We’ve all been to that dark place where we lose faith in our writing. Perhaps your articles aren’t being received as well as you’d hoped, or you’re getting negative feedback on a manuscript that you’ve been working on. It can take the wind right out of your sales and make it really hard to carry on down the road when you can’t shake that feeling that something is missing from your work. Well firstly, congratulations! Just by reading this, you clearly care enough about your craft to want to improve it and that’s the first step in taking your writing from good to great. But what else can we do take it to the next level?
Write what you don’t know
During a recent interview we did with Joanna Penn from www.thecreativepenn.com, she gave out a great piece of writing advice. If you haven’t checked out that show, why not? Ok, I’ll let you off, but if you want to check out it now, here’s the link.
We’ve all heard the old advice to write what you know. Well Joanna suggested an alternate route; write what you don’t know, but what you’re interested in. She suggests there’s only so much that we know, and pretty soon we’ll have written it all. Our interests however, can stretch far and wide. She argues that we spend so much time researching topics for our writing, that it’s more fun to research things that you’d like to find out for yourself. This is a great way to keep your writing fresh and inject some much-needed passion into your work!
Without new experiences, our writing can become flat. Without the beating heart of true experience, the words are cast onto the page only to shrivel and die. Get out there and live life. Connect with people and say yes to new experiences. These new experiences will flood your soul and fill your writing with life.
Be interested in different things
The more things you’re passionate about, the better! Cultivate a diverse taste in everything you enjoy. Listen to different music; read different books; listen to a wide array of podcasts; read poetry. By having a wide interest in many different things, we can make connections in our minds that we’ve never made before. All of these styles and ideas will creep through and influence your work. You’ll become passionate about many different things and it will most certainly show in the quality of your work.
So often we hide ourselves away, afraid of what other people will think of our true interests and quirks, but it’s precisely these that make you who you are. Be bold. Be yourself without fear of judgement. By indulging in your true passions, it will become easier to find your true voice on the page. You’ll also surround yourself with like-minded people who will support and encourage you along the way.
Well there you have it. By following these tips, you’re writing will be back on form in no time, and so will your confidence in your own abilities. Remember, this is a journey and it’s not just about the destination. Enjoy the process and have fun along the way! Pretty soon, you’ll be taking your writing from good to great!
As always, keep writing, keep learning and build a better book!
Peter Turley is a writer, editor, blogger and podcaster living in the North West of England where he grew up. He reads, writes and edits fantasy fiction and co-hosts www.thebookeditorshow.com with Clark Chamberlain. Follow him on Twitter @PDTurley