Tips for writers

People often ask me for writing tips. They want to know how I can make myself sit in front of a computer day after day, keying in words, deleting them and starting all over again until I have a finished article or book.

The answer is that I like writing. And fortunately, I seem to be genetically disposed to be being disciplined and focused. And it doesn’t hurt that I’ve learned to take rejection as a sign – not of failure – but that I can improve my work to strengthen its appeal. 

The best piece of advice I can give anyone is: sit down and write. Talking and thinking about writing are fine up to a point but, sooner or later, you have to put words to paper or on a computer screen. 

But every writer – including me – struggles from time to time. It might be difficult to access that necessary bit of research, the words might not flow in a cohesive and engaging manner and distractions are often only a glance or mouse click away.

Here are a few things I’ve found beneficial to the writing process.

-Read a lot, write a lot and then read some more.
-Know your theme and stick to it (mostly).
-Use active voice.
-Pound out the first draft wtih little regard for puncuation and spelling. 
-Write as if you’re telling a story to your best friend.
-Create and keep a regular writing routine.
-Have a quiet place to work where you will not be disturbed.
-Learn to edit your writing. 
-Listen to your intuition to determine what works and what doesn’t.
-Enjoy the process – even the struggles.

Finding a quiet place to write is essential.

The above might motivate you to put your fingers to the keyboard or you might have some other ideas or tricks of the trade. If so, I’d love to hear about them.

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2 Responses to Tips for writers

  1. Paula says:

    What an intriguing project, Reg. I’m honoured by your invitation to co-author your book but I have a long list of my own books that I want to write so will have to decline.

    Since you’ve already written 25 stories that shows you have the discipline to be a writer – that’s important. And you write well and clearly, that’s a bonus. Writing a book is similar to writing a story, there’s just a lot more detail. Why don’t you simply plunge in and start? If you get well and truly stuck, then you can take a workshop or find someone to help you.

    In the meantime, you might consider your market. Is this a book for friends and family to enjoy? If so, self-publishing might be an option. If you think there is a wider audience, you could investigate traditional publishing.

    Good luck with your project and keep in touch.

  2. Reg Wannamaker says:

    Paula:
    I’m writing a book of things that have happened in my
    life over a long period of time. I have about 25 stories
    written in rough. One of the stories was in the Record
    on Dec24, 2010.

    I have one story, Paula, of an American Civil war treasure
    buried on a island in Lake Ontario. I know where the island
    is and the last part of the story behind it. I would like to put
    it together as one story, one book. But I don’t have the expertise
    to do it. The story would be part fiction and part fact. Paula,
    would you consider being a co-author and what would you expect
    in terms of payment for such an assignment………….Reg

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