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If writing is easy, you probably use ChatGPT.
The truth is, being a good writer is a difficult skill to master.It takes practice, discipline, creativity, and a willingness to experiment and mess up.
But you can become a more productive and effective writer with certain tried-and-true hacks. Whether you suffer from writer’s block or feel really bad, try these strategies to help your words fly off the page.
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1. Write every day
Writing takes practice. Even if he spends 10 or 15 minutes writing every day, his writing will inevitably improve. Think of it like working out. The more you train, the stronger you become.
Before you write, set a goal of what you want to accomplish in your 10 minute session. This can be emails, essays, fiction, love letters, etc. to important clients. It doesn’t matter what it is or whether it is good or not.
2. Concentrate on writing
Many writers advocate the Pomodoro Technique. This involves breaking your writing time into short, focused intervals or “pomodoros”. Usually 25 minutes each, followed by a short break.
Why is this effective? The Pomodoro Technique can help you avoid procrastination. It does this by forcing you to do short stretches instead of long stretches that can be intimidating. It also helps you manage your time better by scheduling your writing time and breaks ==
Bonus Tip: Silence all social media, email, phone, and web browser during Pomodoro to avoid distractions. It only takes 25 minutes.
3. Read more
It may sound like Captain Obvious, but you can’t be a good writer if you don’t read good writing. It’s like trying to be a good tennis player but not playing tennis at all.
Reading can be difficult in our hyper-distracted world, with Instagram posts and TikTok videos vying for our attention. Adults were found to read about two or three fewer books per year than they did between 2001 and 2016.
However, reading well-written books and articles can increase your vocabulary and expose you to different writing styles and techniques. By reading good writing, you can learn a lot from what you absorb. You’ll improve your grammar, choose smarter words, get better ideas, and your writing will be evaluated overall.
4. Done, not perfect
As professional freelance writer David Hochman said on the podcast: write about nowHochman has written thousands of articles for various publications. His advice to aspiring writers is to stop worrying too much about content.
“You don’t have to struggle to get it perfect,” he says. “Especially not when you are the final judge. Sometimes the simple act of finishing something is enough.
To hear the entire interview with David on creating hacks, check out the podcast below.
5. Write first, edit later
Editing yourself while writing is a rookie mistake. Professional writers know the best technique is to let it flow in the first draft by getting their ideas on screen without worrying about perfection. You can come back and edit it later.
When you don’t stop editing and focus on writing, your creative side can take control and come up with ideas you might otherwise never have thought of. It also avoids getting bogged down in details like stopping to do a “quick” internet search. This takes him two hours down an unproductive rabbit hole.
RELATED: Want to be a better book or essay writer? Start by avoiding these common spelling mistakes.
6. Don’t Tell, Show
One of the hacks that will make your writing stand out from the crowd is providing great sensory detail so the reader can experience the story, rather than just telling you what’s going on. It’s much more effective to tell a story what’s going on rather than just telling it.
For example, rather than saying, “My room was a mess,” you could write something more descriptive, like, “Dirty clothes were scattered on the floor and papers and books were scattered on the desk.” .
Or, as Anton Chekhov, a writer far superior to me, once said, “Don’t tell me the moon shines, show me the brilliance of broken glass.”
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7. Avoid clichés and fillers
Good writing is concise. Avoid unnecessary language that may confuse your readers. A good hack is to go through your writing after you’ve finished writing it, and truncate and burn any words that don’t join your argument.
“Very”: This word is often used for emphasis, but can be ambiguous and imprecise. Instead, try using more specific adjectives to convey the same meaning.
“Just”: This word is often used to downplay the importance of something, but is often simply unnecessary.
“Really”: Like “very”, this word is often used for emphasis, but can be imprecise. Try to understand it or use more specific adjectives or verbs to convey the same meaning.
“So”: Whenever you write that, especially at the beginning of a sentence, ask yourself if the “so” would be just as good without it.
Unless you are writing a paper that requires formal, academic language, avoid using exaggerated language that makes your writing stiff and boring. Try writing more like you are talking to a friend.
don’t beat yourself
Remember that writing is hard. Ernest Hemingway once said:
Do your best and learn from your mistakes.
Don’t let ChatGPT do all the work for you.