Write, write, write; and keep to a schedule. This is one of the basics every aspiring writer learns. Whether it’s enough to keep to a schedule or to a go a step ahead is something on which I’d wish to dwell today and probably learn from your thoughts.
Many experienced writers advocate that keeping a daily schedule does help in improving your writing skills. There’s no doubt about it. “Practice makes perfect”, isn’t it? I’m not talking about making money from writing yet. I’m only referring to a daily scheduled writing, which, I believe, keeps you alert to your writing, and to some extent helps in overcoming writer’s block. Those who’ve been through this writer’s sickness know what I’m talking about. Free writing does indeed bring about some change and inject new inspirations.
Blogging is one way of keeping to a daily (at least) or let’s say rather, a regular schedule. “A blog gives you the opportunity to write about anything you like, and is great for practising your writing skills, even if you aren’t immediately making any money from it,” says Nick Daws in his interview to my blog.
This is true; it works. The reason why I make it a point to stick to a more or less daily schedule. Just browse on the net, and you’ll see how many great, successful writers in the blogging world. Would they be wasting their time and energy if it weren’t bringing any plus value? OK, there may be multiple reasons for any writer to keep a blog. But the key to it is writing; keeping to the habit.
My concern here goes beyond just getting into the daily habit of writing. I’m particularly interested to know how you people out there feel about a daily writing schedule, or just keeping to a schedule. Do you think it’s enough just to get into writing? Or do you think you need to do more? What? I have no definite answer myself. Because my mind has been, for some while, churning on something I’d call “good writing habits”.
I am tempted to say that getting into the habit of writing daily, or if you want regularly, is good. Developing good writing habits is far better. This is, to my view, what would make all the difference between success and failure in writing.
The more we write the more we learn about writing; and the more we become conscious how little we know. Sometimes we are scared we will never make it when we see the work of established writers. Learning never stops. This a fact ever writer should reckon with. Learning constitutes a good habit in the writing process. Which brings us to the question, what are good writing habits?
Any idea? OK, let’s try to find out together. My own research drives me to the point that good writing habits are acquired through consistent writing. Now, what does that mean? There are a number of factors that can make of you a consistent writer. These can be summarized as follows:
– Be positive. Don’t say I don’t feel like writing. I won’t be able to do it.
– Have passion for writing. Writing shouldn’t be a struggle. If you don’t want to write or don’t feel like, for God’s sake, don’t. You’ll definite enjoy a better health if you don’t. But if you do want to write, do it seriously; it’ll bear the fruits.
– Organize yourself. Organize your time, your workspace; be self-disciplined.
– Set up a plan of writing and keep to it. Follow up, monitor your progress and adjust where necessary.
– Read, research, observe and make notes. Learn and write from your experience. A good writer should be a good reader; a good observer; a good learner.
– Constantly review your work. Pay attention to your grammar and writing style. Avoid repetitions, rewrite where you feel it is needed.
– “Show, don’t tell”. This is a sacrosanct principle in writing. Readers don’t like to be told. They’ll be hooked and will follow you as you show them the way through the story as it unfolds
– Get support and feedback from other writers. Join a writer’s or a critique group; attend writing conferences; be up-to-date with latest trends. See what’s selling.
Does that make sense? Do you have any other suggestions or comments? I’d be glad to learn about them.
Either way, I’d say: keep to your habit of a writing schedule, daily or otherwise. Above all try to develop good writing habits; and keep to them as you go along.