Sunday, August 30, 2015

Writing Tips for the Novice Writer

It's never too late to start writing, but you'd better not keep putting it off or it will be too late one day.

To be a writer, you need to just choose your media--paper and pen or computer screen--and just start writing.  Pour out all the thoughts craving to be released.

Say Something 

Usually, I write with something to say.  It may be sparked from a number of places, and I may write on a variety of topics. I write in my mind while cleaning the pool, doing housework, walking the dog, taking a shower, reading someone else's article.  My mind spins different themes.  But keeping all the goodness festered up does no good.  I need to get it out. With luck, the ideas take and come to mind later.

Share Your Writing 

The internet is a turning point for many writers and artists.  It gives us a place to show our work which is much better than growing a pile of journals, manuscripts, or even painted canvasses in our drawers or basement.  Sharing what's on our mind not only gives us joy, but it often helps someone. 
Art by Rosalie Garde, 2015

Don't Limit Yourself 

All those ideas you have can be worked on simultaneously.  You don't need to focus only on one project at a time (unless you're doing a for pay piece with a deadline).  I might write on marriage, gardening, midlife crisis, or life purpose all in a week.

Have a System 

Create a system.  That may mean set aside a time to write.  Or it may mean set aside a method.

I have a file in Word called "fodder" and another called "rough drafts."
Fodder is where I collect ideas. They may be cut and pasted off the internet (to use as prompts), or they may be ideas of my own that I don't feel like working in depth at the time.   I also have a separate file for "ebooks I'm working on."

The rough drafts file is where I write without editing.  Later, I will scan through my fodder or rough draft files and choose something of interest to work on hopefully to completion and submission.  Then I'll transfer the piece to "submitted." Often, the rough draft is so long I can pull two or more articles out of it and multiply my revenue.

Joining a group or submitting to a place where there is an opportunity to have your work pass through editors is helpful.  I work through Constant-Content.  Their team of editors checks everything and sends back errors pointing out what's wrong.  Of course rejection hurts and delays income, but this has been a good way for me to learn and improve on my writing. 

Finding Words for Your Story

I usually write non-fiction. In non-fiction, especially articles for web content, we need to write concisely. That means, we don'...