Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Practical Writing Tips

Writing tools: what’s essential for a writer?

Lately in the Guardian Saturday review section they’ve run a series of pictures of writers’ rooms with explanations from the writer about the room and what’s in it. Every week it fascinates me to see how varied the rooms are; as varied as the writers featured.

Part of writing is creating the atmosphere in which we write. For foreign reporters their ambience has to be created on the hoof, literally, and at speed. For most of us it can be done in a more leisurely way. But I believe it’s a tool that can enhance your writing.

Often tools are thought of as things like dictionaries, thesauruses and the like. Books that help us search for that word or phrase that makes a difference. And depending on what you’re writing there may be research sources for your current project.

I think one of the most important tools isn’t talked about very often but is vital to success.

That’s your writing mindset.

What often distinguishes the professional from would be writer is mindset. That attitude that you can write or carry out some part of the writing process as you choose. I work with a lot of businesses and their work is usually specific to deadlines and often word length.

What I had to teach myself when I started working with business clients was how to force the inspiration you need to complete projects quickly. Such as a recent project for a client who wanted the job turning round in 24 hours.

Waiting for inspiration wasn’t an option and the mindset kicked in that I could do it.

Like anything else in a writer’s armoury of tools it’s something that becomes stronger the more you use it. So work out what fires you up to write at your most powerful and use it as a conscious tool. Find a way to create that mindset whenever you have a deadline or the inspiration seems to have disappeared.

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