(…and may help you too)!! I’m sharing some things that help me stay focused and enable me to produce work I can be proud of. Any writer will tell you, no matter what his or her passion may be, we all just want to be heard. So take a peek and tell me if any of these tips work for you.
I love to write. I’ve known this for quite some time but have only recently rediscovered my passion for it. I know that all writers have their own way of penning (or typing, these days) great works but I thought I would share five things I typically do for everything I write.
#1 Organize an Outline–Whether you are writing a 100 word article or working on your first, third, or 20th novel, it is important to have an outline so to organize your thoughts in a way that make sense to you AND to your reader(s) once you are ready to publish. Your outline may look like this:
Subject (say, pizza making)
Introduction and why pizza making matters
Steps for making pizza
Details for each step
Other pertinent pizza information
Conclusion (Summary of steps and how awesome homemade pizza is…)
The above is rather short on details but I hope you get the idea and if you want to share your homemade pizza recipes…please, I am all ears and a bit hungry at the moment. Oh, and one more important detail about outlining: Know that your outline is not set in stone. You may re-work any part of the outline for your written piece, at any time, to ensure proper flow of thought and to keep things in order for your readers.
#2 Write, write, and write–until your fingers fall off if necessary. Put all of your thoughts on paper, in a sort of free flow process that adheres in some way to what you’ve outlined. Don’t worry at this point about grammar or spelling. Just write and let yourself enjoy your subject.
#3 Edit–once you have reached a point where you feel comfortable stopping (e.g., the end of the article, the chapter, the paragraph, etc.), you may go back and edit. I do this a couple of different ways. I may spell and grammar check first and then read my work out loud-to check for flow of thought–or I may just read the piece out loud, as the spelling and grammar mistakes will inevitably show up as I am reading.
(Important to note: Editing your work is an important step in the writing process; probably the most important step for any writer. We are promoting ourselves when we promote our work and we all wish to be heard and understood in an intelligent and thoughtful manner. So take the time to check and recheck for errors and readability!!)
#4 Close the document and return later–this step may go along with number three. There are times when I write till I’m done, immediately save and close the document, and go take a bath, or clean my closet, or…well, you get the idea. After an hour, or even a day, you may come back and open the piece, and discover that your perspective has changed. Even if it hasn’t, you are using fresh eyes with which to edit and deliver your piece. I recommend this step along with editing; although you may not always “fresh eyes” your work, you must remember to edit before submitting your piece.
#5 This last step is certainly not least–Find your comfort zone when writing. This means many things:
Write about what you know
Research if you are unsure and don’t forget to give credit where credit is due (cite!!)
Do not write if you are not “feeling” it–and all writers should know what I mean here. If you are blocked you will not be happy with whatever you TRY to produce in that moment
Do not be afraid to write about what you don’t know (see above), simply make sure you write in a way that makes sense for you and for your readers (see above–research and cite your sources)
I have been a member/writer of Triond for only days as of this writing. And I am so happy to be sharing my work. My passion for writing is growing in leaps and bounds in such a short time that I am absolutely bursting, daily, to share my views. I don’t ever forget my own advice though and everyday I believe I may just be improving my writing style as well. So go ahead, think about how you write and when you do, you may just discover that you have certain things that make you great too.
Five More (Quick) Tips for Writing:
Quality wins over quantity, always!
Share your work with a friend for honest feedback and consider the advice!
Enable your spell checker and/or buy a dictionary; your intelligence is at stake!
Know your audience–college, website, letter to grandma; write to be understood
Take pride in your work–never steal someone elses work and use it as your own. Plagiarism hurts you and the one you took from!
Please feel free to share your tips and tricks for writing; if your passion is anything like mine, you simply want to get your word out there and I would love to hear about just how you do it!!