“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect”
~ Anais Nin
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Hey loves,

I hope that wherever you are in the world, that you and your family are safe and well. I’ve included my favourite writing tips below that really help me when writing! These tips can be used for all types of writing, whether it be creative fiction or nonfiction articles like this one!

Enjoy!

Just Start!

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
~ Stephen King, in ‘On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft’
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This can honestly be the hardest part! But if you want to write, don’t let yourself be held back. Put pen into paper or fingers on keyboard and just write whatever it is you’re thinking about. You can scribble or type out ideas, scenes, characters or just whatever is on your mind today. The more you make yourself just start writing, the easier it will be that you find yourself doing it more and more until it becomes second nature.
Remember, your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect! Write just to get your ideas out, you can edit it later.

Explore Writing Exercises

“I write to discover what I know.”
Flannery O’Connor
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Writing exercises are a great idea at any stage of the process. Whether you’re struggling to start or already have a whole bunch of writing that has been done. Writing exercises can be used to inspire, change, improve and evolve your writing. I’ve included some of my favourite writing exercises below for you to have a go at if you want. There’s also a bunch you can find just by googling or in a writing education book.

Set yourself a timer and write for that entire time. You’re not allowed to stop, go back and read over what you’ve done, or cross out anything. Keep writing for the entire time!
Try writing some sentences where the words are all a single syllable! This can be a fun way to try find the most concise way of describing something, especially if you’re someone who usually uses big words, this can be a great way to get out of your comfort zone.
Write from a different perspective. Have you written a story from the perspective of one character? Try writing the same events from the perspective of another character, or of someone who is observing the main character. This can be a great way of finding out new information and details about your world and the characters in it.

Play with prompts!

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”
~ William Faulker
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This is technically a writing exercise, but I thought it deserved a point all of its own because of how useful I find it!
Prompts are when you use something as a springboard or as inspiration for your writing. There are many different types of prompts, including half finished sentences, interesting images and songs. Find what inspires you! I actually have a collection of images' prompts that you can check out below.

Brainstorm

“Don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”
~ Franz Kafka
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Have a great idea but not sure how to write it or what to include in the finished product? Try doing a brainstorm!
I prefer doing these on paper, but you can get apps that can make a brainstorm as well. Especially as a visual learner, I find these really useful to see all my ideas in one place and how they connect to each other. They help me sort out the myriad of ideas swimming around my head!

Research research research!

“Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.”
~ Annie Proulx
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Research is so important no matter what type of writing you are doing. Clearly doing a nonfiction piece means you have to research what you are writing about. But you need to do research for fiction as well! Creative research involves discovering more about the mythology, the time, the setting and your characters lives and backstory. Reading also counts as research! I’m a strong believer that, the more you read, the better writer you will be.

Experiment!

“You can make anything by writing.”
~ C.S. Lewis
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There are so many different forms and styles of writing out there! If you know exactly what form and style you want to write in, great, but even then, you can gain a lot of knowledge by trying to write outside of your comfort zone. This is also a great way to find what sort of writing you like to do the most. You can experiment with different genres such as fantasy or romance and different forms such as short story or poetry.

Keep a writing notebook

“Your job isn’t to find these ideas but recognise them when they show up.”
~ Stephen King, in ‘On Writing: A Memoir to the Craft’
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Keeping a writing notebook is a great way to have all of your different ideas in one book, there for reference if you want to look at that great idea again.
I especially love using a writing journal to write down different random ideas, my dreams if they were interesting, observations of things I notice in my life and the writing exercises that I like doing. You don’t have to show this to anyone, so there’s no pressure!

Keep yourself accountable

“A word after a word after a word is power”
~ Margaret Atwood
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One of the hardest things in writing is to keep going, especially when you are working on a big project. A couple of the best ways to keep yourself accountable is to write out all of your writing goals with time goals, and creating a regular schedule of when you’re going to write. Also, if you want, you can include what you want to work on during this time and even rough word limits on how much you want to write during a certain time.
You can also find a writing buddy! This is a fellow writer who you can share your work with and can be useful for keeping each other on schedule.

Grow a healthy mindset

“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes all the difference.”
~ Stephen King, in ‘On Writing: A Memoir to the Craft’
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Writing can be a difficult and long process, so it’s important to remember what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. For me, it’s been very difficult to overcome self doubt and fear of being rejected, things that I am still working through and dealing with. Some ways that I have found to help myself with these feelings is working on my self-worth, so that I can work on being persistent with my goals, stopping self-doubt and believing in myself and my ideas.

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That’s all for now!

Thank you so much for reading. I hope you found these useful for your writing practice. If you have any questions about this article, feel free to reach out to me over messages or on instagram at rachel.abelha. I think the thing I most want people to take from this is to believe in themselves and write because they love it, not for anyone else. Also, feel free to check out my articles and collections below for more inspiration!

Oh, and remember to follow my profile so you don’t miss out on my next article!

♕Rachel♕
♕Rachel♕
@x_rachelann_x  

Until next time, stay safe my loves
xox Rach

This article was written by @x_rachelann_x on the Gazette Writers Team

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