Every writer I know wants some quick ways to improve their writing, and everyone I know is tired of winter and in the mood for spring. Spring is the time of new birth, new beginnings and…spring cleaning! Opening the house, letting in fresh air and getting rid of the cobwebs. So why not improve writing with a spring cleaning too?
Here are some writing tips to help you wake your creativity and get it to blossom and grow. (Okay, enough with the season metaphors, I promise:)
Three Ideas to Improve Writing:
- Organize to improve writing: A room of one’s own for writing would be nice, sure. But any space will do. Make or clean out a place to do your writing, even if it’s just a corner. If you have a place to go to every day to write, chances are you will. Get some inspirational items—photos, quotes, action figures, or whatever works for you and bring them out for your writing time. I print photos I find during research and make a collage board of the story I’m working on. Even if I go on a writing retreat, I can take my board with me. It indicates to my muse that we are working on the book and this is the place we are going to do it. Organize your ideas for writing as well. I carry a small notebook with me to jot down ideas and later, pin them on a board. I throw away the ones that won’t work then brainstorm how to fit the others in my writing.
- Declutter to improve writing: You get rid of the old to make way for the new, or to focus your life. Why not do the same with your writing and creative process? Make a new pledge—turn off your e-mail and cell phone, sit in your writing space/desk and commit to writing for a small chunk of time. That’s right, no need to bog yourself down with hours of commitment. Fit writing into your life and give it a place. That way, it won’t get lost in the daily clutter of life. Don’t leave your writing behind as you plan to declutter. As Stephen King advises in his book On Writing, get to the point and once you think your piece is perfect, cut the text by ten percent.
- Refresh to improve writing: As artists and writers, refreshing our creativity is of the utmost importance, and a step we usually skip in our creative process. As Julia Cameron advises in The Artist’s Way, go on an artist date once a week to explore. Whether visiting a museum or finger painting, do whatever excites and interests you. Seem like a waste of time? Absolutely not. You are filling the creative well and inspiring your muse.
For more ways to spruce up your writing, check out my article on common grammar mistakes.
Kathy Steffen is an award-winning novelist and author of the “Spirit of the River Series:” “First, There is a River,” “Jasper Mountain,” and “Theater of Illusion,” available online and in bookstores everywhere. Additionally, Kathy is also published in short fiction and pens a monthly writing column, “Between the Lines.” She writes from a log home in the woods of southwestern Wisconsin that she shares with her husband and three cats. Find out more at www.kathysteffen.com