Challenge Accepted

Pen

As I try taking my writing more seriously, I have Google-d, Bing-d and Yahoo-d for tips from others out there. I’ve found one consistent theme. The more I search, the more they keep telling me to search for more.

Continuous learning, reading and most of all writing are the tips I see time and again.  There will never be a time to stop trying to improve your skills.  Should you ever come to a point where you think you have it mastered, go back and start from the beginning because you haven’t even scratched the surface.

Here are 3 tips that I have found to be a challenge:

  • Write every day
  • Keep reading new authors to expose yourself to new voices
  • Don’t use more words than you have to

They seem simple enough right?  So why can’t I commit to them? Well, I’m giving it a go. The first thing to do when overcoming an obstacle is to figure out exactly what the root of the problem is. I don’t believe I’m the only one who suffers from these challenges so lets say them out loud so we can move on and grow.

Writing every day

Can my grocery list count?  I find I let the rest of my life interfere on a consistent basis. Does that mean I don’t want to make my writing a priority?  I don’t think so.  I think I need to give myself some regimen and choose a specific time of day, when I know I’m not usually up to something else.  A routine might not work for everyone and maybe it won’t work for me for long, but hopefully it will create a healthy, constructive habit that becomes easier with repetition.

Keep Reading new Authors

I find this one really hard!  I’m so stuck on the authors I’ve already come to love that branching out is like going to your Mom’s for dinner knowing she is making liver & onions.  However,  I have started. This week in fact!  I picked up a book I bought years ago; yup, the last time I tried branching out.  It was by an author I had never heard of before and originally I think I made it to chapter 3 before discarding it.  Well I finished it this time.  It took me four sits but I finished it!  I’m not going to say I loved it and that my eyes are open or that I’ve been wrong all along though.  I did learn that I could do it and I did like some of the action sequences which is something I don’t usually find in my comfort books.  Now I’m looking for other authors to try out.

Don’t use more words than you have to need

This one is a challenge too. I find I’ve really started writing how I speak because of all the instant messaging I use between work and home.  I’m also naturally descriptive in my writing so learning when and how to scale back has been an experience. Stating the obvious, thinking I’m explaining something to my reader is what I’m trying to overcome. I need to give my reader more credit and if the rest of my writing is clear then they will have no problem keeping up.  I’m not really sure how to fix this one but I have started rereading sentences and asking myself if it’s necessary or would it be fine without a particular word.  It’s a start and I am continuing to research tips on refining my speech.

All you can really do is keep trying. Everyone has different challenges or different reasons for them but start with identifying them and then at least you know what you are dealing with.  Keep searching!



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