19 Insights I Have Gained To Become A Better Writer
Dearest Darling Friends,
14 years of my experience, broken down into 5 mins for you.
It’s crazy how amateur I was when I started writing.
Did I take online courses? Did I know editors of giant publications? Did I enjoy writing?
Nope, nope and definitely yes. Writing was never my skill, or something I felt passionate about.
My thoughts would scatter in all directions like carom coins. I would make awkward word choices (some of which I thought existed in the dictionary).
I was nobody special when it comes to writing.
I had to keep climbing the mountain, just like everyone else, until finally, I wrote a heartfelt piece, which soon got dozens of replies, most of them wishing me awesomely. This motivated me to keep going. To keep writing, every single Tuesday, rain or shine.
In the last 14 years, I have written 15 books. In the last 14 years, I have written over 100 blog posts. In the last 14 years, I have written over 700 LSMs.
People often ask me how do I manage to write so much? They also ask me, how do I get ideas? Finally, they also ask me, how do I find time to write?
So here are a few insights that writing has given to me. I believe these insights will help you in multiple ways in your life.
*80% of success is just showing up — on Facebook, Twitter, Medium, Quora, LinkedIn, your own website / blog, whichever platform you use most, write consistently.
*Never, ever, waste your reader’s time. You would only be wasting yours.
*Write down EVERY idea that comes to you. Doesn’t matter if you’re half-asleep, talking to a friend, or driving. It takes 8 seconds before you get distracted and forget about it. So make sure you write the ideas as they come. I have a folder with over 350 writable ideas as I type.
*Every little emotion fuels your writing. Feel your emotions. Watch them as they happen. Hurt. Love. Joy. Laughter. Doesn’t matter what is the emotion, if you feel it, it can be written about. You will find it awkward at first. Later on, writing will become your therapy. Much later, you won’t need any therapy as the worst of your situations will be treated with zen like serenity. You will become an observer to the pain points of life. They will lose their power to ‘dull’ you or ‘diminish’ you.
*Learn the rules of memorable writing. If you ever want your writing to stand out, you need to “learn what works with great writers.” Do things you are scared to try.
*Disconnect from the Internet and the rest of the world when you sit to write. You get more work done if you just focus and write.
*Write about your life — it’s the one thing people can’t steal from you. No one can copy that from your life. They have to grudgingly admire you. Write what you know. Write what interests you.
*Keep a dictionary and thesaurus available whenever you write. There are many ways to say one thing better. Did you know there are over 35 words that can be used in place of the word ‘anger’?
*Read what successful writers write. There’s a reason why thousands of people follow them.
*Read what successful writers recommend. Most of them have read plenty enough to know what’s good and what’s not. The topics may not resonate with you. But you are not looking for ideas, you are looking at style and detailing. It helps.
*If you are stuck and ideas have stopped flowing just Move. Get up. Take a 15 min walk. The faster your blood moves, the faster oxygen gets to your brain. Hence, better ideas, better results.
*Link back to your old posts. Because the more posts you publish, the further your old ones are pushed out of sight.
*Don’t cheap out on your headline. If you can’t attract people to click on your post, then you wasted your whole time writing a piece nobody wants to read. It’s the same as if you never wrote anything at all.
*1st drafts are always horrible and ugly. Just finish what you started, then proofread once you’re done. It’s easier to fix a bad story than to create a story right from scratch.
*Get Grammarly. and save yourself from the harsh remarks of grammar Nazis. It’ll auto-highlight your grammar & spelling mistakes as soon you hit space or enter. I use it profoundly.
*Show more white space. It’s an eye-sore to read paragraphs vs sentences.
*Everyone says this, but read, read, read. It’s the fastest way to expand your vocabulary and mould your writing.
*If you’re new to writing, write shorter. This lets readers get a feel for how & what you write. Plus, you will be more consistent. That is the holy grail of writing.
*Write as if you’re talking to a friend. Write the way you talk. Your readers will connect with you faster.
With lots of love and deep gratitude,
Imagine, when we wake up, we are given only what we had thanked for.
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