When embarking on a writing project and you have no clue how to start, it’s always best to ask someone who has experience. If you want to fix a leak, talk to a plumber. Car trouble? Consult a mechanic.
Well, when it comes to writing it’s no different. Get advice from those who have done it before.
I love this article, Seven of the Most Common Writing Tips penned by Joe Fassler. He actually “Talked to 150 Writers and Here’s the Best Advice They Had.”
I’ve listed some of his tips and just added my commentary! He offers the mindset needed to start your writing project.
1. Neglect everything else
Get focused, be clear, make time and write. Seems like one of the hardest things to do when trying to be creative and spontaneous yet it’s one of the best ways to create and refine your writing “chops.” And be honest with yourself, while your mind may tell you that you do not have a moment in your schedule for writing you really do. And if all else fails in your time management skills area, just do it anyway, just write. If writing is important to you the laundry can wait.
2. Beginnings matter
The opening statement is everything. Let’s face it. If Shakespeare would have written, “Hey friends, Romans, and Countrymen, listen up for a minute” chances are everyone would have kept talking. So yes, beginnings, first sentences, matter. Make your point powerful by engaging the reader’s attention with clarity.
3. Follow the headlights
While it’s great to be organized when writing, it’s equally important to allow spontaneity to flow. Even your memoir can have an unforeseen twist if you follow your plan but let it be.
4. Sound it out
While this may be easier said than done, talking yourself through the writing process can be remarkably effective, especially if you do not have a concrete plan.
More often than not writers feel compelled to write but they don’t know the direction to take. The late Jim Harrison, poet from Michigan, said, “Plot can be overrated. What I strive for more is rhythm.” So, when in doubt, talk it out with yourself and then listen to what you have to say about it.
5. It’s supposed to be difficult
Remember the movie A League of Their Own starring Geena Davis, Madonna, Tom Hanks, and a whole slew of talented actors and actresses? For those of you not familiar, it’s about the women’s baseball league that was started during WWII. In the movie one of the players said something about it being hard. Tom Hanks replied, “It’s supposed to be hard. The hard is what makes it great.”
Well, just like baseball, writing is supposed to be difficult. The “hard” is what makes it even more rewarding once you have finished writing that masterpiece. You can do it and you will be elated that you pushed through that challenge when you’re standing in your personal great.
It’s important to remember that creating an effective writing plan is awesome. It can help you create, flow, and maximize time. A good plan can help you get your project off to a great start. It’s also important not to get so caught up in the plan that you forget the purpose.
Read the full (and wonderfully articulate!) article at Literary Hub…
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