love, life, and the pursuit of liberation
There are many sites and lists about constructing the perfect sentence or developing a strong character. Instead, I want to give you practical advice that will improve your craft. As always, I’d love it if you shared your thoughts and feedback, as well as shared this with your readers.
To be a good writer is to be a good reader. It is important to have mentor texts that emulate the kind of impression that you want to leave on your readers. Immerse yourself in the type of writing you admire. Ask yourself “Who are my favorite authors? What are my favorite books? What is it about their craft that resonates with me?” Study their structure and sentence variety. Study their voice and style. Not everyone needs to be Faulkner or Morrison, but we can look to our writing idols as guides to finding our own voice and setting our own bar.
This is where many writers differ and have different approaches. Some writers find it useful to set daily word count limits, others set daily time commitments. Some writers work on projects start to finish; some juggle many different projects at once. Whatever your approach, there are some key fundamentals
Let your writing dictate your audience, not the other way around. If you are forcing your writing to be funny or dramatic when that’s not your authentic self, you’ll come across as contrived, and it will reek. Be yourself. When it’s time to market yourself, you will go through a process of identifying your target reader. Even then, be mindful of your true character and personality.
Everyone may not make it on New York Times Best Seller list or even aspire to be. Still, it’s important to have an audience and peers, whether they be online, a formal writing group, or a collection of friends willing to read and critique. Readers confirm what’s working and resonating with your writing, as well as give useful feedback about what’s not. While it’s nice to have an “amen corner,” seek out people who will tell you the whole truth for you to consider.