I’m a glass COMPLETELY full girl!
I also like to start with the positive.
Don’t be so hard on yourself for not being as good of a writer as you could be.
Once you realize the reasons you’re a bad writer, you can learn how to become a good one, and eventually, a great one.
See, it’s all up from here.
3. You don’t write daily.
It’s important to write daily to build your habit of writing.
That’s a vital step, but it’s not the main reason I think you should write every day.
The reason you need to write daily is to get out all the bad ideas you have locked up in your head.
As a writer, your gut is really important. You have to start to understand the bad ideas from the good.
Notice I didn’t say bad writing. Why did I say “bad ideas” instead? Because the first time you write an idea down, whether it’s a good idea or bad, it’s got a 75% chance of being written poorly. (More on this in my post about shitty first drafts.)
If you only write down your occasional ideas, you probably think every idea is fantastic. And that’s just not true.
Once you start flushing out more ideas, you’re going to get rid of all those terrible ideas you’ve been holding onto because you’ll finally begin to see all the really good ones emerge.
And those are the ones you’ll write, and rewrite, and edit, and ultimately enjoy.
2. You don’t read enough.
How many books did you read last year? How about last month? Last week?
Here’s the real question: Did you read every day for the last year?
You’re job as a writer is to convey an idea or a moment with the strongest words possible to create the clearest picture. The only way to do that is to read.
Reading every day expands your vocabulary. The more you read the better you’ll describe scenes and convey emotions in your writing.
And no, I’m not talking about reading your friend’s Facebook updates.
Read a chapter of a literary book every day. Check out The Poetry Foundation and deeply read a poem or two. Or maybe head over to Electric Literature and learn more about the MFA bubble. (I learned 2 new words from that article!)
If you spent 15 minutes a day reading and learned 2 new words a day, you will have read for 91 hours in a year and learned 730 new words.
Now, start checking books off your GoodReads list!
1. You haven’t tried enough styles of writing.
Your voice is what makes you unique, and the best way to find your voice is to try out a lot of different styles of writing.
You know the saying about how you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with – that applies to writing too.
If you have a flat book or story, it’s likely because it is the sum of only one style. Books are boring when they are solely comedic, no matter how funny they are to an audience.
But, once you try out a blues poem, a horror story, journalistic non-fiction, an anaphora, and comedy, you’ll derive your own unique spin, and that will become your voice.
There is such a thing as “too many styles” applied to one piece as well. It’s all about finding a balance that works for you, and you really don’t know what that is until you try as many out as you can.
I’ve got a new 30 day course to help you find (or expand) your voice.You’ll hone your writing gut, write every day, and learn over 15 styles of writing. Learn more about “Who Said You Can’t Be A Writer” and register today.