Monday, July 6, 2015

Becoming A Better Writer


I am always struggling to find inspiration.  I am always looking for new ways to improve my skills.  Unfortunately, there are no magic wands, or genies, fairy godmother's, or magic spells that will make you better.  Now writing about magic wands, genies, fairy godmother's and magic spells is fun, but it is not always easy.  
So here's a few questions: What do you find interesting?  What inspires you?  What tickles you?  What is your passion?  What is your life experiences?  What have you seen that stood out to you today?
That is a great place to start.  Ask yourself those things.  Another thing that helps is brainstorming. Sometimes just a word can trigger an avalanche.  Sometimes a phrase can make you think... then if you start to write about what you think... well there you go.  It is a place to start.  I love the google option to look up quotes... on any subject, literally any topic you can think of.  It is a wonderful place to find inspiration.  
I started this, and my other blog, because I don't speak as well as I write... for one thing... for another... I have a passion for writing, but I got into a rut.  Writer's block is painful... especially when the desire to write is there, but nothing comes out.
However, I realized that the answer was so simple that it seemed almost unlikely to be true.  The answer is exactly what this quote says.  You have to write... write... and write some more.  I also got this advice from every author I have ever looked up, or listened to... if I want to become a better writer, I have to write.  I also have to read as much as I can, and then I have to write some more.  It's like wash, rinse, and repeat.  You have to write and then write some more.
Since I started doing this... I have found a little more confidence, and I believe that I might be improving.  At least I hope I am anyway.
I have a novel that I am working very hard on, and have been for some time.  Only I have had a problem circumstances seem to distract me, fear overwhelmed me, and each has kept me from accomplishing my goals.  It is also hard to put your creation out there for the world to see, critique, judge, and either love and enjoy, or spit back at you.  I am riddled with fear.  Besides, I never took a class.  I was never good in school.  I struggled with so many other things that I stopped believing that I could do it.  I am trying very hard to change that now, but I still struggle every day.
When I started this blog it was done to promote my novel, (unpublished so far), but I found that in the mean time, if I could, I would like try to inspire someone. Anyone.  That would make this worth it.
Okay, so I want to throw something out there,  I wrote a poem called, "The Storyteller".  I will post it in my pages.
I wrote it when I had a thought about what it means to be a writer.  What sort of roles does a story teller play?  It was an interesting exercise.  I came up with what I think are good words to describe a storyteller, and I am sure that anyone could do the same thing with a thousand other words, but it was still really fun to do.  Challenge yourself.  Come up with something you would ask someone else to do (if you had someone to challenge).  I had a friend who gave me the challenge of writing a poem.  I haven't done that in quite some time.  Maybe you can even ask a friend to give you a challenge. You might be surprised what it inspires you.
So the best tip I have learned is that you have to write every day whether it be in a journal, in a daily blog, in a notebook you keep handy, on your computer, or really wherever you like to write.  Find your spot.  Make time in your day.  If write best in the mornings then do it right when you wake up, before you start your day.  If you write better at night, do the same thing (only before bed, or in bed, whatever).  If you get a free moment in your day... write for a few minutes.  Just a word, a phrase, a thought, or gibberish.  If it triggers you... write it.  What could you lose?
I saw a quote that said something to the effect of, the worst thing you write today is better than nothing at all.  I'm not sure if that is exactly what it said, but I think you get the point.
Writing nothing all day is far worse than writing complete crap.  You really have nothing to lose.
I did a writing challenge a couple of posts ago.  Now, I really did not expect responses, and I did not get any, but it was good for me to think about one (a challenge).  It got my thoughts shifting.
So if nothing else today either read, or write a little something.  It doesn't have to be right, or perfect, or grammatically correct.  It just has to be something.  Just something.  That is all.  If you can do that once a day... I think you will be amazed at how far it will take you.  I was really struggling before I put this into practice... but now I find that I want to write... something everyday.  I want to make a difference.  I want to get better as a writer.  I want to fulfill my dream, and like I said, if I can encourage you along my way... that makes it all worth it.
I study.  I research.  I write as much as I can.  I read a ton, and I listen to the advice of other authors and teachers, and even though I am not a professional yet... if we are on this journey together maybe I can encourage you while I try to encourage myself.   
I guess that is kind of crazy... I know they say that those who can't succeed in the industry usually end up teaching... I hope that is not how my story will go, but I personally always find inspiration in others.  I hope I can do that for someone too.
Sorry If I am repeating myself in these posts.  I will try to mix it up from now on.  Sorry. Thanks for reading. I really do appreciate it.