Learned the hard way: Tips for succesful writing

Perhaps this will end up being another series of articles for my blog, which I mostly say since I really only have one tip in mind at the moment. It’s something that I’ve learned about myself, and find it useful as well as frustrating. So here it is

When I write, I find that the first thing I write in any given session tends to be short, disjointed and generally not that great. This is the frustrating part of it. The good news is, once I’ve written whatever it was, I almost always go on to write other things, and they are invariably better than the first one. The advice I’d give here, if you experience the same issue, is to write something unrelated to your important project, and then move on to the main event. It’s a lot like an athlete stretching before her event. If you go in cold, you might not perform as well as you would want or, even worse, get a cramp and be unable to complete your event. It’s the same for writers. We have to prepare, and we all have different ways of doing so, or we could end up with a mental cramp, aka writers block. Anyone who’s had a rough case of that, knows it’s pretty awful.

What to do with those cast-offs? In some cases, it’s out there on the internet, but if you’re stretching your writing abilities before breaking into the real project, you can keep them to yourself, or take a look at them again later. Maybe you wrote something worthwhile, and it just needs a little fine-tuning from your agile, creative mind once it’s really ready to work.

I hope that helps someone. Writing it down has made it more real for me, and hopefully I’ll start practicing what I preach a little bit more.

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