To Do lists are a great way to compile top tips, such as for writing.
By Shelley Widhalm
Do you like To Do lists? I find them to be necessary, but there’s another type of list that I adore—top 5, 7 or 10 lists.
Top lists are great to post on the fridge or keep in a special file, acting as motivation and inspiration triggers, while chore lists are reminders of what still needs to be done.
My top 7 list is gathered from my notes about writing advice and tidbits collected from magazine articles and books, writing conferences and workshops, and my own personal experiences. The list is a useful resource for those times when I feel stuck or don’t want to write. It’s also a great tool to know what to look for when hiring a writer.
The tips provide a few ideas for how to make writing a routine and, with the investment of effort and time, a habit. Once a habit, writing feels like a necessity without thinking or agonizing about it. Soon, you’ll eagerly show up for writing (and editing), finding that once you get started, the words will come, even if it’s slow at first. The momentum will pick up and the process will become rewarding, as does the result.
Top 7 Writing Tips
- Don’t wait for inspiration, but create it. The more you practice writing, the easier it is for words and ideas to come to you.
- Find a place to write, but don’t make it an absolute. A coffee shop or a home office may be ideal, but be sure to set aside time to be there only for writing and not distractions (which serve as excuses to not write).
- Set a writing quota with daily, weekly or monthly goals, such as writing three to four times a week. For example, plan writing sessions for a set amount of time, such as one hour, or until a certain word count is reached, such as 500 or 1,000 words.
- Accept that you are not in total control of your writing. Trust your subconscious to make connections your conscious mind isn’t ready to or won’t necessarily be able to make.
- Realize that rough or first drafts aren’t perfection on the first try. As you write, the story or message unfolds and isn’t readily formed until it’s written. Get the sentences down and then revise in a couple of rounds for overall structure, followed by proofreading at the line level.
- Accept that writing is supposed to be hard and focus on the process instead of the results to make it more fun and enjoyable.
- Read and to analyze what you read, identifying what works and what doesn’t work and why. Apply what you learn to your own writing.
Make Writing a Habit
As the New Year starts, add to the list additional ways to find the time, motivation and inspiration to sit down and do the work of writing. Soon, it won’t feel like work and will be a habit. What a great way to welcome the year of 2020!
Note: I provide editing, writing and ghostwriting services and can help you perfect your project from an article or blog series to a short story or novel. I also offer consultations on writing and editing through #ShellsInkServices.