How I became a better writer
I practice creativity every day. Like I work my muscles through different movements, I need to work my creativity by making things.
This morning it's writing. Every day it's writing. A writer doesn't need much. A blank page and a tool to write with. A pen, a typewriter, a keyboard. Any will do. The magic happens when the page fills up with words.
I can't control what will come out but I can control being here. Being at the blank page. If I show up to the blank page I can start with a letter. Turn it into a word, a sentence, a paragraph, a story.
My English teacher didn't like my essays. I listened to her for a long time. My writing wasn't good. But then I realised. I'm not trying to impress Ms. Draisy anymore. I'm trying to impress myself. I'm trying to write a story I'd like to read.
If I'd like to read it, someone else might like to read it. That's the criteria. If I'm not liking it, how could I expect someone else to like it?
When I'm stuck I pretend I'm speaking to someone. What am I trying to say? I pretend I was saying it to them. Good morning, nice to meet you. Let me tell you a little about me. I'm a writer so the most important thing I can do every day is practice writing. What do I write about? Most of the time it's whatever is in my head. If I'm thinking about something I put it down.
That's the trick. Differentiate yourself through authenticity. You've got a story no one else has. Tell it. These are notes to me as much as instructions to you.
The next one? Don't worry, I like tricks too. Remove needless words. People don't like to read lawyer speak. Not even lawyers like to read lawyer speak. If you look at a paragraph of text and get scared, someone else will too. Keep your sentences short. Not too short but short enough someone can get the point and then move to the next. You want to make it like a dance.
That's it. Make it a dance. From the first word, the reader should be dancing to the end. When the dance ends they should be wanting more.
I should've ended it there. But there's one more thing. Your work will be made better if you delete the first and last paragraphs. Even I know the rule and I'm surprised by it. Try it. Remove this paragraph and the first one. See what happens? The meaning remains. Good stories start at chapter 3.