Here at Writer's Edit, we've learnt everything we know through reading. Reading, any kind of reading is a learning experience, whether it's appreciating a new style of writing, learning what creates a really dislike-able character or what frustrates you in a novel, it's all learning. It's experiencing a product (for want of a more romantic term) that one day, you will also want to create. What could be better education than that?
Before our serious writing educations began at schools and universities, what made us talented writers was the fact that we read, and keep reading. Besides the fact that you can experience a whole other life within a book, books teach you about what kind of writer you wish to be. When you read, you take in things like effective dialogue, unique characterisation, masterful plots and foreshadowing, you may not be aware of it at the time, but you are noting these techniques down for reference later on.
Yes we know, this sounds like cop-out advice, but hear us out. Writing isn't only the physical act of putting pen to paper, we strongly believe that it's also the whole discipline of it. So our advice is: write something everyday. We're not saying that you have to hammer out 5000 words of your current novel every night, we mean just write anything - a sentence, a paragraph, a little snippet about how your day was, a list of what you want to achieve, even what you want to buy from the supermarket - whatever you feel like. The idea is to get into the habit of making it a daily occurrence as much as possible. That way, when you sit down to write seriously, getting started becomes a lot easier. Trust us.
One of our favourite things to do of a night is use the 'I Remember' writing prompt. Basically, what you do is you start your writing off with "I remember..." and then all you do is pick any memory, could be from today, could be from when you were one year old, it doesn't matter - just pick one and start writing. You may actually end up with a really raw and intimate piece that you could use in another work - it has happened!
3. Get the Hell Away From Your Desk
Honestly, step away from the glaring screen, grab a notepad and pen and go somewhere. Anywhere that's not your house or your office. Some of our favourite pieces have been written sitting on the concrete in the middle of Martin Place, watching the business-people-types bustle by or at McDonalds, scoffing down some McNuggets. Whatever place tickles your fancy; a park, a cafe, a friend's balcony... just go there. Sit with your notepad in your lap, your pen in hand and just relax. If you feel like writing; write, if you don't; don't. This is a great way to take the pressure off yourself, and by doing so, maybe you'll find some inspiration.
If you're after some more tips and advice for writers, click here.