How to practice writing?

by Anuska

Question: On the very first page of your 'Novel Writing' you mentioned that if one wants to become a writer they should practice writing everyday. But you did not mention what should a novice writer like me should start writing about to improve her writing. Please tell me what I should be writing about to hone this skill?


Answer: The short answer is that is doesn't matter. Write what you like - fiction, nonfiction, poetry, reflections on your life and people you know, etc. You can do creative writing exercises or use writing prompts (both of which you can easily find on the internet or in books). Eventually, you'll stumble on an idea for a project that really excites you (a novel, play, nonfiction book, screenplay, etc.) and you can dedicate your daily practice to that.

Of course, if you know what your long-term goals are, you can focus your daily writing on that area. For instance, if you want to write fiction, you might start with short stories.

Julie Cameron, in her book The Artist's Way, recommends writing ten pages every morning on whatever happens to be on your mind as a therapeutic process to free up artistic blockages. So even when you have no ideas for stories, you should still maintain the habit of writing.

The daily practice is also a great way to find out if the writer's life is really for you. Some people like the idea of being a writer. They've bought into the notion that it is somehow a life of prestige and glamour (which it usually isn't). Later on, they may discover they do not enjoy the actual work of writing. By writing every day, you'll find out if you like writing every day. If you don't, you probably won't like being a writer.

You can also think of the daily discipline as a way of working through all your bad ideas or your bad sentences until you get bored with that and move on to more interesting ideas and developing a more mature style.

Song writers and visual artists often go through a similar process. They spend a few years making bad drawings or bad songs while they're learning their craft. Over time, their work improves until it becomes professional quality. (If it doesn't, they'll be forced to find another line of work.)

Comments for How to practice writing?

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 13, 2013
Useful Tip
by: Anonymous

I try to follow ur tips. Thanks!!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and submit your own question/topic! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Questions About Novel Writing.

search this site the web
search engine by freefind

Celebrating our 2nd year as one of the...

 Step-by-Step Novel Planning Workbook

NEW! Make Money Writing Nonfiction Articles

"I've read more than fifty books on writing, writing novels, etc., but your website has the most useful and practical guidance. Now that I understand how a novel is structured, I will rewrite mine, confident that it will be a more interesting novel." - Lloyd Edwards

"Thanks to your "Create a Plot Outline in 8 Easy Steps," I was able to take a story that I simply just fooled around with and went willy nilly all over, into a clearly defined, intriguing battle where two characters fight to keep their relationship intact, and try to find a balance in control of themselves and their lives. Thanks to you, I'm not ashamed of the poor organization of my writing." - Nommanic Ragus

"I am so glad I found your site. It has helped me in so many ways, and has given me more confidence about myself and my work. Thank you for making this valuable resource, for me and my fellow writers. Perhaps you'll hear about me someday...I'll owe it to you." - Ruth, Milton, U.S.A.

"I never knew what to do with all the characters in my head, but since discovering Dramatica I am writing again in my spare time. Thank you for making this available. Yes, it is a bit complex, and it does take time, but I love it because it works." - Colin Shoeman

"I came across your website by chance. It is a plethora of knowledge, written in a simplistic way to help aspiring writers. I truly appreciate all of the information you have provided to help me successfully (relative term) write my novel. Thank you very much!" - Leo T. Rollins

"I can honestly say that this is the first website that is really helpful. You manage to answer complex questions in relatively short articles and with really intelligent answers. Thank you for taking the time to write these articles and sharing them so generously." - Chrystelle Nash

"...had no idea that a simple click would give me such a wealth of valuable information. The site not only offered extremely clear and helpful instructions but was a very enjoyable read as well. The education from your wonderful site has made me a better writer and your words have inspired me to get back to work on my novel. I wish to give you a heartfelt thanks for How to Write a Book Now, sir." -- Mike Chiero