- Write Fast And Don’t Look Down
Write fast. Make mistakes. Spell your words however they come out. And, put your punctuation where you want to. If you are going to labour intensively over getting every piece of grammar right, or worry about if you have used enough active verbs, all of your beautiful thoughts will have drifted off into the cosmos, never to return. Get them out and onto the page. Do it quickly.
2. Ignore The Voices In Your Head
When you are writing, you should be on autopilot. It should be like feeling your way through a familiar room in the black of night. Don’t stop to check your conscience. Don’t worry about if something is poetic enough. You don’t even need to think about if it even makes sense. You’ll have all of the time in the world for correcting those things once you’re done. The voices that appear in your head when you are writing are not there to help you. They are the same voices that get you to sort out the cutlery drawer, or clean the cat litter tray when you fully intend to get on and write!
3. Write Often
It’s one of those lines that is always said. There are both truths and lies in it. If you are not feeling the passion, then put it down. Don’t force it. Don’t ever make yourself resent your writing. And don’t torture yourself so much that you hide away from those you love because you feel compelled by some dark ritual to do so. You don’t have to have a ruined soul to be a writer. If it is consuming you, take a step back.
That said, writing often will keep your pencil sharp. You’ll keep the memory alive of what it is like for words to fall on the page. Knowing how it feels for the imagery that you create to build up in front of you can be a powerful feeling, and you should enjoy it. Writing often will help you maintain that feeling. The slow-high when you hit your creative stride.
4. Sit On Your Writing
If something is good today, it will still be good in a month or a year. When you’re coming down from the dizzying high that comes from creating universes, you will always be inclined to think that you have just written the next work of genius. Sit on it for a while. See what you think in a couple of weeks. If you still feel the same passion, that’s great. The space and time can help you grow some subjectivity. That’s when it’s time to edit. Copy your next draft so that when you hack your work to death, you still have the off cuts for posterity. But don’t sentimentalise them. Be prolific, and allow yourself the honesty to kill at least half of the words that you write.
5. Learn To Take Feedback
People are not mind readers. If you haven’t made your thoughts clear in your writing, then you can’t expect people to understand the work in the same way that you do. Take on board what people are telling you, because you may not have communicated yourself clearly. Don’t allow your great ideas to get lost in translation. By all means get second opinions, but if your collective audience is not grasping your work, then the problem may well be you, not them!
What are your top tips for writing? I’d love to hear them, drop me a comment!