Writing Radio Debuts This Week


For awhile now I’ve had this idea to create a monthly podcast all about the writing topics that I most get asked about by clients and the students in the workshops I teach. That’s why I’m so excited to announce that I am officially launching my new podcast: Writing Radio. 

Each month in the podcast I’ll be doing a mini-writing workshop on hot topics that will help make you a better writer.

This month’s topic is… Read more

How To Be A Better Writer

By Jennifer Blanchard

If you’ve mastered the fundamentals of writing (grammar, vocabulary, all the elements of style), you’re already on track to becoming a better writer. And there are lots of other things that you can do to continue on that path. Things like writing every day, reading good writing and taking a writing course.

It’s important to continually improve your writing in whatever way makes sense for you. The harder you’re willing to work, the better writer you’ll be.

To help you out, here are some can’t-miss article about becoming a better writer. Read a couple and try some of the tips out:

And be sure to come back and let us know how you did.

Stop Procrastinating In 5 Simple Steps

By Jennifer Blanchard

Over and over writers say that they want to learn how to stop procrastinating. So here are 5 steps that you can take:

  1. Sit down in front of your computer.
  2. Open a Word document.
  3. Place your fingers on your keyboard.
  4. Start typing.
  5. Don’t stop ’til you’ve written at least 500 to 1,000 words.

Yes. It’s really that simple.

Set A Specific Writing Time To Avoid Procrastination

By Jennifer Blanchard

If you’re like me, you tell yourself almost everyday “I’m going to write today.” And then you find 300 other things to do that are just “so much more important,” like cleaning the bathroom, washing the laundry, picking up after your kids, etc. And then you never end up getting around to writing. And then you feel guilty for the rest of the day/night/week.

But what you don’t realize, is that by saying “I’m going to write today,” you’re setting yourself up for failure. Especially if you’re a procrastinator.

When you tell yourself you’re going to “write today” or that you’re going to spend “the day” or “the weekend” writing, you’re bombarding yourself with having to write, which makes you feel overwhelmed, and then you look for a million other excuses not to write.

To get writing done, instead of saying “I’m going to write all weekend,” tell yourself “I’m going to write for two hours on Sunday.” By setting a specific day and amount of time, you are not only giving yourself freedom to do the other things you have to do (like walk the dog, bake a cake…you get the idea), but you’re allowing yourself freedom to write without feeling bombarded by it.

Give it a try this weekend. Choose a day and an amount of time, then when that day comes, sit down and spend that much time writing. That’s it. No more, no less.

I’m going to try it this weekend as well. Be sure to come back and let me know how it goes for you!

How To Stop Thinking and Start Writing

One of the main ideas discussed in this blog is how to actually sit down and start writing. It seems like every writer I know is better at it than I am. In fact, I sometimes even feel a bit jealous of my writer friends who are actually writing.

The good news is: we’re not alone! Lots of writers feel this way.

Take Jane Northcote, for instance. She recently wrote her first book, started a blog, and she also wrote an amazing guest post on Copyblogger (yes, I love this site!) called “Getting Writing Done: How to Stop Thinking About It and Start Writing.”

Here are the 7 steps she recommends all writers follow–or at least those who are finding it hard to sit down and write:

1) Remember why you’re writing, and write it down first–Jane says that if you remind yourself about what the chapter/article/paper you’re writing will do for you (get you a good grade in school, impress your boss, get you a publishing deal, etc), you will be more likely to take action and start writing.

2) Stop using energy thinking about it and just do it–This one’s self-explanatory.

3) Remember the actions are finite–Once it’s done, it’s done!

4) Ask someone to manage you–This step works especially well for me personally. I have a good friend in California who is also a writer, and her and I check in with each other once a week to make sure we’re staying on top of our writing projects. Having someone to monitor my progress makes me a lot more focused because, as you all know, writing is a solitary task, so having a friend to lean on every once in a while makes life (and writing!) so much easier.

5) Tell a large number of people you’ll do it–The idea behind this one is not wanting to disappoint people. If you tell a large number of people that you’re going to have such-and-such written by a certain date, then they will not only hold you accountable, but you will most likely hold yourself accountable, as well.

6) Find something you enjoy and treat yourself–writing is a lot easier to handle when you’re doing it somewhere that you enjoy, like your favorite Starbucks location or from your front porch swing. You get the idea…

7) Do nothing else–Also self-explanatory!

And, actually, Jane’s post inspired me to stop thinking and start writing. I’ve recently begun the planning/proposal stages of a non-fiction book about writing.

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How about you? What are you currently working on? Or if you can’t seem to get started, what’s holding you back?