10 Lessons from 10 Years of Writing - Deepstash
10 Lessons from 10 Years of Writing

10 Lessons from 10 Years of Writing

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Write for yourself

Write for yourself

By writing for yourself, you're more likely to write something other people will like. Readers know when your work is authentic—the best way to be authentic is to write for yourself.

When you write for yourself, the process of writing is the reward itself. If you love doing something, you'll keep on doing it.

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Write to think

Writing is thinking. It is a way to understand and order the world better.

Writing is a process of self-discovery. You may start with a specific topic in mind, and as the essay fills out and your curiosity increases, the end result may be different from what you started with. 

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Publish often

When you publish often, you'll build an audience, and an audience gives you accountability. This accountability will make you want to write more, which will make you better at writing and generating exciting ideas.

Edit and polish your piece until it flows. But at some point, press publish. Then listen to feedback and adjust your following pieces.

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Design a writing routine

To publish often, you will need a routine. Routines help to establish good habits, enabling you to become better.

Focus on systems, not goals. Choose a specific time each day to write. Use triggers to let your brain know it's time to write, such as a cup of coffee or listening to a specific playlist.

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Have a deadline

A deadline helps you to focus on the process and publish regularly. It's a commitment. "I'll publish one article every Wednesday by 4 PM."

But life sometimes happens, and you may miss a deadline. Then do everything you can to reach the next one.

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Quantity over quality

When you first start out, focus on being consistent more than on quality.

Your quality will improve when you keep on writing and publishing. Consistent writing will generate more feedback, allowing you to learn faster what you enjoy writing about and what your audience wants.

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Use simple tools

Use simple tools

Simple tools offer no distractions. It helps you focus and do more, again and again.

George R.R. Martin wrote almost two million words for The Game of Thrones series on WordStar 4.0, a word processor from the 80s. A program such as Text Edit on full-screen is also effective.

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Write down ideas

Most ideas come at inconvenient times, such as during a conversation with a friend, a thought while watching a show, a link while you're exercising.

  • Get used to writing ideas down the moment they pop into your head. Don't judge the ideas - just make them intelligible so that the future you can understand what is in your head. 
  • Ideas are writing prompts. When you start writing it down, there's always something to write about.

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Keep a swipe file

You'll sometimes read something that speaks to your soul. Or a unique idea. A well-told story. A novel way to explain something.

When you find one of these, save them to a swipe file or write them on index cards. Over time, you'll build a treasure chest of your favourite things to keep as inspiration when you write.

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An essay is never finished

When we write, we often want the best resource available online on a given topic.

This is impossible and only adds pressure. Instead, consider published essays as incomplete by default. Write what you know about a topic now. Then, when you find a new resource, you can always edit it later or write a new essay.

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