5 Steps to Improve your Writing Life

If you’re a writer, you know that while there are many magical, soul stirring moments…it doesn’t all come quite that easily. Today I’m sharing 5 things that I’ve found to drastically improve my writing life – maybe they’ll be helpful to you as well.

  1. Use the right tools

Get to know yourself, and what kind of tools with which you work best – handwriting, typing on a computer, using a tablet, etc. I found that my productivity increased dramatically when I ditched my rather clunky laptop for an iPad with an attached keyboard. Now, when I have a few moments to work on a project, I can just flip my tablet open and start typing within moments – instead of waiting for a laptop to boot up. This is how I do the majority of my writing, with the exception of poetry, journaling, and other free-writing, which always calls for pen and paper.

2. Don’t go it alone

I’m lucky in that a lot of my friends are writers, and I always have a willing ear to hear me talk through ideas. One of my closest friends has been my writing partner for many years, and it helps so much to get feedback from someone familiar with my work and how its evolved. Even if you don’t have this type of community at your fingertips, there are many online groups and in person workshops that can help you stay in contact with other writers. Just talk with someone about what you’re up to creatively – I know that I at least always tend to drown in self doubt if I’m sitting alone with my words.

3. Feed yourself

Don’t be so obsessed with creation that you forget to consume. Reading, watching films, just going out into the world and living is the basis on which creativity thrives. There have been many times when I was in a dry spell and all it took was a moving story from someone else to push me into new inspiration. And don’t be afraid to go through seasons in which you primarily consume media; you’re still a writer, and sometimes other life circumstances demand your time and energy.

4. Find your space

Some of us work best in complete silence and solitude, while others prefer a public place like a library or coffee shop. For me, it entirely depends on my mood. If my home is a mess, I know I won’t get anything done because I’ll be too distracted by the need to clean. Those days it’s best to find a chill coffee shop. But if I’m sorting through something that requires a lot of mental presence, being alone in my apartment is probably best.

5. Write Unsatisfactory

Confession: I wrote most of this blog post one afternoon, and abandoned it in my drafts folder for weeks because I just wasn’t satisfied with it. Then, I came back to discover that it really wasn’t that bad after all, and just needed a couple minor changes. You will never be objective about your own writing, and you will always be your worst critic. But being a successful writer isn’t about churning out perfect poems and flawless prose. It’s about sitting down, doing the thing, and fixing it later. And who knows, when later comes, you might find that it wasn’t so bad in the first place.

4 comments

  1. Truly lovely and helpful post. I took DIY MFA’s advice and found a writing community. You are so right! It is essential. As a social person, I was shrivelling until my memoir writing community pumped me up!

    Like

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