Real Life

Monday Minute: Get writing!

May 9, 2011

I’ve had a few people ask me about my writing process.  I think everyone has a unique gift, and it develops differently based on personality, experience and so on. However, there are some basic tips that could possibly be explored for all. So here are some simple thoughts on getting YOU writing!

  • Ok, so you want to write? Think about who your audience is. And what is in your heart to write. You must start there with the two “who’s”. Who you are and what your voice has to share, and who you are writing to – your reader.
  • Keep a notebook and pen (or nowadays, iPhone or something electronic you can take notes on) handy so that whether it is in the wee hours of the night, or when you’re driving….you can jot down your idea as soon as it comes to you.
  • Show people your work. Unless you’re writing for pure “creative outlet” or “therapy”, then your writing will never be enjoyed by anyone else. And if it is purely for your own enjoyment, fine. But don’t underestimate the power of feedback! It helps grow thicker skin. It helps you develop your writing voice and constructive feedback never hurt anyone!
  • Realize that an idea you get isn’t always necessary for that given moment. I’ve had various story ideas, plots, and titles that haven’t necessarily become anything. Was it a waste? Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I need to look at every idea as a chance to expand creativity, whether it develops or not. I believe that God will lead the ideas and you should run with the one you are most passionate about.
  • If you want to write a book, I would suggest you start to write down potential chapter titles, and even a brief synopsis for each. What would the back of your book say? This will help you gather thoughts based on what your book is to be about
  • Be consistent. Hone your skill. Find your voice. There are many writers I admire for their “style”….but what a discredit we would be doing to God and the gift He’s given us if we try and make our writing copy someone else’s style. Not sure what your style is? Write a short story. Write a reflective thought for the day. Write an essay on your favourite book. Compare what is similar and just keep writing and you will find what your flavour is!
  • Give yourself a deadline! If I want to finish a big project, I need to give myself a deadline or I know other things will take precedence. Be firm about this. Have someone remind you about your goal.
  • Turn your inner editor off. Don’t edit while you write. It stops creativity. Don’t feel that what you’re working on has to be perfect the first time or it will never be genuine. JUST WRITE!
  • Keep a CP Stylebook handy (if in Canada) so that you are writing grammatically correct. Spellcheck is fine…but dusn’t allwaze catch everythang 😉
  • Watch when your most creative thoughts flourish and make that your slotted writing time.

There you have it! A few tips to help you get started on your writing projects!

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