Ten Surefire Writing Tips

Everyone thinks there’s a magic bullet to getting a book written.

There isn’t. But if you follow a few tips, you will find yourself more productive, and, presto – like magic a book will be born.

1. Keep to a schedule. This means that you write every day, or five days a week, or four days a week at a certain time that you shouldn’t try to vary. Stick to it. If you go to the gym at 8 every morning, why don’t you get up a bit earlier and write before you get to the gym? If you can stick to a certain schedule for exercise, you can do it for writing, too.

2. Give yourself a word count. Each session. If you’re writing a blog, keep your blogs to about 350 words. If you are writing a book, keep it to something manageable, like 600 words. Or fewer, if that’s all you can manage. But get something down on paper (or online).

3. Turn off the email. Don’t stop what you’re doing every two seconds to see if you’ve got mail. You’ll get mail. You can get to the mail when you’re done your writing for the day.

4. Don’t check out the Internet until you’ve finished. Even if you’ve got to check something on Wikipedia, make a note of it, and check it after you’ve done. This way you won’t get lost in a maze of clicks that lead you further and further away from the task at hand.

5. Don’t read Facebook. See the tip about the internet, above. You don’t want to fall down that rabbit hole just yet, while you’ve got work to do.

6. Write. Then rewrite. Get it down. Don’t second-guess yourself, or you won’t move forward.

7. Keep a notebook with you. Jot down ideas, little comments, things to remind yourself of what you want to write. It’s easy to forget something that can lead to an even better idea. So a small notebook carried throughout the day can ensure a continuing supply of ideas.

8. Write where you’re comfortable. Or make yourself comfortable to write. Stand, sit, lie down on your bed or couch – whatever it is that lets you get down to business. This can be a coffee shop, or a basement, or a bedroom, or your office. You’ll know it. But once you’ve found your spot stick to it (see number 1, above).

9. Don’t stop until you’ve written something. Anything. You need to get into the habit of writing, rather than wait for inspiration. Inspiration comes from hard work, not from sitting around waiting.

10. Finish what you need to say, but up to a point. If you’re struggling with a thought, hold it – but get part of it on paper. You’ll find yourself thinking about what you’re going to write the next day, and by the next day, you’ll have found the answer to what you were looking for. Really.

These things work for me. You may have your own: If you’ve got a list of tips, we’d love to hear from you.

The important thing: get writing, and make a difference in the world.

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2 Responses to “Ten Surefire Writing Tips”

  1. Aldous Irving Jimenez-Echegoye May 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    These are such good tips Bob!  Really helped me focused on what really matters most when writing.  Thanks.

  2. Anonymous May 9, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    These are all incredibly helpful tips! Especially staying away from the internet, Facebook, and email! Those are all such huge time sucks and never contribute to productivity. Thanks for sharing!

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