herghly

How to become a better writer?

25 posts in this topic

I've done the typical write every day for 30-60 minutes, but I don't actually feel I am improving. I want to become a more expressive and better communicator with my writing. I think I have bad writing habits so just simply writing every day is not helping me to overcome those bad habits.

 

Does anyone have a good book or course on this topic?

 

My goal one day is write my own book

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Tell us more about your habits. Do you just free-write for your allotted amount of time within a certain medium(fiction, non-fiction?)? Provide more details if you would. I dont have any recommendations as far as courses or books go. 

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@RickyBalboa I choose a topic before I began, set a timer for 30 - 50 minutes (depends how I feel) and then I write continually on the topic until the timer goes off. I've only been writing about things that are of interests to me which have been trip reports, psychedelics in general, spirituality, travel, and business.

 

@Joseph Maynor Probably a good idea. I can start off anonymous without my real name. 

 

At this moment I feel just going through the act of forcing myself to write every day is not improving my writing quality. If anything I feel it could be ingraining bad habits.

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Do deliberate practice.

improvement only happens when you are outside your comfort zone.

get feedback on your writing.

work on your weaknesses.

break skills down to the smallest part.

focus intense without distractions.

study the writing you admire to get a good reference.

be slow and accurate in your practice instead of doing things quickly.

do practice drills.

measure your progress by using some metric. Be public about your content so you can get feedback on how well you are doing for example by looking at how many readers you get per writing or how many keep coming back to your work.

interview people who a few steps a head to figure out which skills matters in your career.

https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2015/10/07/strangely-useful-career-advice/

ask your self which skills are people willing to pay for? It might be that writing compelling content is one of those skills.

if you can don’t forget to learn some theory as well in your field it can really boost the results in practice.

have a clear goal you want to reach in your practice.

start an ultralearning project(agreesive self directed learning) check scott h young blog for more on that.

Edited by BjarkeT

"You see." Leo Gura

we need pain and suffering without it we loses our ability to grow as a species. Life shouldn’t be about how to experience as much joy and happiness as possible or to avoid pain but about solving problems and pushing past our comfort zone because that’s where we grow, become better and gain wisdom. No pain no gain.

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1 minute ago, Psyche_92 said:

Read. A lot.

I was just going to write that, lol.

Read to find examples of the best writing that inspires you and then study it and figure out what makes it good. 

Then integrate what you learn with your own voice and style. 


My Youtube Channel- Light on Earth “We dance round in a ring and suppose, but the Secret sits in the middle and knows.”― Robert Frost

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Develop a taste for English Grammar and begin to study it on your own.  English Grammar is actually a beautiful system that if you master will improve your writing immensely.

The best English Grammar book:

https://www.amazon.com/New-Websters-Grammar-Guide/dp/0717245055/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=the+new+websters+grammar+guide&qid=1564742345&s=books&sr=1-5

Edited by Joseph Maynor

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I like @mandyjw's response about finding inspiration.

Medium.com is a wonderful platform for writers and writing.

Share you work. With anyone and everyone. 

Go really minimalist on your word count and write about stuff you care about. OR write about very ordinary things but in a way you care about. YOUR perspective. YOUR style.

Reading stuff you wrote should feel like getting punched in the face. BAM! BAM! Wait, whatthefuBAM!

Work out your preferred tools. Laptop? Phone? Notepad? Biro? If you like writing with a quill feather and parchment, get a quill feather and parchment and carry them everywhere. On the bus, on the train, in the bathroom.

A writer will get out of the shower to write and then get back in again rather than waiting although if that's not you, don't worry everyone's different. Find your behaviour, find your niche.

Edited by Dan502

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Are you writing fiction?  If you are do not self publish your first book unless you have a really good reason to do so.

Most books are written in past tense but you can often use present tense in a past tense sentence to make it feel more immediate. 

Also don’t even try writing in 3rd person before you know the difference between 3rd person limited and 3rd person omniscient. 

Use the readers imagination, you don’t have to describe everything let them do some of the work for you.

Edited by Spiral

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It is totally normal that you don't feel like you are improving in the beginning.

I suggest you read Mastery by George Leonard to get your expectation straight

That being said, you want to make sure that you practice this stuff systematically.

Focus on the weaknesses that you are conscious of in yourself. Dissect, isolate and repeat down to the smallest thing until it is like second nature. Then pick another task and so on.

Don't be distracted during your practice time. Shut down internet and your phone and focus wholeheartedly on what you are doing.

Cultivate a sens of wonder about your field. That will motivate you like nothing else will.

And also don't expect to become world class by putting in 30-60min everyday. World class looks more like 4-6h every day if not more. The only way I know how to do that is to love the thing that you do :) 

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First of all, if you want to write fiction for an audience you need to have something to say. A story or at least an idea. 
Secondly, show don´t tell. Describe what is happening with your own words and pick up interesting details that symbolize something, an underlying message. Remember that the road to hell is paved with adverbs, as Steven King said. 
Don´t use a high flown language. Keep it simple. 
Write without fear and edit without mercy. When you are done find a good editor and go over the text ten more times.

Good luck:-) 

 

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Start the contemplation practice on your writing - the most direct method on getting good at anything 


"In time you will learn that intuition is a higher form of knowledge and your feelings are in fact your sharpest tool."

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modafinil + weed.


‘The water in which the mystic swims is the water in which a madman drowns. --Joseph Campbell

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22 hours ago, montecristo said:

modafinil + weed.

:DxD

Never tried with latter ...

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@Hello from Russia What do you mean about contemplation?

 

I've found modafinil to be useful. I'm doing some traveling now, so my routine has been thrown out.  While I know I need to spend time on this every day, as I mentioned I am concerned I'm only making my bad writing habits worse and not engraving in new habits

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I'm a writer so I think I have some authority on this subject:

• Read

• Read your own writings through the perspective of the reader (most important, because we write from our own mind and fail to understand the book is for other people)

• Know your own subject and style. Not everyone writes the same way

• Let others read your texts and give feedback

• Study about different subjects or the subject you write about, daily, as much as you can

• Do not make your books too dry unless it's for an academic purpose. People want to imagine while reading. This means your writing has to be more colorful and detailed

• Real-life examples/Analogies. If writing about a certain subject for example personal development, don't just get caught up in the theory but like the previous point keep it colorful through real-life examples and characters

• If writing novels, never have too much conversation. A big trap for amateur writers, focusing too much on the conversation rather than the described environment. Let the conversation be something to long for

• If writing novels, make the characters strong

• Always keep a red line of purpose throughout your texts so that every chapter/segment serves a purpose and are connected

• When writing, have 4 other documents open: writing diary (Where you write afterwards every day what you've been writing and your concerns etc), structure of book (where you describe the structure and outline first before writing and if having other ideas you write them down, Ideas/tips/facts (a document where you have the CONTENT of your book with characters, purpose and things you can use in the book, basically ideas you have for the books in a concrete way), PowerPoint document (make your entire book into a powerpoint document connecting the chapters and so on, it will give you the bigger picture of your book and it becomes easier to follow all the content

• Most important: be creative. Right now I'm writing a book on coaching and problem-solving like a sort of game, this is creativity. The reader can then follow the book not as a book but as a sort of game. It becomes exciting. This also connects back to your style of writing

 

Edited by QandC

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