Four Exercises to Improve Your Writing
Writing is a funny endeavor. People assume it’s easy and that anyone can do it well, just because we were all taught to write at school. Like all you have to do is just write a lot and you’ll get good, like it’s a standard path. The reality is that writing is a skill just like many others, and it’s not just about doing it a lot.
You don’t see NBA players just play lots of games, just like you don’t see marathon runners just run marathons all the time.
With any skill, there are a bunch of different drills and exercises you need to do to level up various aspects of your skillset. I think it’s the same with writing. With that in mind, today I want to share with you four different exercises I’ve used over my years writing that I’ve found to be very effective.
I’ve used them at varying points and not with any kind of regularity. I just consciously turned to these exercises when I felt like my writing needed to level up. For that reason, these exercises aren’t meant to be in any kind of order that you should do them, nor should you try to do them in a consecutive fashion. You might do a couple of them within a few months, and go years before you feel the need to try another again. There’s no prescription here, just use whichever one feels most appropriate for you at the time.
1. Just write…for 30 minutes a day, for 30 days
This is one that is a must do for beginners, but something I’ll also go back to if I’ve ever spent any time away from the keyboard and feel rusty. One of the reasons I really love the term “wordsmithing” is because writing often does feel like the intellectual equivalent of banging a piece of steel on an anvil. You’re wrestling with words and sentences and feel the labor of it when you aren’t at your best.
That’s why one of the best ways you can get past this is to just write. Don’t think, don’t polish, don’t try to be Tolstoy or a Pulitzer Prize winner. Most of all, forget about earnings, forget about trying to please your audience and finally, forget about even publishing. That’s right, take the pressure off of even putting your work out there for that thirty days.