“Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection”
Nearly every writer on Earth will tell you, “to be a better writer, you have to write!” Well, that isn’t necessarily false. But it isn’t true, either. There are multiple ways in which a person can make leaps and bounds in their writing, without placing a single word on paper.
What I am about to reveal isn’t an ancient secret. It isn’t a brand new scientific method. And it certainly isn’t complicated. These are just a few simple writing hacks, that happen to work without a pen.
1. Read ALOT More
This is also something most writers will tell you. But the trick isn’t just to read milk cartons and bill boards. Use every opportunity you have to analyze the type of literature you want to improve on. If you work in the advertising field, billboards actually would be a great starting point. If you like to compile fantasy works, read fantasy books. Just be a bit more perceptive when you read. Notice how the author begins a story. Pay attention to how the characters’ interactions allow them to grow with one another. Most of all, take everything you do and DO NOT like about the writer’s style into consideration. After critiquing novels, short stories, etc., it becomes very easy to see where your own faults may lie. You will notice what traits you and others share. I personally noticed my tendency to lack a bit of detail in stories. Primarily because in my 9 to 5, I’m told to get straight to the point.
2. Jog and Drive More
There is no better time to clear out the clutter in your mind, than on a good run or drive. As you watch the road or track, plenty of concepts that have nothing to do with exercise manage to crawl into your mind. Why not make one of those thoughts about your next article? Or, how to make your heroine’s love affair more intense? Don’t be afraid to take the time away from your computer to run some errands, and improve your health. It may what causes your first major breakthrough.
3. Have Netflix and Chill Day
Ridiculous, I know! What could a writer possibly have to gain from watching a movie. Before your knock the method, think about something: Players in every competitive sport use footage of others to improve their own performance. One skill that can drastically improve watching movies is accent and personality creation. Listen to southern drawl. Now, imagine how you would write it on paper. Watch enough movies, and you begin to notice how different every character must actually be. The way script writers captivate you with a combination of accents, vulnerabilities and determination. Watch how even during the tiniest interactions, characters never veer away from who they are. A great movie is capable of totally ensnaring the heart and mind for nearly two hours. And the book is always better than the movie, right? Just think of the effect your words can have on another individual.
But, how can I be a better anything when I’m not awake to take note of it? Quite easily, in fact. In essence your mind is a muscle. The thoughts, perceptions and observations constantly rushing through each already work it plenty. Now, include the brainpower it takes to create innovative content day in. and day out. This means every day you conduct an exhausting workout. Kudos to you, friend! And like all other muscles, the true growth occurs during rest periods, not work. You may not always be able to get 8 hours. But as long as you ensure to wake refreshed daily, those imaginary muscles will put Mr. Olympia to shame.
What else could you do to improve your writing? Comment below. I’d love the feedback to create a part two of this article with user-generated content.
Thank you for reading, and happy freelancing!!