Monday, December 23, 2013

Five Ways to Improve Your Writing in 2014

One of my personal and professional goals for 2014 is to develop my writing skills. I want my writing to be more effective and engaging for my clients, as well as for my blog readers. Here are my Five Ways to Improve Your Writing in 2014:

1. One way to develop your craft is to follow websites and blogs that offer tips, tutorials and challenges. Two good website resources I follow are: CopyBlogger and FaithWriters.

2. It also helps to be a voracious reader. I read news materials, a host of blog sites, and lots of books - both fiction and nonfiction. (Books I reviewed in 2013)

3. Another way is to take part in a writing intensive such as a writers conference, a retreat or a monthly get together with other writers. I'm researching those options. I have been to two Allume conferences--which gave me great ideas, tips and inspiration--but we did not do much actual writing at the conference. That is to say actually sitting down to write was not part of the schedule. I'd love to attend a workshop or conference that really focused on writing.

4. As they say, "practice makes perfect." writing daily in a journal and setting a regular blog schedule (and sticking to it) are ways to get in that practice. Three ways I journal:

Daily planner: I use my At-A-Glance weekly/monthly planner to keep track of what happened each month on the monthly calendar and capture quick notes or reflections about what went on in our life that day for Project Life.

For more personal reflections, writings, devotions and lists, I use my Day Spring Journal that I got at Allume. It is a beautiful bound book that I truly enjoy. 

For on-the-go purposes, I use Evernote Notebook, which syncs with my phone, iPad and laptop so no matter where inspiration strikes, I can capture it.

I also cannot wait to use my 2014 Blogging Planner from SayNotSweetAnne to help me get more purposeful and consistent in my posts.

5. Having a space to write in also helps set the stage for creativity. I'm so excited about the new writing spot I recently set up in the quiet of my bedroom. I have this little bay window that looks out onto my overgrown back yard. It is the perfect nook for my mother's antique dressing table, which I am now using as a writing desk. 

The table comes with a mirror that I have not yet attached. If I set it up, I will be able to see the TV in its reflection. However, the mirror may block my view outside, and I suppose that I really should write without the TV on to distract me. 

I'm not so sure the little stool is the best chair for my back, and it's not perfectly ergonomic, but it is really cozy and quaint.

Adjacent to the desk is a comfy chair and my bookcase library of books I aspire to read or are worth reading again.

The reality is, except for my work-from-home Fridays and late at night, I don't get much time alone in this room. But I'll cherish the moments, and the space, and hopefully be inspired to write.

If writing is a way you express yourself, I hope these tips will encourage you to push further in 2014!  Here's to creativity.