Writing is not a sprint, except for when it is, and as our publishing world (particularly for those of us who are Indies) moves faster and faster, it may seem like there is less time to really hone your writing skills. Still, quality writing is the hallmark of excellent authors, so here are three tips to help you prioritize growth in writing:
#1. Write often:
The best way to improve your writing is to do a lot of it. In the same way that practicing piano, or practicing a language requires attention every day, so too does writing. Committing to writing every day, whether that be a word count you’ve set for yourself, or a concerted period of time you’re setting aside to write will allow you to work on your craft every single day. The more you can do this, the more growth you’ll see, faster.
I’ve found that one of the best ways for me to improve my writing, and to expand stylistically, is to emulate the writing of others. I don’t do this very much anymore, but when I was first starting out, I would try and write shorts, or flash fiction in the style of different writers I admired. This allowed me to find my own voice, by experimenting with the aspects of other writing I enjoyed. This is a common practice in the visual arts, copying first, until you find your own distinct style, and I found it helpful in improving my writing, and in stretching myself as I practiced writing.
#3. Take the pressure off:
Writing to publish has become the ideal, as everything gets faster and easier, particularly in the world of indie publishing. But sometimes it’s nice to have a project that you have earmarked for you, and you alone. Writing when you know the only eyes to ever see your work will be yours, takes so much pressure off, and allows you to focus on the craft of writing. Some of my best writing has come by keeping it for myself. Not everything you create needs to be for public consumption!
How else can you prioritize growth in writing? Tell me in the comments below!
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