I’m alive! Sorry for the long wait since my last post—I’ve been without my laptop for over a week (major withdrawals!). I was away interstate for the Hillsong Conference (which was amazing) and only just got home. It was an incredible week and sooo much super-cool stuff happened (I even saw a pod of whales migrating north during my flight home!) and I’m still processing a lot of it. But while I was at the conference I went to a master class called Creative Writing: For The Love Of Words which was über-awesome, and I wanted to write a quick post with some of the things I learnt in it. I mean, I learnt way more than what I’m about to write, but I’ve had an average of five hours sleep every night for the last week (at best) and want to keep this short and sweet to lessen the amount of mistakes I’ll probably make. I’ll write more in other posts later (including some great things I learnt in a marketing master class called Understanding Your Audience – which was also really informative).
… But, like I said, I’ll address all that later (when I’m actually awake!). Until then, here’s ten practical writing tips from the director (?) of the Hillsong writers’ guild, Karalee Fielding. Most of them are really obvious, but it’s good to have a reminder from time to time!
So, here goes!
1. Know why you write. What’s your motivation? Why do you do it?
2. Find the time to write. If it’s important to you, then you need to prioritise it.
3. Read more than you write. And keep in mind that what you read affects the way you write, so step out of your comfort zone from time to time and read books that will better your own writing.
4. Don’t just write when you feel like it. One wise woman said, “There are times when writing feels like sprinting, but most of the time it feels like inching.” Just knuckle down and do it even if you lack motivation. The more you get into it, the easier it will come.
5. Stick to a deadline. Give yourself writing goals (realistic ones!) and meet them.
6. Do your research. Another wise person said, “If writing feels like laying in a field of wildflowers, then that’s lovely, but to me it’s hard; it’s good, hard, worthwhile work.”
7. Have the tools. Make sure you use everything you can to better your writing. Use a thesaurus, use a dictionary. Use whatever tools you can to help grow your craft.
8. Learn. Go to a writers’ conference. Take some classes. Get around other writers and glean off their knowledge. Immerse yourself in the writing world.
9. Write. Re-write. Re-write again. In a nutshell, this simply means EDIT!! Edit like crazy. Then edit your editing. Make your writing as clean as possible.
10. Believe in yourself. Writing can be a lonely passion, so stay positive and maintain hope that it will all be worth the effort.
How cool are those tips? They’re so practical and easy to follow. I love them – they’re very encouraging! And one more thing I loved was this simple statement: Don’t Waste Words. I could write an entire blog post on those three words, and I just might at another stage. (Yay!)
Okay, I think I’ll let you ponder on all this and I’ll write more on everything else I learnt later. Until then, I want to leave you with one last statement that I think is fabulous. It was in response to how some people feel uncomfortable admitting that they’re writers. Because, really, what is a writer? Is a writer only someone who is published? Does a blogger count as a writer? Or only novelists? What about journalists? Or poets? Who, exactly, can claim the title of ‘writer’?
Well, here’s the beautiful answer that was given in the master class:
“You’re a writer if you write. You’re a writer if you dream and live in words.”
Be encouraged, writers! And embrace your love of words with pride!