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Top 10 Tips for Better Writing

Organize Your Thoughts Before Writing

Organize Your Thoughts Before Writing

While there's something to be said for spontaneous writing, it really helps if you sit down and organize your thoughts beforehand. 

No matter your favorite method of organizing yourself, you'll find that putting together long-form pieces is much easier with a rough outline to work from.

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Top 10 Tips for Better Writing

Top 10 Tips for Better Writing

https://lifehacker.com/top-10-tips-for-better-writing-5689093

lifehacker.com

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Key Ideas

Organize Your Thoughts Before Writing

While there's something to be said for spontaneous writing, it really helps if you sit down and organize your thoughts beforehand. 

No matter your favorite method of organizing yourself, you'll find that putting together long-form pieces is much easier with a rough outline to work from.

Set a Regular Schedule

Setting up and sticking to it is one of the best ways to perfect your writing. 

Do it in the morning for best results, and break it up into small increments to avoid anxiety. Don't write during unscheduled times, either (though jotting down notes is okay—inspiration can strike at the strangest of times). 

Keep Up with Good Grammar

Proofreading is an important part of writing, and despite some folks having a knack for good grammar, none of us is perfect. 

Be sure to take advantage of some of the great word tools out there. Not only will they keep you writing correctly, but they're likely to keep you learning new words and idioms to freshen up your writing.

Keep a Journal

One of the best ways to improve your writing is to keep a separate journal. 

If you find it too difficult to just sit down and start writing, you can plan out a goal for your journal beforehand—it keeps you focused without burdening you with rules. =

Use Distraction-Free Writing Tools

Computers have given us a lot of great tools in the name of writing, but they also provide a myriad of distractions that can Be sure to use distraction-free writing tools—programs that block out all the other stuff on your screen and give you a large writing space where you can just go at it

Go Longhand for a Change

Handwriting improves your cognitive abilities and stays out of the way of your thought process, so it's a good way to look at things from a new angle and keep you on your toes. 

Learn From Other Good Writers

Never stop reading, and always keep an eye on what famous writers like Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, Conan O'Brien, Jerry Seinfeld, and many others are saying about the strategies they use to write well—you never know when you may discover something new.

Know Your Most Common Mistakes

... in order to avoid them. 

Know your typos, cliches, and misheard expressions that constantly haunt even your best writing. Know which mistakes are your most common, and focus on fixing them one at a time. If more extreme measures are needed, you can also consider autocorrecting them as you write.

Beat Writer's Block

Try curing it with some writing toys, or draft it as an email to get the juices flowing. Just showing up to your scheduled time works pretty well, too.

If you find it becomes a recurring problem, stop your writing sessions in the middle of a sentence to give yourself somewhere to pick up from the next time you sit down—there's nothing worse for writer's block than a blank page.

Remember Why You're Writing

Remind yourself why you write to keep yourself motivated

Write your goals on your mirror with dry erase markers, or try one of our many other motivation tips out there. 

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Benefits of a journal
  • When you keep a journal, you can look back on important life events to read about how you felt at the time. You may also be able to learn from these past experiences.
  • Writing about traumatic events results in physical and psychological health benefits. Journaling focuses on understanding traumatic events and makes people see these events with an extra level of clarity.
Schedule journaling time

Start your daily journal off on the right foot by scheduling your writing for a set time every day.

  • If you find your mind is most active in the morning, wake up 15 to 20 minutes earlier and jot down your thoughts then.
  • If you prefer to record everything after the day is over, then make it an evening activity before you go to bed.

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  • Try Journaling: Putting words to our emotions often helps us understand them in a new way, and process them more effectively.
  • Schedule writing into your routine: e.g. Morning pages.
  • Find inspiration in music: Put on a random playlist and transcribe the images, memories and emotions that the music evokes for you.
  • Practice letter writing: Unspoken thoughts or feelings can feel like a heavy burden to carry. Consider putting these sentiments into a letter.
  • Expressing gratitude: Writing about people or experiences that we feel grateful for can help us maintain focus on the aspects of life that are hopeful and meaningful.
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Choosing a Time And Place To Write
  • Results come when you work at your craft consistently every day.
  • It’s good to write first thing in the morning, as you are more creative upon waking.
  • If you have a job, your writing should take place outside your work time. 
  • Choose a “writing spot” and keep it consistent.
Set Small Goals

Don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to follow advanced techniques early on. There is endless advice on writing, but in the beginning, all that matters is getting words onto the page every day.

Set small, easy to accomplish goals and build upon it. Focus not on the end result, but on the process. 

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