No wonder I made no real progress as a writer. But everything changed when I started using a system. I wrote a novel, a musical, and over posts in less than a year.
I gained over a thousand followers and became a top writer in 8 categories on Medium. And the ball is still rolling — because I am still honing my system. I read, on average, three books a week.
The Hemingway Influence
On various topics. I also read comments and articles online.
I start and end my day by reading, usually a couple hours. I highlight interesting ideas, type notes and thoughts in my ebook, and send emails to myself or use my Notes App whenever I come up with an interesting potential idea. I have my entire writing system written out on a document that I adjust as needed see below.
One Writer Used Statistics to Reveal the Secrets of What Makes Great Writing
Currently, my goal is to complete or revise at minimum two articles per day. So when I sit down to write, I:. If, while working on one article, I come up with an interesting idea for a future article, I write it down immediately and then return to my current project. That way I always have a stash of ideas in various stages of completion to work on.
Here is one last tip I leave with you:.
Whatever your writing system is, write it down. For instance, this is my current writing system:. Key: Bolded items are nonnegotiable. Other initials refer to other publications. The Med chart is an excel spreadsheet where I keep track of everything I write. Kevary is the name of my current novel WIP work in progress. But writing things down make them more likely to happen.
By writing down my system I am holding myself to it. It keeps me accountable, and helps me to keep writing no matter what. On the other hand, there are people who do the opposite, writing anything and everything that comes to mind stream-of-consciousness style and then wondering why no one is paying attention. To avoid both errors, you need to come up with a writing system. Of course, systems vary from person to person. What worked for Hemingway may not have worked for King. What works for me may not work for you. You need to develop your own system, usually through trial and error.
Just remember to include ALL of the three components above: gathering material, writing, and honing your craft.
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You need all three legs to form the foundation that will help you to achieve your writing dreams. Sometimes it seems like those writing giants are so far beyond us poor peons. As the great Jack London once said:. Your writing system is that club. You can do that too. So stop waiting for your muse to come along and magic you into becoming a brilliant writer. If you really want to be a great writer, use a writing system:. Design your 3-pronged system that fits your life. Test and adjust it until it works.
Then write it down, and stick to it. Grab your free checklist now! Sign in. Get started. Want to be a Great Writer? Do This Instead.
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Stop at the appointed time! Sarah Cy Follow. A honed writing system. Three things: Gathering material Writing Honing your craft These three are interlinked, but they are also separate, like the three legs of a three-legged stool. Step 1. Where to gather writing material Mine your life history for ideas — look through your journal, search your memory banks, etc.
Really listen. Not only will this help you come up with ideas to write about, it can improve your relationship with the person everyone likes to talk about themselves, and there are definitely not enough listeners around to hear all the stories. Read books and articles. A lot of them. Keep an eye out for interesting day-to-day happenings.
Ex: I was blessed to have hilarious teachers back in high school, and I wrote all of their jokes in my notebook. Class time will be spent on live writing assignments, giving and receiving feedback, learning writing and research techniques, and having discussions about things that seem trivial right up until the moment that their ultimate significance is revealed. In this course we will look at the shifting boundary between genres that share a common root in lyrical expression. From the sonnet to chart topping pop to underground rap, what it means to be American has been built and is continually refurbished from the lyric up.
We will be asking many questions. What happens in the overlap between T. Eliot and Missy Elliott? How is the new generation of American poets integrating song and rap into their work? Our answers will come in both critical and creative forms. This journalism course explores the process of moving from event to news story. We will also meet with writers and attend readings, lectures, films, and plays. A combination of background readings, guided site visits, and personal exploration will give students tools for understanding the history of multicultural London.
The Romantic era was a time of extraordinary political, intellectual, and social volatility and vitality. Students will attend productions at least two per week of classic and contemporary plays in a range of London venues both on and off the West End, and will do related reading. We will also travel to Stratford-upon-Avon for a 3-day theater trip.
Class discussions will focus on dramatic genres and themes, dramaturgy, acting styles, and design. Guest speakers may include actors, critics, and directors. Students will keep a theater journal and write several full reviews of plays. As readers, we rarely consider the technologies, practices, and transactions that deliver us our texts. This course introduces students to the material study of writing, manuscripts, books, printing, and digital media.
It attends to the processes of copying, revision, editing, and circulation; familiarizes students with the disciplines of descriptive bibliography, paleography, and textual criticism; and introduces the principles of editing, in both print and electronic media. It offers hands-on practice in most of these areas. An intensive study of writing and film that explores California both as a place or rather, a mosaic of places and as a continuing metaphor—whether of promise or disintegration—for the rest of the country.