One day a story came to me, an idea so great it could not be held inside, it had to be written. Once this realization set in, I did what every ambitious and curious person does, begin to research and ask people for advice.
Every acclaimed writer, author and content creator willing to meet and talk said the same thing when asked how to be successful. They would laugh and say “Write every day. Just start writing, and don’t ever stop.”
At the moment, this seemed like some pretty basic and trite feedback. “Well duh, I should write.” I thought.
Taking their feedback as truth, a commitment was set to compose 1,000 words every day. And what I noticed is this, each day the writing get better, each day, words would flow easier and each day the 1,000 words flew by.
Now don’t get me wrong, writer’s block and procrastination do settle in some days, but the writing doesn’t stop.
If you are wanting to grow your writing, whether for creative or career purposes, begin to practice writing every day. Here are three things to help you get words onto paper:
1. Set up a writing ritual that feels like heaven.
Consistency is key, an done way to be consistent is to build a ritual.
Create a writing ritual for yourself. Do this by deciding on a special place and time of day that you want to get your fingers on the keys (or pen to the page). This is all about deciding what works best for you, so, determine when and where you find the most creativity and space to focus. Then turn it into a ritual.
I typically bundle up on my couch cross-legged, with a blanket wrapped beneath me, lamp-lit and laptop shinning up. Not likely the most ergonomic of options, but that’s what a chiropractor is for, right? My writing happens early in the morning because as a creative entrepreneur, the mornings and nights are the only time of day that you will ever fully control.
It’s not a ritual if you don’t have some magic! My magic is a diffuser. Before writing, it turns on. The scent of lavender, peppermint or vanilla fill the air and that sparks the words to fill the page.
Pick one thing that you will always do before you begin to write to bring magic into your words!
2. Use a writing prompt to get you started.
If you are seeking inspiration or a warm up to get your fingers going, pick a writing prompt to answer. A tried a true example: What is the one thing you are most proud of in life?
Picking a prompt with a quick and easy default answer will open your mind to start writing. Like many things, the hard step is getting yourself to start, and a writing prompt will help break the silence of your pen. If this easy prompt doesn’t excite you, there are many lists of prompts available online.
3. Pour now, edit later.
Creating a perfect story right off the bat sounds great, it sounds perfect actually. But, if you can craft both creative content and perfect grammer at the same time you might be a unicorn and should probably start doing more unicorn-esk things aside from writing.
If you are a mortal, waiting for your colorful horn to sprout, try pouring sessions to pass the time. When you are constantly stopping to reread a sentence or respell a word, the flow is interrupted and the creativity stalled. Instead, sit down and write without any concern for grammar, spelling or dialog placement…let it all go. Enjoy putting your ideas, thoughts, and words on paper.
Pouring is fun! Trust me, I poured 30,000 words out over a week and loved every moment of it. After the pouring stops, go back and swept up all the leaves and broken branches from the storm — also referred to as editing. With this process, a piece of work can be completed with pride.
If you want to become a writer, believe that the acclaimed are right. To be a writer, write.
Enjoy the process and the content will flow from you!
This article first appeared on The Writing Cooperative.