Do you want to blog? Do you want to write?
But you find writing difficult and something is holding you back…
Then this article is for you.
No matter what’s your profession, you can write. You just need a desire for writing.
Most of new bloggers and writers look for some quick tips and tricks to improve their writing skills, like grammar, sentence structure, proofreading, etc.
I called these external factors and these contribute only 20% in achieving your writing goal.
But we forget the factors those contribute 80% – I called these internal factors.
In this article, we’ll discuss some internal factors that I’ve learned in my blogging journey. I also interviewed some successful writers (and good friends of mine) and they shared their best writing advice with me.
This article is for someone who’s serious about writing and blogging. If you’re that person who cares, keep reading. Check out these 7 writing behaviors that helped me and I’m sure these will help you too. But you need to take action!
1. Develop a writing habit and routine (it creates a magic)
If you go gym just for one day a week, you’re likely to shape your body.
If you practice baseball just for 2 or 3 days a month, you won’t become a good baseball player.
If we want to improve our skills in something, we must develop a habit. Same goes in writing, you don’t become a good writer from the first day.
Just a few days back, one of my good friends asked me: “Why the writing process is so challenging for me but easier for you? I want to write, but I don’t know from where I need to start?
I told her that there’s no hidden secret of that, I just developed a habit of writing every day.
If you have 10 minutes to spare – Write.
You don’t need to write a book in a day. Start small.
Set a goal to write 100 words every day. The next week add 100 words more. The next week add 100 more…
This will help you to develop a routine. Remember, if you want to improve your writing, you have to start writing today.
“The most important thing is to actually do it, to just sit down and write as much as possible,” says Alex Limberg, “So just sit down on your butt and do it!”
No one has a perfect formula for great writing that fits everyone’s needs. What’s my routine?
I wake up early and put in more than 500 words before going to the work and more than 500 words after coming back to the work. And I always keep a small notebook beside me so I can write down the ideas as they come to my mind just after wake up. Before start writing, I imagine myself sitting down on the chair, and doing the writing. I make a visual scene in the mind. This is my routine.
A habit is what makes a writer a writer. Keep going and come up with a routine that fits for you.
Nathan Ellering put it best:
For new writers, I’d recommend taking it one step at a time. Think of your favorite musician. Mine is Kirk Hammett from Metallica. I guarantee that guy didn’t pick up a guitar on day 1 and play the way he plays now. He played, he practiced, he worked to become as skilled as he is today.”
2. Read as much as you can (The first rule)
“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King
Do you want to improve your writing?
There are only two rules: Read a lot. And write a lot.
Before you start writing, become a reader first. Develop a reading habit.
I’ve been an avid reader since my childhood and this habit really helps me to write well and more. I read books and magazines at home, stations, before bed, in the morning, and even the days when I don’t feel well. I read 3-4 books per month.
Most of the successful writers are avid readers. And even if you don’t want to write, it’s still a good habit for your personal development.
You must be asking, why reading is so important?
What you learn as a reader, you use as a writer.
It helps us to become a good conversationalist.
Reading encourages us to show our voice to the world.
Reading helps to improve our storytelling skill.
It improves our creativity and imagination.
It makes us think as a reader, and this we need to write.
It reminds us that consistency is the only key to write well.
We pay attention to what writers do with words.
Reading helps us to become more productive.
Sam Hurley says it best:
Read as much as you can. And PRACTICE! Reading a lot of other blogs definitely helps, too. There are so many different styles you can grasp! As you read, just be sure to remember you are reading to learn… Make it deliberate; tell your brain that is why you are reading. Digest every word on the page with purpose. You will naturally pick it up more with time, and create your own style.”
Grab a book now and start reading. Don’t just read sometimes when you get free time. Make it a habit.
3. Writing is a commitment (treat it like a job)
Writing is not just a hobby or something you’re interested in.
Writing is a bloody job that needs your commitment. No excuses.
Your commitment turns your efforts into the results. If you want to become a good writer or blogger, take writing as seriously as you take any other job.
Tell me, what would happen if you go to work whenever you want? Or some days in a month?
You’d be fired from your job, right?
Like your job, writing should have a routine or schedule.
Just a few days back, one of my good friends called me and said that our favorite singer has a show in the city, let’s go. But I had to complete a writing project.
I said, “Sorry, bro. I have to work (writing) and my boss (I) won’t allow me.”
I consider writing as a job and never allow myself to take an off before completing the job.
4. Think before you write (It will improve your speed)
Some of my readers and friends frequently told me, “I take too much time in writing something.”
And this thought leads them to the conclusion: I can’t write.
If you’re going to write an article, then let me tell you one thing: Think before you write.
An idea popup in your mind, you open the laptop and start writing. Never do it. It makes your speed poor.
Never think while you’re writing.
First, think what you’re going to write. Second, what your article is going to cover. Use pen and paper to make an outline of the article. Do some research. Prepare a draft before start writing. Make an outline in your mind. It will help you to focus only on the outline. And start writing.
Zdravko Cvijetic shared his take with me,
There are three, first write your articles in a way that it feels as if you are talking to a friend. Move from writing I, to You, and you will see a major increase in interaction with your readers, and results with your article. Finally, aim to do at least of out these three things: entertain, give practical content, and inspire action.”
5. Focus on quantity over quality (perfection kills your writing)
See what Darius Foroux has to say,
Focus on quantity over quality. Too often, writers spend a lot of time on one piece of writing. That’s not necessary. The more you write, the better you become.”
People around us always talk about quality. But I believe we can only achieve quality through quantity. And I experienced it.
One Year back, I made a simple decision to publish one article every day for one month. Because it’s a small goal. Achievable and measurable. Then I add one more month.
I write every day. No matter what.
New Year eve? I write.
My birthday? I write.
I get cold? I write.
I feel happy? I write.
I feel sad? I write.
I’m not inspired? I write.
Sometimes I don’t find my writing is perfect, but I publish it. Because I didn’t allow myself to skip a single day in that one month. And it helped me to write better.
Never think about perfection, it will kill your writing. Don’t do it for anyone else. Do It for yourself. And you’ll achieve quality.
See what Yann Girard has to say,
It’s easy to fall for the trap of always having to deliver great work. It’s a trap because no one can constantly create great work. As a matter of fact most of your work will be not so great. And that’s what will break most of us. The desire of only publishing great work.”
6. Show your style (and think about your value)
Meera Kothand shared her advice to the new writers:
Think about your point of difference. As a writer, what can you bring to the table? Strive to awe your audience or give them a light bulb moment with your content. Your writing should make an impact. Can you bring in humor effortlessly? Can you inspire a different point of view?”
Last month, I and my brother made a dish. He cooked it in his style and I cooked it in my style. Different styles. Different tastes.
I didn’t say bad taste or good taste. I said different tastes.
Everyone has a unique style. Everyone has a unique voice. Same goes in writing, don’t be afraid to show your voice. Think about what value you’re delivering in your message.
Probably you’re someone like me whose first language is not English. But it’s okay. You don’t need to use intellectual words. Just deliver your message in simple words and sentences.
Tiffany Sun shared her take with me,
If you’re a new writer, don’t be afraid to show yourself. The world lacks real voices, so if you could stand out from everybody else who follows school rules, you get recognized faster.”
7. Power down your phone (and other distractions)
One friend of mine always talks about doing the writing. But she never gets time for writing. She always told me, “I can’t focus on writing, I distract easily.”
But if you want to get some writing done, you have to fight with the biggest enemy of writing (or almost every work): Distractions. We live in the world of distractions.
See what Ryan Robinson is saying,
My advice to writers who are struggling to get focused blocks of writing done, is to schedule that time on your calendar. Physically make the time for it and then honor that commitment—power down your phone, avoid social media, just write.”
You got an idea and made the outline for your article. You’re inspired and all set to write. And your cell phone beeps, your friend sent you a text and you started texting.
We think that texting for a few seconds or checking social media for a minute isn’t harmful.
But the reality is?
It kills your attention. You have lost your focus. You’re wasting your time. What’s the fix?
Turn off your phone. Turn off your social media. Don’t check emails.
The time while I’m writing this article, I have already turned off my mobile phone (I don’t keep phone in front of my eyes while I’m working).
Sometimes my friends and family get mad at me because they can’t contact me. It’s difficult. But writing needs your full focus. And distractions reduce the productivity.
Look into yourself and always ask a question, “What’s holding me back?”
Never stop learning. “Use writing as a vehicle to build your skills and connect with people who will continue to push you forward” says Robbie Richards.
I think writing is like learning a bicycle. Your mom and dad can teach you all the do’s and don’ts. But you can never learn it until you’re not going to free out yourself to the open road.
My friend Priyanka Desai put it best:
Write consistently. You’ll get better with every single article. Observe how the best people in your industry write. Let your tone and style be original but ensure that your posts are insightful and have takeaways that your readers wouldn’t find elsewhere.
Go ahead. Start writing
Thank you for listening this story. If you like my words, please share it with your network. And if you have any views or thoughts, please share with me here. I’d love to hear from you.