1. Write often and not at all
Writing often will build your confidence and improve your skill. Add a daily, weekly or monthly writing practice to your schedule and watch your penmanship soar to new heights!
Take breaks often and give your fingers a rest! Find ample time for life away from your keyboard as this presents an opportunity to develop your thoughts, perspective and knowledge base. What will you write about if you do nothing else but write? Go find your story.
2. Read a lot, and a little
Reading is a great way to grow your vocabulary and gain world experience without leaving your couch. Books, blogs, newspapers and magazines will add stamps to your “passport” and introduce you to a plethora of cultures, opinions, facts and fiction. Awaken your imagination and get inspired for your next writing project by curling up with a good read.
Know your limits and understand when it is time to “log off” or use that paperback as a doorstopper. Even your favourite writing is produced in someone else’s voice. Too much of everyone else’s opinion can have a negative impact on your ability to formulate and express your own thoughts. Limit your consumption of both print and digital and get to writing your own story!
3. Write when you feel like it, and write when you don’t
There’s nothing better than the adrenalin that comes with an inspired spot of writing. The words course through your veins and splatter onto the page. It seems effortless and natural. It’s important to let this feeling run its course and write until there is nothing more to say. Leave no stone unturned. Sometimes this adrenalin manifests itself in moments of trauma and angst. In the midst of feeling and processing negative emotions, you may want to write – but struggle for air. Writing is a deeply personal process and laying it all out on the page may hurt. I’ve closed my laptop many times because going where the story takes me felt like too big an ask. I fear that I lost some of my best work when I chose not to write through the pain.
There will be days when you’re not in the mood for writing. Nonetheless, spend some time with a pen in hand and see what you come up with. This develops discipline and provides a training ground for the future when you may be required to complete a writing project when you’re not really feeling the vibes.