Cate, How do you write?
This is one of the questions that I’m most often asked is also one of the most vague and difficult to answer.
Seeking the ‘How to write’ rule book?
If you’re not confident about the process of writing, it would be ideal to have some kind of rule book. That would tell you how to put together prose and distill ideas into articles. Unfortunately no such general guide exists.
There are books to teach the basic building blocks of writing, such as spelling, syntax and grammar, but not for turning those into actual writing. There’s no quick and easy guide to write polished prose. This becomes especially difficult when you consider pleasing social media algorithms and search engine optimisation. If you write for marketing, how can get your work to the front page of Google? More importantly, how do you please your target audience and produce memorable content that people want to read?
That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are some tips and tricks that you can follow to steadily improve your technique. Over the next few weeks I’ll give you some of the ideas for writing.
The same way you get to Carnegie Hall!
Firstly, and most importantly, you have to practise. Writing is a skill, and like any skill, it takes practise. Try to write something every day: take up poetry, make daily blog updates, start a diary; in short do anything you can to find an excuse to apply the skill of writing every day. Alternatively, you can do a writing challenge, where you’re given a certain thing to write about each day for 30 days, designed to gradually improve your technique while not demanding much of your time.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it….
Relating to this, I’m setting all of you a challenge. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take a 30 day writing challenging. There are lots of challenges out there, my personal favourite being Sarah Arrow’s one, relating to all kinds of different targets: blogging, improving search engine optimisation, sales funnels, the list goes on. These kinds of challenges are a great way to improve your skills, particularly with regards to a specific field.
Find a challenge you like and stick to it, then comment below with which challenge you chose, and why you decided on that one. Let me know how your challenge is going, and what additional skills you’ve picked up along the way; you’ll be amazed how much your writing can improve just from doing it every day.