improve your writing

The Three Fastest Ways to Improve Your Writing in 2018

Here we are, two weeks into the new year. How are those resolutions going for you? Like, say, the one where you promised yourself you would improve your writing? Perhaps improve it so much that you’d nab yourself a publisher—or feel confident enough to publish your work yourself?

Don’t despair if you feel you haven’t made much progress on this goal. Because I’m here to tell you how to make it happen.  There’s just one catch.  You have to promise to do what I’m telling you to do. Okay? Okay. Let’s get to it.

Thing #1

Write.  Write a ton. Most especially, write fast.  Yeah, I know that seems counter-intuitive to improving your writing, but actually, it isn’t.  Because by writing fast, you get words on the page. And then you have something to work with that you can improve. If you don’t have anything written, you can’t make it any better. So write.  Go for quantity over quality—until you get to the revision stage. But that’s a topic for another day. 

Thing #2

Change your mindset.  Nobody likes a gloomy Gus, especially when it comes to writing. Yeah, there’s a glut of indie books on the market and traditional publishing is impossible to break into. But who cares? Your book may be the one that beats the odds.  Plenty of authors and writers are making good living doing what they love. And beyond that, writing is an innately powerful activity in and of itself. And, I would also submit, that shaping said writing into a story of some kind is even more powerful. Life changing, even. What you’re doing when you sit down to write is important. Don’t forget this. Celebrate it.

Thing #3

This is the one you’re going to hate.  Ditch social media. Specifically, Facebook. Because, really, it is an insidious plot to turn us all into complacent citizens who do nothing more than scroll through their news feeds.  So rise up and rebel! Spend your time writing instead of scrolling.  Oh, wait, there is that small fact to consider that you will want to spend time on social media building your platform. But if you do that intentionally and mindfully you won’t get lost in the Facebook vortex, wherein you tell yourself you’re just going to take a quick look and half an hour later you’re still scrolling, scrolling, scrolling.

Okay, who’s with me on this? Let’s do it.  Leave a comment and tell me how you’re improving your writing this year.

And if you’re struggling with any of these things maybe you need a coach. I have a couple spots open on my roster.  Email me if you’re interested!

About Those Get Your Writing in Gear Sessions

A couple weeks ago I did something that all the experts tell you not to do.

I "launched" a product without much fanfare.  Well, let's be honest, there was no fanfare.  I got the idea for the service, wrote the page and put it up.  Just like that.  No hype and not even much promotion, besides some tweets on Twitter.

But this morning the thought occurred that it might be nice to do, um, a little promotion on it.  But more than that I thought it would be cool to explain where the idea came from.  So here goes.

Every April and October (used to be December, but it is being moved next year) I'm the "book doctor" at Room to Write.  This is a writing retreat held in the heart of Nashville, where a dozen writers meet for four days to write.  We also walk the labyrinth, meditate, talk publishing, and meet for meals, but all those activities are optional.   If you'd rather stay in your room and write, that's fine, too.  Writers hire me for an hour session if they get blocked or need help with their writing.

And here's the deal: these hour-long sessions are rockin'.   They are so totally amazing, not only for my clients, but for me.  Because we sit and discuss where the writer is at in his or her writing, where he or she wants to be, and how to get there.  We read a bit of their work, and talk about it some.  And over the course of the hour something really amazing emerges: clarity.  Writers come to the session with a myriad of projects cavorting in their heads and clamoring for attention, and leave with clear direction on which to start first.  Or they are confused about a character.  Or a plot point.  Or they have an idea for a novel or memoir and don't know how to get started.

They walk out of the session with clear direction, and what I like to call "marching orders" for how to proceed.  They've generally got a list of books to read, perhaps some websites to visit, a few supplies to purchase.  They are energized and motivated.  And so am I.  I love, love, love doing these sessions.

So at the start of this month, when I was at the most recent Room to Write, I thought about all this and then struck myself on the forehead in the proverbial duh moment.   My epiphany was this: why not offer this service to people who cannot make it to Nashville for the retreat?  Why not offer these sessions on my site?

And so I have.  And, I have to say, the sessions are pretty damn rockin' on the phone as well.  When you sign up for a session, you automatically get sent a questionnaire that helps me learn where you are.  From there we schedule your time to talk.  And you get clarity.  And motivation.  And inspiration.  And energy.  And marching orders.  And resources galore.

For more information, to sign up or buy a session as a gift for someone, click the tab above or this link.  And by the way, the sessions are great for non-writers as well.   Creative types, entrepreneurs, small business owners, or anyone with a dream will benefit.