I was trying to come up with just one writing tip, but there were a couple of things I wanted to mention. So, I figured I’d just put them all down here, with a quick thought about each thing. Let’s dive in, shall we?
1. Stop comparing yourself to others. Whether you’re comparing yourself to a famous author, or one of your friends who seems to have it all figured out, the truth of the matter is, you are your own person with your own journey ahead of you, and you have so much to offer that is unique to you. And here’s the thing, if you always compare your rough draft to someone else’s finished book, well, that’s a recipe for disaster.
2. Read more. I know it’s hard to find the time, but there really is no better way to improve your own writing than to read widely. Read the things you enjoy and read the things that everyone is raving about. Pick them apart to know what’s working and what isn’t, then apply those things to your own writing.
3. Put aside distractions. It’s so easy to get distracted when you’re working on your computer. It’s easy to check social media, answer emails, or scroll endlessly through YouTube. But don’t do it! Be strong. Turn off the internet if you have to. Personally, I use a timer and write in short bursts. Do whatever you have to do to get the words down on paper.
4. Take breaks from the computer. I do some of my best plotting and planning when I’m not in front of the computer. When you’re not actively working, be thinking about your book. Talk about it with friends to work through tricky plot problems. Listen to music that gets you in the right mindset. Use your time productively so that when you finally get time to sit down and right, you don’t have to think as much before setting off.
5. Make your characters suffer. Ask yourself what the worst possible thing would be for your characters, then have that happen. Then do this over and over again. No one wants to read about a boring character, so force them to make decisions and deal with problems.
So, there you have it! Five quick tips that help me whenever I’m in a rut. Hopefully some of them help you as well!