Handwriting
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Read Widely

First rule of writing well is to read well and read widely.  Read everything you can get your hands on.  Don’t limit yourself to vampire fiction if you want to write about vampires.  Read history, romance, non-fiction.  It's learning good writing by osmosis.  

Keep a notebook about what you have read.  Describe what you liked or disliked about writing.  What pulled you into the story?  How does a writer achieve that? 

James Altucher recommends analysing every word and asking yourself why was it chosen.    

Write Every Day

Enough said.  Every writer who achieved some sense of notoriety wrote every day.  

Hemingway had a quota of 500 words.  Trollope wrote 2000 words every morning before going off to work in his postal office.  

Pick a daily quota and stick to it.  

Develop Your Creativity

Claudia Altucher wrote “Become an Idea Machine.”  She recommends writing ten ideas EVERY day.   

It's like a workout for your mind.  It trains your “idea muscle.”  She says that doing this exercise will change your life every 6 months.  The book provides various topics to write about for each day  to get you started in your brainstorming abilities.  Claudia explains how these topics will benefit you and others.  

I can already see the benefits of this advice.  I am writing more and I am coming up with more ideas in other areas of my life.  

This practice helps to structure your thinking, makes you more effective.  It also helps you with problem solving.  And it's just plain fun! 

Become An Idea Machine: Because Ideas Are The Currency Of The 21st Century
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exercise your ideas muscle and see your life improve

Steal

Because that's what great artists do

"Good artists copy, great artists steal." Pablo Picasso 

Every creative genius that ever walked this planet copied someone else’s work.  Writers, painters, scientists studied the craft of people they admired.  Modeling successful authors is one of the most important steps in becoming a better writer.  

Do you like Stephen King or Jane Austen? Open one of their stories and copy it.  It is a very simple exercise yet very powerful.  You will get the feel of the way they structure their sentences and eventually you will come up with your own way to do it.  

Austin Kleon in his book “Steal like an artist” writes widely about why stealing someone’s work and making it your own, helps you to develop your unique voice.  Obviously, don't publish it. This is just to practice the craft.  

Show Your Work

Austin Kleon talks about the necessity of showing your stuff to the world.  It allows you to tweak your craft as you go along.  It also helps with publicity. 

Seek out people that will critique your work in a constructive way.  Find people who know their craft and are generous with their time and feedback.  Find a way to give back to them for their help.  

Believe In Yourself

This is probably the most important advice.  Create an unshakeable belief in your writing ability.  Tell yourself that you can and will get better.  You can’t write a masterpiece out of the blue.  Those who wrote something wonderful put in hours and hours of work.

If you just started taking your craft seriously, it may take some time before you can produce a work of art.  Don’t despair.  Give yourself time.   Respect yourself for wanting to improve. Create an environment that encourages your writing.