Sometimes honing a skill and developing a craft like writing just takes some simple advice. Here are my seven steps to mastering your craft.
- YOUR Writing. Everyone has his or her own personal way of speaking and communicating. Yours might be abrupt, flowery, long-winded, emotional or a combination of other ways. You may not have a good feel of this just yet, but with practice you will develop it. Keep writing and then reading through what you wrote to naturally develop your personal style.
- YOUR Love. Don’t write what’s popular or what the cool kids are writing. Write about what you love to write about. Ask yourself what your favorite genre is, and then think of how you can put your own personal spin on it. It should be something that puts a smile on your face. That is writing what you love.
- YOUR Persistence. You have to keep writing consistently to become good. Like any craft, writing takes practice. So keep writing. The only way to do this is to write to a schedule. Steven King says to write a minimum of 1000 words a day when starting out. If you can touch type then you should be able to crank this out in 30 minutes or less. Do this daily to hone your craft, and try to never take a day off.
- YOUR Block. Writers block is in your head. The best way to get rid of it is to just write anyway. Write about your writer’s block. Write a story about how you got writers block. Just write. Put words on a page, it doesn’t matter what they are, and inspiration will hit you soon enough. Don’t expect to have the best ideas every single day, just keep writing anything and you will hone your craft.
- YOUR Hypnosis. A great way to keep on writing is to practice hypnotic writing. This is where you type whatever is in your mind, even if your mind is blank. Your mind might be blank so you would write, “My mind is blank, and I have nothing to write”. And then continue to write about what it feels like to have nothing to write. This is a great way to overcome writers block and to warm up and improve your skills.You should always write continuously and never edit as you go. Even if the last sentence is riddled with spelling mistakes, just keep on going. Do the edits later, and you will have a more enjoyable and productive flow of writing.
- YOUR Editor. When it does come to editing your work, hire an editor. It’s very rare that a creator or writer will have anywhere near the skills of an editor. They are very different talents. A creator uses the imaginative process and creative flow to write. An editor uses a critical and judgmental logical thought process to carve, define and cut the irrelevant. Always hire an editor because their skills will compliment yours, and your writing will look much better for it.
- YOUR Marketing. These days you only get special marketing help if you are already famous, so consider planning your marketing before you even write the book. Think about where you will publish, how you will publish, and how you plan to promote. Will you go to book signings, book shows, or will you advertise online? You have created a piece of art that can be sold millions of times over, so create a plan to match the opportunity.
As always, know that this is a skill. Your first book is unlikely to become a bestseller, however it’s possible. Keep writing and keep creating to hone your craft, become prolific and never slow down and you will create books that connect with people and sell brilliantly.
Image by Dasha Petrenko – Bigstockphoto.com