As a writer, inspiration can come from anywhere. Sometimes you have to look for it, and sometimes it will hunt you down. Lately, I’ve taken an active approach to finding and giving inspiration when possible.
For today’s post, I decided to tap into my network to get the best pieces of advice from writers for writers. Each writer was asked “What is your best piece of advice for fellow writers?” Here are their responses.
The first thing I’ll say is tell a story. The most compelling way to inspire action and influence behavior is through storytelling. There is always an opportunity to share a compelling narrative regardless of the category, topic or industry.
Secondly I would say to remember that it’s not about you. The information that you are sharing should be for the reader not you. Put more focus and attention on impacting than reader than impressing them. Impacting change in someone’s life is way more impressive than using 4 and 5 syllable words that no one understands but you.
I recommend that writers outline a three-part plan before starting to write.
The three parts that every essay or report must have are an introduction, body, and conclusion. The body should be planned first. Jot down your main points in a list, arrange them carefully, and gather background information. Now you can start drafting your piece. Next, write the conclusion, explaining what you have demonstrated in the body of the piece. Last, plan an attention-getting introduction that leads readers into the body of your essay or report.
A structure of introduction, body, and conclusion for your essay or report provides readers with a roadmap to follow through your points. This increases the likelihood that readers will understand what you are trying to convey and conclude that you succeeded in informing or persuading them.”
Read it out loud to someone and watch their facial expressions – that emotion tells you very clearly what doesn’t make sense and what is really impactful.
Write first edit later, I have even taken it so far as to setting my font to white and just writing everything I have on my mind, and once I am done writing, I switch the font back to black and begin the edit process. Rinse and Repeat. You will be surprised how well your writings will end up.
Write to a specific person you know.
Write every day. No matter what it is.
Don’t be afraid. Believe in the value of your work. Own it.
My tips would be to start off writing about something you can basically write off the top of your head.
If writing in one straight go feels like too much, never underestimate the power of the outline. Just get some rough, major points on the page, and flesh those out one by one, rather than hoping to nail down the entire project in one swoop.
Share personal stories that package the ‘mental VELCRO’ you want to leave with your reader. Making an emotional connection is always more memorable than creatively delivering facts and figures. Add images!
Think really well (about what you) want to achieve before embarking on the adventure of being a blogger or an author. It is super important to find the WHY of what (you) are doing.
Sure, it’s to sell books or products through their affiliate marketing links or whatever else the immediate goal is, but to be successful – they must be helpful; they must have a bigger picture in mind – their ultimate goal should not be to get rich; rather – to make the world a better place by helping their readers to achieve their goals.
Everything you read and everything you’re told isn’t going to matter at all if you don’t write. If you want to be a writer you have to write. Think of it like muscle building, except that you have to do it every day. And that’s just the bare minimum requirement. You also have to challenge yourself as much as possible: increasing productivity by setting new word-count goals is just part of life for a writer. Also, I find (as much as I hate to say it) reading is also requirement. But you can’t just read the fun stuff or only the things you like. That’s too easy. You have to branch out into other niches (or genres) and improve your vocabulary, but not too much. You don’t want to become one of those writers who constantly uses words nobody knows and everyone hates.
Beyond that, be curious. I’m still learning as a writer. I have no idea where commas go and I always have to look at my keyboard to figure out which one is a semicolon and which one is a colon. But, I’m ever-curious and I can feel that curiosity helping me improve every day.
Consider the value you hope to provide when creating an outline, and the potential value of each post before you click publish. Anyone can write, but your audience will respect you for consistently providing valuable content if you put their needs, wants and pain points ahead of your marketing goals.
Writers, I want to hear from you. What is your best piece of advice for fellow writers? What piece of advice above did you find the most helpful? Comment below!