Sunday, February 7, 2016

10 Tips to Becoming a GREAT Writer!

For many (myself included), finding the time and inspiration to sit down and write is super challenging. I always tell myself, "I'll wait until the weekend is here so I can start this story without stress," but when the weekend comes, I sit on my butt and watch Netflix for 9 hours straight. I never seem to have the motivation to work on any of my stories, but recently, everything has been coming together for me. Even if I only sit down for 15 minutes at a time, I still crank out huge portions of my writing in a small amount of time. So here are 10 of my (very rough) tips on making your writing great--without too much of a time commitment.

1. Write whenever you can.
For me, my best writing time is the 15-minute interval I have between my workout/homework and play rehearsal. For you, it may be the 20-minute bus ride from school. Whenever you find yourself turning on Netflix or logging into Facebook, think about your writing. It's up to you to decide whether you want to write or not, but try to get at least 100 words out a day--that's my goal, and it seems to be working just fine.

2. Read all the time.
Before bed, during breakfast, on the bus, or during study hall, make time to read. Whether you're reading A Game of Thrones, Wuthering Heights, or even theSkimm--read something! Reading other people's thoughts and ideas will get your inspiration and motivation flowing. And if you're reading this thinking, "I don't have time to read!" then you have to make time to read.

3. Write what YOU want to write.
Write about things that you're interested in. Don't think about what other people want or expect you to write. You're writing for yourself, not to impress anyone else. Don't let other people shape your first draft--critiquing comes later.

4. Gather inspiration.
My favorite source for inspiration is my Pinterest boards. Whatever it is that gets your creative juices flowing--just do it!

5. Journal every day.
It doesn't matter what you're writing about, so long as you are writing. Get a physical journal with a pen or pencil--not just your computer. The feeling of your pen scratching on paper is liberating.

6. Don't worry about grammar (yet.)
Don't spend the majority of your time trying to make everything look or sound right. The most important thing is getting everything OUT.

7. Breathe.
It's okay. Go out for a walk, a cup of coffee, a drive with the windows down--just get some fresh air. Clear your head (or fill it up again.)

8. Get another opinion.
Once you think your story is ready to go, give it to a family member of friend. It doesn't matter if they're an English professor or a high school student, put it in someone else's hands. See what they think.

9. Perfection is impossible.
Don't write your story and strive for perfection or fame. Just write.

10. Don't give up.
As much as you may want to scrap your story and start all over again, don't. Take some time away. Come back tomorrow.

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