How to be a better writer (part 2)

Following last week's post on How to be a better writer, here are more tips.

  • You have to write. A lot. Constantly. Daily would be the optimum.
  • Most of what you write will suck. A lot at first, less after a while. But it will never not suck. You have to get used to it. (Which is you write daily. If you write so much, you have to get lucky from time to time.)
  • You get to a good piece of content by editing. Editing so much. Editing is what makes a writer. A written piece of content only starts to be something in the editing process. To quote Verlyn Klinkenborg: "Most of the sentences you make will need to be killed. The rest will need to be fixed."

For some more practical lessons:

  • Write the first draft without interruption, without looking at what you wrote; just write, write, write. Don't change anything while writing the first time. Let it flow.
  • Let the piece rest for a few days before you edit the living shit out of it. Again, don't edit while you write, and don't edit immediately.
  • Edit by removing. Revise toward brevity. Writing long sentences is easy. Writing clear, concise, short sentences is hard. Opt for hard!
  • Write slowly (by hand?) if you need to think deeply during the writing process. Write fast (by keyboard?) if you want to vomit all over the paper (or screen). Speed is a tool in your writer's kit.
  • Have a growing list of ideas, and check this list daily to figure out what to write about.