When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.
Today: Tips from Jeff Goins
Who is Jeff Goins, Truth, I’d never heard of him before, but Seth Godin recommended one of his books so I popped over to his blog to check out who this guy is. He’s a writer, blogger, and speaker. Based on these tips, I think he’s pretty astute:
So… you want to be a writer?
Anyone who writes is a writer, but that doesn’t mean they’re a very good one. So let’s talk about how to become a better writer. We’ll begin with the basics — here are seven key lessons (with links to important articles about each):
- Writing is simple, but not easy.
- Before you get a larger audience, you have to get better.
- Practice makes you better; it’s the repetitions that make it effortless.
- Until you put your work out there, you’re only screwing around. Write for real.
- You can’t practice without discipline. Keep showing up and persevering.
- There will always be resistance; type through it, anyway.
- Get over your excuses and do the work.
Before getting started
Before you begin writing, ask yourself these important questions:
- Why do I want to write?
- Who am I writing for?
- What’s my message?
- Have I found my voice yet?
- What am I willing to sacrifice for my craft?
- What won’t I give up?
Tips for when you begin
Here is a list of 10 essential tips on writing:
- Write every day.
- Make sure your writing is effective.
- Don’t be lazy; do your best to avoid sounding stupid.
- Stay focused! Distraction is the enemy of all great art.
- Stop worrying about being a good writer; just write.
- Forget about fame; write what’s worth writing.
- Get over your perfectionist tendencies.
- Don’t write to get published.
- Write with conviction.
Build your platform
Although writers need to write first for the craft, it’s not a bad thing to want to get published. But that’s a byproduct, not a goal (For the real writer, anyway).
Look. This isn’t just something that happens accidentally. You have to work at it. So how do you create work that earns you the attention of publishers, exactly? You build a platform.
These days, a lot of writers use blogs and the power of the Internet to get their writing discovered. There’s no reason you can’t do the same. Here are 10 basic tips on blogging and building an audience that will help you get published:
- In order to get noticed, you’ve got to be intentional.
- Narrow your focus to broaden your audience.
- Learn from copywriters, and write for scanners.
- Engage with readers (get more comments on your blog).
- Be intentional about growing your blog traffic.
- Build an email list (like, yesterday).
- Use guest posting to tap into new audiences.
- Write great content, but don’t stop there; build relationships, too.
- Expect haters.
- Help people.
To have these tips delivered to your email, click Writer’s Tips here.
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a K-6 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, creator of two technology training books for middle school and six ebooks on technology in education. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blog, Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.