10 ideas for improving your writing
I synthesized the article I wrote into bullet points. Writing is a great skill to master these days, hope this helps. Cheers!
  1. Write down what you’re day dreaming immediately, before it disappears. We delay writing down our thoughts, because thoughts easily feel special but words on the page easily seem banal and ordinary. Have a method, either using a phone app or a thousand pencils everywhere (whatever floats your boat) to always be able to write down your ideas right away. I use keep notes to write down every idea or improvement I think of on the phone.
  2. Originality exists, despite people claiming there’s nothing new under the sun. Rough outlines and concepts will always seem unoriginal, but the reason so many stories end up unoriginal is largely because writers don’t read broadly enough. Without having read many good books you’re bound to be stuck writing cliches without even realizing it. Call me old fasioned, but I personally think reading the classics is a must for writers and it drastically improves the quality of our output.
  3. A.I. is all the rage now, and it’s a great work and study aid, but no replacement for expertise. A writer who doesn’t read has no solid ground to stand on. In fact, a good writer can use A.I. to an exponentially greater effect than an unread and shabby writer can. It’s an enhancement of what is, not a replacement. The answers given are only as good as the questions asked. You shouldn’t need A.I. to write, or write well to begin with.
  4. Read The Sun also Rises from Hemingway. Its prose is rich but concise, every word is there for a reason and there’s a nice flowing rhythm to the writing. Overall I found it to be the perfect book to model my writing after, especially in the beginning.
  5. I could quickly get attached to the outcome of writing instead of enjoying the process of writing and of improving my craft, which ironically in retrospective often turns out to be the best, most satisfying part of any journey. Most of us want material success (most likely), but as a motivator for writing, tangible achievement sucks balls. Often in the writing journey you won’t be seeing it for some time, unless you’re much more resourceful than me and most writers out there.
  6. Staying consistent is one of the hardest elements in writing to get down for most of us. In my experience, the best way to tackle it is to come up with a personalized solution. What worked for me is having something urgent to do I dread more than writing. I’m writing these things in my exam period. Apparently, in my mind, the only thing scarier than not passing the exams is passing them. This shows in mind-boggling amounts of motivation for everything but the subject matter of the exams. Just thinking of studying for the exams gets me hyper-focused on writing. The alternative method I can recommend because it worked for others but I can’t vouch for as I haven’t tried it is this - put a big calendar somewhere in your room where you can’t avoid looking at it. Then pick a word count you want to meet every day and whenever you meet it, take a colored marker and make a giant X on the date of the day.
  7. Cringing at your writing and being disgusted with your writing is okay and a good thing. It implies taste. I’m always disgusted with my writing. You should always be a little disgusted with your writing. Sometimes I edit so much just looking at my writing makes me feel physically sick. At the gym you don’t feel sorry hurting your muscles because you know it’s making you stronger. Don’t be afraid to delete things. Whenever I write something fancy I delete it right away.
  8. To break down your writing and measure its quality effectively, you need tools. You can get these tools by studying good writing in various fields and figuring out exactly what elements make it successful. Learn from the best and examine good writing from as many angles as possible. In order to improve your dialogue writing skills, for example, watch Quentin Tarantino’s movies and read Oscar Wilde before your writing sessions. I did this and had great results. If these autors aren’t your style, find good ones who are. Look at the structure, style and content of the writing you want to emulate and study why it produces in you the effects it produces. You can then use the mental models you come up with to review your own writing and make improvements to it.
  9. This one is a bit counter intuitive, meant to make you think for a moment. The best writers do everything but write. Get your mind off writing and do other stuff. Why do I say that? It’s not because I’m such a hige fan of George R. R. Martin. Real world experiences and reading the books that stood the test of time is what puts weight behind your writing, not repetition or technical expertise, necessary as they are. Writing as an art is by nature paradoxical and it demands that we understand seemingly contradictory yet in reality complimentary positions. After completing the first draft of an article I usually stop myself from getting back to it the first thing next day and instead go skiing or do some other activity that takes my mind off the writing project for a while. Distance is crucial for you to get a fresh perspective on your ideas.
  10. As Anthony Hopkins says, the most important thing is to just keep going.
Link to the original article: https://medium.com/me/stats/post/9c969e580633
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