With over 500,000 posts and 400,000 comments a day, 308 million people view over 2.5 billion pages each month. If these stats by WorldPress.com don’t wake up the writer in you, nothing will. William Shakespeare would be proud of today’s generation of writers and it is no surprise that some of the best blogs of 2011 are everything from politics and pop culture to travel, tech and beyond.
So before you bring out the quill and scroll (keyboard and monitor in today’s times), here are some tips to help you get started.
Plans are only good if you do something about them. If you’ve decided to write, take the plunge. Icy cold water only stings for a short while; once you’ve been in for a while, you’ll realise it’s not that bad and you actually feel like taking a swim.
Once you’ve decided to write, make sure you stick to your schedules. Pencil in some time to write down your thoughts and you’ll find that routine isn’t so boring; rather it makes for good habits. Decide what times are best for you and stick to the schedule.
Take a chance and disconnect from the internet. You will be pleasantly surprised where your imagination takes you – much farther than anything you will find online.
Find a subject you are passionate (and that deep down in your heart you feel others should be passionate about too) and be its biggest advocate. This sincerity will show in your work, and take it from me – it’s a lot easier to write about something you care about than something you don’t.
Organise and track your thoughts. An outline is like a clearly marked race track that will get you closer to the finish line. Even if you’re running a 5k marathon and you don’t see a chequered flag for hours, if you keep at it, you definitely will.
Your first draft is like your first child, you may have more in the future, but you will love neither as much as the first. You went through all the anticipation, pain and experience with the first; the rest are all child’s play after that.
If you don’t know what you do wrong, how will you ever know when you’re doing it right? It takes a couple runs to get into the swing of things, and the entire process is important for making you a better writer after all.
Don’t hang around with people who are negative and not supportive of your writing. At the same time, be open to positive criticism so that you can become a better you.
Don’t over-exhaust yourself, when you finish a day’s writing, just stop. You gain nothing by exerting too much one day and then doing nothing the next.
That’s my list, what’s on yours?