Writing Tips: What Works?

I love writing. Sometimes people ask me for suggestions on how to find time to write and how to be productive.

Here are a few suggestions:

(1) Be disciplined: Grind it out. Germans call this Sitzfleisch (essentially, the ability to stay seated and not to get up until a given task is accomplished).

(2) Be flexible: Make a plan. Then get it done in whichever way possible. If you can’t get it done in the morning, don’t go to bed until you got it done whenever you can.

(3) Be committed: Keep your writing commitments. Accountability is key. Writing never just happens. It takes commitment and preparedness to overcome obstacles.

(4) Be realistic: Allow yourself plenty of time to do the required research and writing. Things will always take more time than you think.

(5) Be passionate: Write about something you’re passionate about. Ride your momentum. Let the wind of the Spirit fill your sails. Go with your gut.

(6) Collaborate: Work with others on writing projects. Complement each other’s areas of interest and expertise. But make sure you’re compatible and on the same page.

(7) Get help: If possible, get some research assistance. Use this as an opportunity for mentoring if possible. In this way, you can both get help and help another person.

(8) Be yourself: Do what works for you. If you’re a morning person, work in the morning. If you’re an evening person, work in the evening.

(9) Imitate: Read good writing and imitate good writers. Expand your vocabulary. Read Joseph Williams’s book on Style. Emulate your mentors and role models.

(10) Pray: Ask God to help you as you write. Ask him for fruitfulness, for impact, for guidance, for clarity, for persuasiveness. Ask him to glorify himself through you.

And here’s my bonus tip #11: Do the next thing! And then the next one after that, etc., etc. Before you know it, you’ll be done!

Happy writing!

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Excellence.


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