You can read books on how to write. You can follow dozens of writing blogs. You can experiment with different writing types. You can experiment with different length writing projects. You can discuss writing with other writers. You can go to college and study to become a writer. All that makes for a writing life and some of the top method is part of it.
You already know what the top method is before I tell you. It’s the one thing that is guaranteed to make you a writer.
All the reading, planning, discussion, and spreadsheet tracking will not make you a writer. They are all great secondary aids, but nothing tops writing.
Every published writer became a writer because they sat down and wrote. All those secondary tasks helped, but it was the writing that made them writers. You can do the same. Write often and write a lot.
Finished writing is always a result of first draft writing and multiple revisions. Stop trying to be a great first draft writer. Maybe you do write perfectly on the first draft. Nothing wrong with that. But, don’t focus on the quality of your first draft writing. It is what it is. Just write it.
Did you finish the first draft of a book and now it’s revision time. Start your writing day with writing. If you need to write another chapter into the middle of your book, that’s writing. If you need to revise the whole thing, that’s revision. Start with writing. Begin your next book or write an article. Don’t lose the writing habit because you have a lot to revise. You only need to revise the writing you want to publish.
Writing is the activity that will most help to improve your writing ability. Learning someone else’s writing methods can be a setback if they don’t work for you. Inspirational, yes. But only when you can’t write. And you can always write. Save the secondary methods for the end of your writing day. Write. Revise. Then, inspiration and study as a rewarding break. Go from the most difficult to the easiest writing tasks.
Writing first drafts is the toughest stage of writing. You know first drafts can be bad. You know you’re going to revise everything. When you are able to not only know it but believe it, you will be free of the perfectionist editor part of your personality.
Your internal editor won’t let you write until you know exactly what you want to write. Your internal editor won’t let you move on past a sloppy sentence or paragraph.
Your internal editor is like a manager who knows what the project should look like but can’t do the job themselves. Ignore the editor while you’re writing first drafts. Unlike a manager, your internal editor can’t fire you. Be productive. Write lots of first draft material. Much of it will be bad, but nothing will improve your writing more than doing lots of writing.
Article by Ivan Izo.