A Simple Writing Tip That Goes a Long Way
It won’t turn you into an expert but it’ll make writing more fun
I love writing, but it can go from fun to frustrating in seconds. You can read a hundred tips, do everything that they tell you to, and still feel like you’re doing something wrong.
No matter how hard you work, there’s no guarantee that your way is working. How can you tell that you’re reaching people? Are you sure you’re not just wasting your time?
If you hear these thoughts, then rest assured because you’re on the right track. Every writer doubts themselves every once in a while. What I’ve learned from being tortured by those thoughts for so long is that I may never be totally satisfied with the way I write…but I can have fun doing it.
Write What You Want to Read
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
— Toni Morrison
I think this might be the simplest yet effective writing tip known to man. What’s simpler than “Do what makes you happy”?
People will tell you never to write for yourself, because you should write something that’ll connect with an audience. It’s always about the people you’re showing your work to and never about you, the person who writes it. Completely ridiculous.
You should have your audience in mind when you write, but only so that you don’t get too relaxed while writing. Your work is still largely intended to be read by someone else, however, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also satisfy yourself while writing it. Basically, aim for the best of both worlds.
Don’t write purely to sell an idea. Write to help people improve. Write to help them through a tough time. Write to satisfy yourself.
How to Get Started
It’s not always easy to just write what you think you want. What if you don’t even know what you want? At that point, you need to start narrowing it down.
- Do you look forward to writing about this topic?
- Does it make you feel all warm inside?
- Does writing about it put you in an unstoppable flow state?
- Could you write about it forever?
It’s not just about liking the words you put to paper. As you can see above, you’ve got to be in love with them. And you might have to play a few mind games with yourself to figure out whether you’re following your heart or not.
I like to put myself into my readers’ shoes. For example, when I’m stuck on a part in one of my books, I just wonder what I’d want to happen next. It doesn’t have to make total sense in that moment, it just has to be fun. The other details can be ironed out later.
The same goes for articles like this. Make sure that every sentence is important in its own way. It should all be useful info, with zero filler. Otherwise, you’re just wasting time.
It’ll Even Make Editing Easier
Editing is an essential part of the writing process, but it’s also a huge pain. It requires you to examine every line you write like you’re a surgeon in the operating room. That feeling is ten times worse when you’re editing something that you didn’t like writing in the first place. It feels unsalvageable.
That’s why editing something you love is a different story. The process goes from what’s essentially a rewrite to just a touch-up. You might even have fun editing, which is rarer than you think it is.
Sometimes you can only love your writing after editing it. I’ve straight up rewritten so many books and articles just to be satisfied with them. It’s like swinging a pickaxe in a mine, all to find the treasure that lies within.
Writing is supposed to be fun first and work second. It’s way too hard to do just because it pays (which it really doesn’t, so that’s a terrible reason). Make sure you love your work before you put it out there. It’ll help everyone else feel the same way.