Saturday, December 31, 2016

Ten Tips to Be a Better Writer

1. Give yourself permission to write. Don’t feel guilty for ignoring the housework, the laundry or turning down someone who is requesting more of your time.

2. Select or alter a location that is conducive for your writing and figure out your best writing time. Is it the splinter of daylight, the setting sun or a Sunday afternoon? Try to work everything else around your best writing time.

3. Join a writer’s community. Check your local library or bookstores for events or meetings. Or join online groups.

4. Find a critique group or partner. We become blind to our manuscript’s weaknesses, having a fresh set of eyes can give us insight and help problem solve. Be willing to revise again and again. But learn when to say no. If you’re not a part of a writer’s community, you can find online critique groups.

5. Write or percolate. For some writers, they are most productive if they write daily, but others prefer to percolate. Ruminating plot lines, character development or story lines until they are ready to write it out. There is no “right way” to write. Do what works for you.

6. Get inspired. Visit an art museum; listen to complex music; learn something new, sky diving, yoga, carpentry; read a different genre; if you write fiction, read nonfiction; exercise. Learning or doing something different gives you a new perspective and stimulates creativity. Exercise stimulates new thought patterns that foster inspiration.

7. Read books in your genre and age group. Read books on improving your craft.

8. Learn the difference between early readers and picture books, middle grade and young adult, young adult and adult fiction, literary and commercial fiction, mass market or trade publications. Knowing these differences will help you target agents and editors more effectively.

9. Polish your query and be professional. No gimmicks: scented paper, confetti, glitter, etc.

10. Acknowledge your progress, one page or one chapter is better than none. Celebrate your acceptances, be it a 4-line poem or a 250-page book!

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