Write What You Don’t Know – Essential Writers Tips

Writing What You Don’t Know

Writing What You Don't Know, Writing, Writers, Writing Tips, Research

Most times, a budding writer is advised explicitly or implicitly to ‘write what you know.’ I’m not sure which writing guru started selling this idea, but you know what, in my honest opinion, writing just what you know is the most stifling sort of encouragement that I can think of and here’s why I think so.

  • Writing what you know’ works, but if you are seeking to grow as a writer, you would find out soon enough that it’s self-limiting.
  • The biggest part of the fun in writing is making things up. Learning new things. Approaching an unknown terrain and finding the truth in the unknown.
  • Writing the unknown is not easy and comfortable, but it would challenge you. It could probably scare you and you may not even know where you are heading with the story, but the journey into the unknown is always worth it because it builds the backbone of the writer in you.

 

Pushing Your Boundaries

You may not know everything, but you do know a lot of things. Of course, it is essential to take inspiration where you can find it, however, your experiences should liberate your imagination and not restrict it.

Set your imagination loose. If your personal experience constrains a story to the point of it becoming lackluster, then you must emancipate your imagination and sharpen it. That’s your job as a writer to keep your imagination relevantly sharpened.

A lot of times, a writers discomfort stems from subjects about sexuality, race, gender or class. The writer feels ill-equipped to write on such subjects because they are not familiar, they don’t resemble him, so he automatically keeps to writing what he knows and sticks to safer grounds.

When a writer finds a subject intimidating, that’s precisely when the writer should explore it. Write what pushes your boundary. Write what fascinates you. Write what you can’t stop thinking about even if it’s not a safe subject.

Tips to help write what you don’t know

Organize your work

You need to devise an effective means of organizing the material that you get from your research. There are a lot of mediums and software programs such as Scrivener, yWrite, Bibisco, Plume creator, Manuskript used to organize information.

However, you need to choose and stick to one for your project in order not to waste unnecessary time switching back and forth. I have used Scrivener. It’s inexpensive and well supported by its makers.

Be Prepared to Dig Deeper

Don’t rely solely on online research. Plug into Amazon and get a list of relevant books. Look beyond your local library and check out University libraries. You may have to spend a bit to get some specific materials. Listen to local channels or international channels that talk about your interest, read, read and read some more. Check out documentaries relevant to your search and don’t shy away from contacting a publisher or writer directly to double-check information.

Research the source and background. 

Before spending valuable time or money on any material, take the time to research the author and the work on the Internet. Look out for reviews and abstracts of their work, check out their social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or website. Your findings would help you decide well ahead of time if the author has the perspective that serves your purpose.

Take note of the little details

You are writing about Africa or India, but you need to know more than the books and articles that you are reading is telling you, use image searches on Google, on YouTube, documentaries and other sources you can lay your hands on. Magnify and freeze-frame the images where possible and study them carefully, the paths, roads, nature, etc. Take note of the date of these images and videos as well as all the publication that you refer to, to avoid attributing something to a period to which it does not belong.

Make your own contacts and tap into others

Google search for related clubs around you and contact them. Consider visiting the place and talk to people. Start asking questions even before you know what exactly you are narrowing down to. People love to talk and they’ll tell you things you could not have possibly imagined. People love talking about their lives, professions, passions and sometimes even their unique stories. This is a free medium that’s fun and offers firsthand unexpected results.




Become an online eavesdropper

Dig into personal blogs, online groups, organizations’ websites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, etc. For a fiction writer, these are powerful resources, however, always cross check critical facts.

Ask for help from far and wide

Don’t restrict yourself to asking for research information from only people you know. Local tour companies and guides are a well of information about a particular place that you are writing about and you can write an email requesting information about the area or better still a phone call conversation could answer a puzzling question even as far as New Zealand.

In Conclusion

When you want to break out of a writing rut, remember to take a closer look at your past work. Are your characters typically the same? What of the plotlines, time periods and setting? Are they similar?

If you often find yourself writing about characters who are just like you with plotlines narrowed down to your experiences – though there’s nothing wrong with that –  open your mind to discover something new, fresh and fun.

You just might surprise yourself by pushing your pen beyond the edge.

Check here for more writing tips.

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20 Tips to Overcome Your Writer cum Bloggers’ Block.

Argh! The Writers’ Block

There are days that you would find yourself scribbling and tapping away with much zeal and then the following day you wake up to a blank mind that stretches from one day to the other, then weeks…months…and you are waiting for the inspiration to ignite. You’ve just been visited by the gremlin that blocks creativity aka writers’ block.

Writers Block, Writing, Tips, Solutions, Writers, Avoid Editing

Writers’ block can last for as long as it chooses if you let it. It’s a common malaise that every writer struggles with now and again, but the most important thing is what you do when faced with it.

Writing is an art that takes a lot of brain power, creative energy, focus and mental acuity each time. It’s not a science that has a ‘Eureka formula fix’ as such, we have to approach its solution with that in mind.

Igniting that inspiration is not going to happen unless you take it in hand and having been writing for a while, here are some of the prescribed methods I use to doctor my creative constipation to enable easier passage of inspiration.




Finding The Culprit

  • The Sly One called Distraction: We are all busy people and in the midst of creating space for our writing passion, life certainly gets in the way. It requires diligent scheduling and great discipline on our part to balance our various interests and be freer of distractions.
  • The Passion Thief: You started off with lots of zest hammering away at the words, then, gulp, your passionate inspiring sizzle dwindles down from that lustful chemical burst to a barely there romantic kindling. This could be due to boredom and not necessarily loss of zeal. You’ve probably obsessed and nitpicked the writing too many times that your mind and eyes are bored. Give it a break – a couple of days, while you immerse yourself in other stimulating things. Avoid editing your work till you get to the end of your first draft.
  • The Burnout Bummer: There’s so much going on in your present life that you are simply exhausted in the bid to balance everything else in your busy life. It’s not a block but a mental cry for a mini-rest. Take hours off in between hectic schedule and do other things that have absolutely nothing to do with your writing. Take a mini-vacation/staycation.
  • Mr Analysis Paralysis: You are constantly analysing your content, thinking that it’s lacking in some aspect to the point of OCD. This is counterproductive. In as much as it’s recommended to do your best work, taking hours on end just to critique every minutiae detail before doing the real writing is time spent in reverse.
  • The Empty Motivation Tanks: Yes indeed, there are those days that we are simply not motivated to do anything even the writing that we love so much ‘cue in Bruno Mars song today I don’t feel doing anything.’ Well, this is the time to dig into your motivation list. What gets your adrenaline revving to go? Indulge and wake up the juice.
  • Chief Indiscipline: The timing never seems right hence you procrastinate for as long as ever. Discipline is a key to getting any writing done.
  • Runaway Characters: You’ve created these interesting characters, and now after having written dozens of pages your characters have literally veered off in unexpected directions that you are struggling to get a grip of what direction to take the story. Take a day a two and give your brain a challenge to think of bigger plots and picture.
  • The Doubting Thomas: Many writers struggle with self-doubt. They don’t trust their ideas or putting it out there for others to see. Self-doubt and fear are major reasons some would-be excellent writers never get to become that writer that they dream of.

Simple Solutions to Takedown The Enemy

  1. Freewrite – write anything you can. What ‘s on your mind? Write it.
  2. Read some affirmative and inspiring quotes to motivate you.
  3. Take a walk – nature not only rejuvenates but brings forth inspiration.
  4. Eliminate distractions and focus on writing. Use your distraction free writing mode for your blog: Shift + Alt + W or Omniwriter. Turn off other distracting gadgets like your phone.
  5. Change your font family, size and colour. Sometimes little tweaks do the trick.
  6. Sweat it out. Do something to get your blood pumping faster, like exercising.
  7. Block out your writing time and make it a routine to write daily.
  8. Change your scenery. On days that I’m stuck, I go to the café, library, park or somewhere that catches my fancy.
  9. Find an exciting read, kick back and just soak in the penmanship of other authors.
  10. Listening to music works for me. I enjoy a medley of tunes and depending on the writing genre I go from classical to jazz to afro, pop, dance hall…
  11. Set it aside for a couple of days and meditate.
  12. Source for interesting writing prompts.
  13. Pretend that you are talking to someone and just let it flow.
  14. Spend time with someone who makes you feel good.
  15. Have a random chat with a stranger.
  16. Do more research, brainstorm your ideas.
  17. Indulge in other creative outlets.
  18. If the start of the passage is proving tough, start from the middle, the beginning will fall into place.
  19. Avoid editing while you write.
  20. By all means, leave perfectionism out of it.

Writers’ block is not insurmountable. Your possibilities are endless, but your action is critical for any solution to work. Once you kick-start a solution heading towards resolution keep a steady momentum and take off from there.

Even if your writing is about your shopping list or your writers’ block, just write. You’ve got this.

Do you have solutions that could be added to this list? What works best for you?  Check this link for essential Writer’s tips.


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Overcome Your Writing Fears – Essential Writers Tips

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Writing Fears

What are your greatest writing fears?

Writing is not for the faint of heart and to build a successful career as a writer is not without its’ fair share of anxieties.

At various points in their pursuit, most writers have experienced writing fears, so this is not a challenge peculiar to you.

I remember when decided I to follow my passion and started writing actively, I had bubbles of anxiety in my stomach for days, I lost several nights of sleep wondering what made me think that I was good enough for anyone to want to spend their time reading my words.

Coupled with that, I enrolled for a creative writing course and as much as I tried not to take the instructors critic to heart, I never looked forward to hearing from her and was literally developing an ulcer from anguish. After much angst, I decided to put my anxiety to an end, to believe in myself and chose to face my fears.

Your fear might be one or even all the following:

  • Fear of failure.

This is one of the most common writing fears that writers nurture in the dark recesses of the mind, creating various excuses to stop from writing that story, book or series that you have, excuses like ‘the bookstores are already so full of books, who would want to read mine?’ Don’t let these doubts and lack of confidence stand in your way.

  • Fear of rejection.

In my honest opinion, I believe that all writers face this fear at some point or the other. Fear of submitting that work and facing the rejection. In this case, my friend, you’ve got to develop a thick hide like the Rhinoceros. Brace your mind that it’s bound to happen but it won’t stop you from pursuing your dream.

  • Fear of poor writing.

You can only get better through practice, making mistakes and learning from them. Refreshing your knowledge of basic writing skills and grammar would help. Also, consider using writing tools that point out those little errors.

  • Fear of criticism.

Writers are sensitive people especially when it comes to their work. Allowing others to critique your work is a nail-biting time. One way to get past this is to choose those who check your work carefully, based on their experience – not for the feel good cause – but knowing that they will offer a constructive feedback. Condition your mind not to take it personally and check the outlined issues. Most times it’s worth it.

  • Fear of obscurity.

Not going after your dreams will not make you visible. What have you got to lose? Since you are down, there’s only one way to go and that is up.

  • Financial concerns

A valid concern for most writers. It’s certainly not easy to leave the thoughts of the bills to pay to chase a bowl of gold coins at the end of the rainbow. So, caught in this many writers struggle to find the time to get their writing done. This is a situation where a thorough work-life balance approach comes in. You’ve got to create the space to chase your dreams. Scheduling will help.

Some are afraid of letting it all out. Worried that emptying their thoughts will only bring castigation. Thus, their writing becomes lackluster because out of fear of getting personal and losing their perceived sense of privacy, they fail to draw on personal experience that can only enhance their writing.

  • Fear of not finding the right words to bring out that great story in you.

There will be days like this whether you are a new writer or an experienced one. Be ready to deal with the writers’ block. 

  • Fear that no one would want to read your publications.

You’ll be surprised. Stop selling that excuse to yourself.

  • Fear that your story is not as original as you thought.

I believe that everything has been written in one form or the other, however, you haven’t written from your own refreshing perspective. Go ahead and own your story.

  • Fear that you are not as talented as you thought.

It’s most likely that you simply have a distorted view of your own writing and potentials. Others think you’ve got it, but in your own mind, you feel you fall short. Learning to believe in yourself is important here.

  • Fear of never becoming published. 

The beautiful thing about self-publishing is that it frees your mind from this inhibition. No hindrances to exploring getting your work out there by self-publishing.

The list of writing fears is endless and the interesting thing is that the thing that is your strength as a writer ‘your imagination’ goes into overdrive in face of these fears and you’ll eagerly fill in the blank spaces of ‘what ifs’ by giving the fear a larger than life attribute.

This ultimately leads to not realizing your aspirations and full potentials as a writer because these fears become a problem when we fail to deal with them.

For example, the fear of rejection prevents many writers from submitting their work and what makes it worse is that the more a writer allows a fear to grow the more you reinforce its place as the captain of your creativity.

Facing Your Fears

Only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Franklin D. Roosevelt

Your writing life presents you with the endless opportunities to meet your fears and conquer them.

Facing that blank page, sending out that manuscript only to receive a rejection letter, having the courage to bare your soul and being told that it lacks character… are surely part of what a writer’s nightmare is made of, however, when we consciously work with fear, we can actually harness this energy source in ways that will support our writing goals and enhance our writing experience.

Steps to dealing with your writing fears

  • Identify which fears concern you most. Which ones are valid, which fears could become valid and which ones are simply excuses?
  • Acknowledge the fear without putting it in charge.
  • Seek ways to rise above it: Join other writing groups, give yourself the permission to fail. Redefine your own scale of success. Apply daily, positive affirmations to boost your thought.
  • Brainstorm on how to handle your fears in positive ways. For example, instead of telling yourself that it’s okay to get rejected, tell yourself that you’ll research reasons why submissions get rejected and seek solutions to revise your work properly.
  • Focus on process instead of results. Have a written action plan that you can refer to when you start feeling discouraged.
  • Forget perfectionism and be open with your shortcomings.
  • Retrain your poor habits diligently. There are those habits we’ve imbibed over time that simply yield nothing and only serve as blocks in our path.
  • Don’t make things harder than they are. Cease from approaching your writing from a place of fear, it only makes it harder and tiring. When you find yourself all tensed up, seek ways to relax before getting back to your writing.
  • Keep doing it afraid. Repeating your process creates comfort and confidence.
  • Be realistic in your approach. Don’t set impossible goals for yourself. Factor your lifestyle in and use a pragmatic approach.
  • Talk about it. It helps to share your thoughts and fears with those you trust.
  • Quit comparing. Your writing is unique like you are. Consistent comparison with other writers you esteem and trying to copy them hurts you more than it helps you. You can learn from the masters but carve your own path.
  • Research ways to do it better.

Your writing passion and your pursuit for success as a writer are valid and precious. Don’t let any form of insecurity keep you from doing that thing you’ve been called to do. Deal with those fears today and broaden the horizon of your potentials.

Let’s talk in the comments. What are your greatest writing hang-ups?

Check this link for essential Writer’s tips.

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BLOG BYTES – Your First Audience is You.

Register Your Domains Hassle-FreeBlog Tips, Blogging, Inner Voice, Writing, First Writing Audience

Blog Tip – Write For Yourself

When we first start blogging we get caught in the wedge of whom to write for what to write about and many other salient issues that bother every beginner blogger.

Don’t forget that the most important aspect why you took up blogging or writing is because it’s something that you are passionate about and want to continue to do. Therefore, first, your writing must be for yourself.

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Let Your Inner Voice Speak

Your writing is your inner voice speaking to you, through the outpouring of your words. Write as if no one else will read what you are writing, that way, your thoughts remain focused.

Your words/writing would flow far easier when you focus on how to put your own thoughts, your own opinions, and ideas into words without distractions over who would read it.

Audience

Think of your writing as a conversation that you are having (yes we bloggers/writers speak to ourselves often, it’s all those muses you’ve got running around in your head) with yourself. You hardly run out of words when having a conversation with your favourite person – you.

When you write from the center of you, you will surely find your audience. Your words would resonate with them.

Even those tips, solutions or recommendations that you want to share have to inspire you first. You are only sharing it with others because you find them valuable.

Naturally, there are those who will surely not agree with all your thoughts, opinions and anything else that you may have to offer, but that’s to be expected. From such quarters, accept their feedback but don’t let it deter you.

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Essential Writers Tips 8

Essential Writers tips, Developing story character, Writing, Character traits, story, book, Building believable character, Readers' attention

Developing a Believable Character

Developing your characters for your story or book means getting intimate with these personalities.

Your job as a writer is to give your multiple, complex characters a stage to portray themselves so that others can see who they are.

In order to develop believable characters, you need a road-map of traits that allows you to know more about them than you might even need in your book/story.

Below is a list of things you should consider to flesh out your characters.

  • Name, Age, Sex, Race/Ethnicity
  • Physical Attributes: Height, Complexion,
  • General Appearance, Eyes, Nose, Ears, Hair…
  • Residence – Location
  • Temperament, Gestures, Mannerisms,
  • Status: Single, Married, In a relationship
  • Hobbies
  • Religion
  • Children or Not
  • Pets
  • Pet Peeves
  • Favourite things – Colour/s, Culinary preferences, drinks
  • Phobias
  • Friends,
  • Training or Academic Background
  • Career/Profession
  • Any faults
  • Secrets
  • Illnesses

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Having these details at the back of your mind as you work helps you to understand and to build your characters to give your reader a visual understanding of the character, though your reader only needs to know the most important things such as:

The character’s appearance, speech, action, and thoughts – which would entail unexpressed hopes, fears, plans, etc that would allow the reader to see into their mind.

Let’s Build a Character

He looked at his full name ‘Andrew Jefferson Johnson Jr’ on the title-deed, he’s not fond of Jefferson but had not been in a place to choose differently as a child.

He’s a 32-year-old, newly divorced, fair-skinned, six-foot tall Canadian with gray eyes and a crew cut hairstyle that camouflaged the beginnings of a receding hairline.

As a successful physiotherapist, he keeps an excellent physical form despite his drinking indulgence and now that he’s single again, he could drink to his heart’s content without suffering his ex-wife’s irritating nags.

Their condo at Mississauga sold faster than he expected and he looks forward to moving into his newly purchased, posh and serviced bachelors’ pad in downtown Toronto.

 The brief description above paints a picture of Andrew and throws some light on his background without getting too wordy.

I hope that you find this tip useful and you can check this link for more tips like this.

We would love to hear tips that you apply in your writing in the comments below and always remember to keep your writing as free of grammatical errors as possible with Grammarly.

ESSENTIAL WRITERS TIPS 7

Essential Writers Tips, Improve, Editing, Writer, Professional Writer, Criticism, Alpha Beta Readers, Publishing, Prepare

To Improve, Prepare Yourself For Punishment

A great part of writing and being a writer involves criticism.  A lot of time, we are afraid of having our work scrutinized constructively by others that we pass up opportunities to have them take a carving knife to our revered work.

However, to effectively improve your writing, you have to take certain steps that would certainly cause you to cringe.

If you can afford a professional writer or editor, pay them to look at your work and give you critical feedback without sweetening it. The tougher the criticism, the more helpful for you in the longer run.

The narrow road of the publishing industry is full of rejections and criticisms from publishing houses, editors, agent etc and the sooner your mind opens up to such circumstances the better accustomed you become.

As harsh and painful as this reality might be, if you are serious and want to improve your writing, you’ve got to prepare your mind to know  everything that’s wrong with it and how to handle/correct them. You’ve simply got to own your shortcomings and work on them.

An alternative to having a paid editor/professional writer – when you can’t afford to – is to find Alpha/Beta readers – (no not your mother, please) who will support you by critiquing your work. Check this link for more writers’ tips.

Improve your writing with:

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Common Mistakes We Need To Correct

Grammar Matters, Common Mistakes, Error Free Writing, Writers Tools, Writing helpmate, Professional Writing, Editing Writing, Making Right Sentences

Grammar Matters

While we would like to think that little mistakes don’t matter, they certainly do and could literally cost you an opportunity.

Imagine that you are sending a proposal to pitch to an editor for a certain writing job and it’s full of errors in them? I’ll leave the answer to you.

Wielding your words skillfully creates positive perceptions about you and what you’ve got to say, especially when trading your words is something that you do as a profession or something that you plan to take up doing.

Even after years of reading, writing, studying it in school, we still mess up now and again with our grammar and spellings and it’s not because we don’t know these things, but may simply be due to slip-ups that we don’t even recognize. This is why editors earn big bucks to help us tailor our words/story and circle out our errors that have blended into our work.

However, not all of us can afford the cost of professional editing – not yet at least, and whilst we work our way towards that time, we could keep our writing clean, professional and appealing by taking advantage of the opportunities available to us. These assistants help end mistakes that make us look sloppy.

Let’s look at a few of these mistakes

  • Your vs. You’re

The word Your is a possessive adjective used to replace the noun and to show ownership, while You’re is a contraction of you and are.

For example:

You have forgotten your purse

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You’re going to forget your purse

  • Its vs. It’s

The word its is a possessive adjective and it’s is a contraction of it and is. Its shows property ownership of a subject.

For example:

Dubai is a beautiful city but has its fair share of challenges.

It’s easy to substitute one for the other when we overlook the apostrophe, but this then makes an entirely different meaning to a sentence.

For example:

It’s quite clear that Dubai is a beautiful city.

  • Affect vs. Effect

The word affect is often used as a verb that means to influence or to cause something to change while effect is commonly used as a noun to show change which is a result of an action or other cause.

For example:

The accident affected her tremendously.

The President effected many policy changes.

  • Complement vs. Compliment

Given that these two words sound the same, it leads to confusion and interchanging.

Complement is a noun that used to show something that contributes extra features to something else in such a way as to enhance it or to emphasize its quality.

The word Compliment is equally a noun and used as a polite expression of admiration, expression or praise.

For example:

That bottle of white wine complements the dish perfectly

My compliments to the chef for a great dish.

  • Me vs. I

The wrong usage of Me vs. I in English writing is a common confusion and it’s an error that dots the pages of an article like an annoying rash.

Fortunately, under any circumstance, there’s a simple way of making the right choice of word when it comes to these two.

For example:

Could you send the package to Lucy and I?

This sentence is wrong.

Take Lucy out of the sentence and see how it reads. Does not sound right at all. Since you can’t write would you send the package to I the correct sentence should be;

Could you send the package to Lucy and me?

Try this other example:

He won’t be happy with you and I.

Take away ‘you’ from the sentence and you’ll see that it’s wrong so the proper sentence should be;

He won’t be happy with you and me

  • Into vs. In to

Another grammar faux pas because both sound the same and are difficult to distinguish. The word into is a preposition that indicates a movement or action to the inside of/being enclosed/engrossed in something. It shows some type of action taking place and the two words in to is used when in forms part of the verb in a phrase.

For example:

She was so tired after work that she simply crawled into bed without eating.

She gave in to undue pressure.

  • Insure vs. Ensure vs. Assure

These three words raise their confusion because they sound similar and used to infer making an outcome sure or certain. However, they have distinct meanings and are not interchangeable.

The word insure means to safeguard or take precautions against a loss or damage, typically a financial term which applies to taking out an insurance.

For example:

I pay my premium monthly to insure my car.

Ensure is to make sure that something will be the case/happen.

For example:

Please ensure that the records are accurate.

The word assure is used to set one’s mind at rest, to make a guarantee. It’s a verbal statement of promise and certainty

For example:

I assure you that I’ll deliver the goods on time.

  • Farther vs. Further

The word further means to a greater degree or additionally. It indicates time or amount and the word farther means to go up to a greater point. It indicates length or distance.

For example:

His house is two miles farther down the road.

To understand this question requires further studies.

  • Loose vs. Lose

The word lose is a verb used to express to no longer have, to suffer from a loss and loose is an adjective that signifies not tight, free from constraint, unattached.

It’s not a surprise that they are commonly misused because of their closeness in spelling. A quick tip to help you find the right one to use is to remember that lose is the opposite of win and is used to describe something that you or someone else does or suffers.

For example:

Due to the recession, I may lose my job.

He will surely lose his key.

On the other hand, loose is an adjective used to describe the quality of something or someone. It doesn’t refer to something that someone does or suffers.

For example:

I lost weight and my clothes became loose.

That rope is too loose, tighten it.

That’s enough lesson for today. You can check here for extra writers’ tips.

Are there any grammar peeves that you could share with us in the comments? This is a learning space and I love to learn from others. Remember, you can make your writing cleaner by using helpmates like Grammarly. Try it for free.

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ESSENTIAL WRITERS TIPS 6

Essential Writers Tips, risk writing, unconventional writing, best tips, write dangerously, break boundaries, push comfort level

Write Dangerously

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Telling your best story in the best possible way that you can is the goal of a writer and sometimes this might involve stepping away from conventional writing and taking a risk with your writing.

Risk taking writing pushes your writing out of the box that you’ve nicely fitted it into, to another level.

Grab their attention with that opening line and hold it as you take off from there. In these days of Kindle and fast read, the action gets fast real quick like a jet zooming to take off.

This doesn’t imply that a story shouldn’t have the best calm, soft and gentle opening that’s ever been written, of course, it could, but that opening should be tight and grasp its readers’ attention.

If you are opening up with a love scene, make it sizzle without being off-putting, plant innuendos that make a reader want to know more or even afraid to know more – take a risk and allow your characters to lead their story without stifling and reshaping their thoughts too much.

Most times, we are afraid of taking risks with our writing out of fear of offending others, excluding others or exposing ourselves – our way of thinking, philosophy etc. It all boils down to fear of judgment which can hinder your approach and growth as a writer.

From the onset know that agreeable writing is as boring as anything. If you trim, shave and water down your writing to suit everyone’s needs, you’ll certainly lose the power of your own voice and your muses.

Part of being a writer is that you’ve got a million characters and more dwelling inside you and each has their own unique voice and story to tell.

Go an extra length and cross your creative Rubicon. Let your characters tell those hideous, frightening secrets waiting to tumble out on paper. You might squirm at the first thought, but dangerous writing brings out the risk taker in you. It changes your perception as a writer.

Write to agitate the mind and the nerves.

What are your thoughts on risk taking writing? What do you perceive as the limitations of risk writing? I would love to hear from you. For more writers’ tips, check this link.

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ESSENTIAL WRITERS TIPS 5

Writing, Essential Writers Tips, Fully Present, Experience, Open, Curious, Top Tips, Best Practice, Interactions

Be Open, Be Curious, Be Present

A mind closed in its way of thinking leaves little room for growth. To develop one’s writing capabilities involves keeping the mind open and curious to learn from everything that happens around us because everything is a possible material for your writing.

As a writer, in today’s world where technology has inadvertently affected direct human interactions, it’s become even more pertinent that we are fully present, curious and open to our surroundings.

As we grow older, we become set in our notions, opinions and ways and these attitudes leak into our writing which makes it difficult to break out of a hedge of thinking that we might have developed, however, we can relearn some of these skills by choosing how to listen, how to relate and be fully present in given moments.

No, you don’t have to try everything to understand how it works. You don’t have to go and jump off a cliff to experience how broken your legs would be if you survive it, that’s taking it a bit too far – though there are those who indulge certain extreme sports and if you do know such a person, then by all means, ask them pertinent questions. Get into their mind by asking open questions that don’t come across as judgemental.

Leading questions leave room for a lengthy answer. Asking a precise question such as;

What was it like to go hiking up the mountain – gives the responder a lot of room to express their excitement, experience, recommendations etc and you could tap into this if you are not going to try to do the same hiking that he/she did.

Be like a child, eager to learn and to soak up information. As adults, our childlike curiousity  has reduced because we now look at life with jaded, experienced eyes and are far too busy chasing after money to pay the bills that pile before us.

You could embrace and rekindle your inner child often and make life your playground once again. Do something fun, read a book you loved as a child, try a new look, dance, figure out how something irrelevant works, drop that phone and connect with others. Imagine all those silly things you wanted to do as a child? Relive some of them and refresh your mind.

There’s an amazing power in being in the present and you can do this by focusing completely on the task, the event or the company that you are with. It takes practice to focus without getting distracted or just being in auto mode which takes away from an experience.

By being mindful, you would find out that you gain more insights and everything could translate into an amazing experience.

Please do share your amazing little writing tips with us. We learn from each other when we share. More tips are here

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Essential Writers Tips 4

Essential Writers Tips, Think Like Writer, Professional Writer, Best Practice, Bestseller, Huffington Post, Positive Attitude, Mind Strength, Self-Help, Growth, Success

I write, therefore I am

Identify with the craft and think like a writer. A lot of beginner writers and even some who have crafted words for  some time are always reluctant to introduce themselves as a writer. 

This could be due to lack of confidence in their craft as well as the misconception that one is only permitted to claim the title of a writer when they have a Bestseller that has made New York Times list or when their article gets published on Huffington Post and the likes.

Part of growing as a professional writer is to take ownership and pride in your craft even if it’s not yet paying. Except you do, no one else will.

You are your biggest cheerleader and short of using the saying ‘fake it until you make it,’ accepting and putting yourself in that frame of thinking while you work towards your success boosts your confidence and broadens your scope of thinking in that aspect. It’s a mental attitude thing.

For more writers tips, you can check this link.

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