Saturday, 18 April 2009

Still putting off starting that best seller?

Practical Writing Tips for the Reluctant Writer

What's your favourite exercise? Do you hate gyms like me but enjoy walking? Or do you love heading off to the gym even when you're tired because you know how great you'll feel by the end of the session?

We need exercise to strengthen our bodies and destress our minds.

Have you thought that you need the same thing for your writing?

Do you need a daily fix or is it something you think you should do but never get around to? If the meaning of the word addict is that you have to take a substance every day then I happily admit to being a writing addict.

Writing gives me that adrenalin rush that exercise junkies talk about. A day without writing even if it's only an email or a shopping list is a day without excitement. But if you can't just get started even when you want to, then here are three reasons that might nudge you.

Recently I watched a TV report about a man about to run a marathon to raise money for research into childhood leukaemia - the disease from which his son died. When he started running he couldn't last 5 minutes without collapsing but now a day without his running didn't feel right.

What difference will you writing make to your business, your family or your self belief.

Lack of time
How many words can you write in 15 minutes? Here's an exercise that will show you what you can achieve in such a short time.

Set a timer and then start to write about a recent day. You can do it chronologically, as a list, or take one incident out of your day and imagine you're emailing a friend about it.

When the timer goes off, stop even if you're in mid sentence. Then count up how many words you've managed. Multiply the result by 4 and you have an hourly rate.

Even if you managed a small number it doesn't matter. Just take it as a starting rate. In 15 mintues you could write a blog entry, several tweets, the basis for an article or an email update.

Writing should be fun, not hard work. And the only way for it to be fun is to write about what you want to say. What topics fire you up and make you wish you could share with more people?

Start with those. If you're terrified of the grammar or spelling, forget them while you're writing. All that can be corrected later and by other people if need be.

Concentrate on the message you want to communicate and most important of all keep writing. Who knows how soon you'll be ready to tackle a writing marathon.

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