Writing as much as you can will help you improve faster than writing the best you can. Why? Because the most effective way to improve at anything is with practice. The more you write, the more you will know what to write next and what paths to avoid.
You can read about how to write until you’re old and gray and it won’t make you a better writer. You could be wasting time learning to write novels only to discover, when you sit down to write, that you prefer writing non-fiction.
Successful Bad Writers
Have you noticed that some of the top blogs have spelling errors, missing and extra words, and other mistakes? They’re playing the productive writing game by writing lots of articles quickly. I’m convinced some are even writing directly on the web; no revisions at all. Many of these bad writers produce interesting material. They may not be able to write well but still have something interesting to say.
Some successful bad writers will keep studying how to write and become speedy writers who write well. Others will take their success as a sign they can already write and produce some terrible books. Every writer can benefit from continuing to study writing.
Unsuccessful Good Writers
No examples this time. Where are the good writers who don’t produce much? Polishing their writing. That can go on forever. I’ve spent a few years polishing writing that never made the grade myself.
When writing well is your main goal, you’re using everything you already know you can do well. Your chances of accidentally producing something new are low. It takes risk to achieve success. Take lots of chances. Try many kinds of writing. Be willing to have some failed projects.
Writing a Lot as a Goal
When writing a lot is your main goal, you will be forced into new territory. There will be a block to continuing a current project, and instead of stopping until you find a solution, you’ll start another project. You’ll also hit dead ends and complete material not worth publishing. Your desire to keep writing will stretch your abilities as a writer.
I’m not suggesting you abandon quality. The material you produce in a hurry can be turned into a quality product through editing and revision. Many of the best writers have mentioned how quickly they wrote their first drafts and how bad they were.
How Can You Write More?
Writing experiments: There are hundreds of writing experiments you can run as a way to write more. Some may catch and become your preferred type of writing. Search for “writing” and look for articles on types of writing you haven’t tried. Search for “writing careers”, learn about a new one, and try writing something. Write book summaries. Write newspaper articles. Short stories. Haikus. Poetry. Songs. Pulp fiction. Free-writing. For that matter, search for “writing experiments”.
Idea files: Create idea files for your favorite subjects, both fiction and non-fiction. Write all the ideas out quickly. Write first drafts without concern for typos, grammar, and other errors. Finish the good ideas. Retire the bad.
First draft like a hack: It’s how most published writers write first drafts anyway. Join the crowd. Create an outline for a book and then write the whole thing non-stop. Forget about the problems you see as you write. Leave a note behind and keep going until the end.
Judge your writing success by quantity, not quality. High quality is a goal. It will happen anyway when you keep learning. Quantity is something you can always work on. Keep writing and improving. Writing a lot teaches you more than writing well. When you continue learning, writing a lot also teaches you to write well.
Article by Ivan Izo.