midwife and my writing/blogging time. Needless to say, I grew frustrated quickly and have almost given away blogging a few times due to the comparison syndrome.
Celebrate the small wins. All of my wins have been small ones. Enough for me to keep the faith and stubbornly keep writing. Being published in print for the first time, getting my first writing client, guest posting on a few high profile bloggers websites, attending a bloggers conference, being a finalist in a short story competition.
So I am back on my blog, getting the words down, one finger hovering over the delete button, the other fingers madly typing as I struggle to keep up with my ideas flowing out of my head.
What is your favourite writing tip or life hack which has improved your goals lately?
Are you a blog reader?
Find more interesting reads over at Kylie Purtell’s Capturing Life #IBOT linkup.