Useful Sources To Improve Your Writing
Writing is my hobby. For as long as I can remember, I've been putting pen to paper (or MS Word) and letting the words flow. I've shifted gears from my years of creative writing and poetry to a more conversational and informative tone for my blog. Recently, I've felt complacent in my writing. I have so many ideas and thoughts I want to get across but I'm bored with the way I'm conveying them. The execution feels stale.
Writing has never really been a source of income for me. It's not the most important part of my job by any means and coding always takes priority. There's nothing wrong with this but I want to rid myself of this stale feeling when I read back my own work. This feeling of being handed a lukewarm mug of tea that's unsatisfactory. I want to improve my writing skills and I want to improve them on this blog. I don't think this means my style has to change but rather upgrade which I hope will only serve to enhance the content of this blog and make me happier and you, the reader. Happier that I am nurturing a hobby and skillset I've loved since a child. (Side note: I wish I still had some of my childhood poems, they'd make for a good chuckle).
Today's post highlights sources I've found useful and enlightening to encourage improving your writing. It's not just about the words themselves or having a thesaurus on hand. It's about your writing process, developing ideas and becoming more deliberate with your words.
The Art of Practicality writer Darius Foroux writes about the notion that 99% of our thoughts are actually useless but they still control us. Stop Spending So Much Time in Your Head lays out a thought process to increase your awareness in using your mind. It focuses on being a problem solver and to stop facing all of your attention to the hundreds of little questions you ask yourself on a daily basis. Spending too much time with our worries takes away from what we can do in the moment, in reality, to make a difference.
This spurred on a thought that in classing writing as a hobby I never write when I don't feel like it. Whilst forcing oneself to do something sounds like a horrendous plan (when there's no obvious positive consequence) I want to force myself to write daily. Whenever I don't feel to write, I'm most likely hitting a creative block or "the wall" and if I don't push through I can never truly improve.
WRITING EXERCISES & TIPS
On that note, I'd like to take on board some writing exercises. Even just a paragraph a day with purpose, perhaps unrelated to this blog, will build to be useful over time. I'm missing many connections between my ideas and putting them into words. I hope to tailor these 9 Creative Writing Exercises to my needs so I can start building on content that I feel proud of.
Bianca Bass always creates thought provoking content that inspires so bookmarking her 22 Internet Writing Tips was a good call. It's something I'll need to refer back to often in order to help pull my brain out of the writing rut it's been in for years.
PRECISE & POWERFUL CONTENT
Although my day job focuses more on coding, in building my own business there are many elements of copy to write. Copy for the website, social media descriptions, FAQs and help tips within the software to name but a few. This isn't the same kind of free flow writing that I've enjoyed for years and actively pursue on this blog. The less I have to write the more I struggle because it means you have to choose your words wisely. GatherContent's The Art of Writing Microcopy has been an eye opener for me and is something that could apply to elements of blogging too.
I've been battling with myself on whether to resume daily blogging again. It's not a necessity and never will be but I genuinely loved it. I suppose this is more of a time management question rather than anything else. 3 Tips to Help You Batch Create Content More Effectively is a good place to start, though. If I can find a middle ground between writing exercises and following them through into fully formed ideas then perhaps I can handle daily blogging again. It made me happy and whilst my blog isn't my priority, happiness should be, right?
Do you struggle with developing your writing skills? What would be your advice?