The best selling novelists, essayists, poets, and playwrights have one thing in common. They are avid writers.
Maybe they were also born with the gift, or developed it later in life. Regardless, every successful writer has mastered the art of the written word.
How do you get better at writing?
Sit down at the computer every day and write a little. Write one word. Write a sentence. Write a paragraph. Write the first draft of what will become the prologue of your first novel. It’s okay if it’s awful.
After you’re done writing, go back to your writing journal. Take out a sheet of paper and write out one word at a time. Continue until you have fifty-six words written, one at a time, on your paper. Look at each word.
Try to see each word individually and write about each one. Let each word be the only thing on the page.
Write until you have fifty-six words, one at a time. Then put them all together and continue writing. This is where you will refine and hone your writing skills.
How to write every day
Let’s say you’re a freelance writer and you want to publish. The only way to really get better at writing is to write every day.
When I sit down to write a new story or essay, I don’t look at a word count first.
When I write, I write in a word document on my computer and I will write as much as I can for that day. Sometimes I can get more than a thousand words written. More times than not, though, I can’t finish my words.
Once I’ve written everything I can for that day, I go back to my writing journal. This is where I let each word sit for a few days to get past the bad taste.
Sometimes I find myself adding words, and some days, not.
Whatever you’re writing, just let each word be. Read it. Don’t delete it. If it doesn’t fit in the story, let it stay on the page. And don’t add more words to it.
If you need to, start rewriting your words. If you need to, start all over again. Just write.
“Writing is a personal quest for answers, an act of discovery. You’re a detective. You don’t have to find the murderer; you just have to be the detective who finds the clues.” -Anne Lamott
I will admit that writing every day is harder than I anticipated. It’s challenging. I’ve got to find a way to balance my personal life and my writing life. But it is absolutely worth the effort.
The same goes for every kind of art. Writing is no different.
When I sit down to draw or paint, I can’t let myself think about how many more inches of paper I need or how much more water to put in my paint tray. I just have to make it through the moment and then get back to work.
Art is like that. You must focus on the moment. All else will fall apart.
In the art world, writing and drawing and painting have two different definitions. The world we live in is not that much different.
Art is the reflection of life. Writing is that reflection.
What kind of person are you? A sad and afraid woman? A confident and fearless man?
When you sit down to write a new story, drawing a new picture, or painting a new picture, what is your reaction?
Do you feel fear?
Do you feel doubt?
Or do you feel that all is as it should be?
When you’re painting, do you see the world through rose colored glasses? Or are you seeing everything with a unique perspective, colored by your own colors?