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[Beginner – 104] Improve Your Blog: Tips & Ideas for Creative Writing

No matter how much work you put into your blog in the marketing, SEO, and other web technicalities, there’s nothing that will make your blog quite as shiny as hands-down-great-content. Those things are all important if you want to attract traffic to your blog, but what keeps readers coming back to your site is mostly dependent in the writing you put out. Even if you think you already write great, just remember the golden rule of writing, ‘writing is rewriting’, and everyone can always improve. So here’s some creative blog writing tips and ideas to help take your writing to the next level.

Study the Craft

No one no matter how talented they are is just born a great writer.  It’s a craft that you work on and all writers know that to get better you have to continuously write, but you can speed up the process by learning from the best. If you’re lacking for inspiration try reading. Read everything you can: work with your favorite writers, work with others who are writing about the same thing as you, magazines, newspapers, etc. This is one of the best ways to develop a taste for what is good, what is bad, and what styles you prefer or wish to emulate. Listening to interviews with writers and about writing are also great for collecting creative writing tips; the ups and downs of writing are often surprisingly similar, though everyone has their own path and method to follow.  All these resources are readily available, whether it’s books, websites, or magazines, so you may as well take advantage of them.

Set Goals & Be Consistent

One of the most helpful ways to get in the habit of writing and being productive with that writing is setting goals and being consistent. Many writers struggle to get going, but you can overcome this struggle by setting achievable goals and creating an environment conducive to writing. Set up a distraction-free space and choose a specific schedule for your writing. Choose one or two hours that you can dedicate to the task.  Maybe it’s 5 am before the kids wake up, or maybe 2 am till 3:30 am for the night owls. The point is same time, same place. Make sure you force yourself to be writing the whole time. Start small if you have to, even ten good minutes is better than hours of musing at a blank page. Repetition will strengthen your habits and help you build momentum in your writing. Essentially this works as an exercise regime, but for your mind.  Before you know it that ten minutes you struggled with will be flowing over into an hour plus of solid writing.  Building a regime like this is one of the best ways to stave off writer’s block.

Just Write

Speaking of writer’s block, the best way to get rid of it is to just write. Often times, when you find yourself lacking for creative writing ideas, just putting something down on the page, is better than nothing.  Doing ten or fifteen minutes of free writing with whatever comes to mind is a wonderful exercise and may even lead to some of the best ideas you have. In this process, it doesn’t matter what you write. Your imagination is free to wander and if it’s all junk at the end of the day, at least it exists and you can make it better.  It’s a way to redefine and take control of writer’s block in a way that stimulates your brain instead of ripping out your hair.

Keep It Simple

Getting caught up in writing complex wording or long-winded sentences can really take the steam out of your content.  Some of the creative writing tips you should take into account to fix this is watching out for wordiness and keeping things simple. The best writing is the most effective writing. This means using the least number of words you can to express an idea. This is why poetry is one of the most difficult types of writing–all the words are stacked with meaning. It’s the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to language usage. Why use three words when you could use two, or why use two when you could use one.  Watching out for wordiness goes hand in hand with this sentiment. Check your writing for redundancies because, upon closer inspection, you may be saying the same thing twice. For instance, new discovery, exact replica, and constant nagging, the adjective doesn’t need to be stated as it is part of the noun’s definition.

Write… then Rewrite, Rewrite, Rewrite

Have you ever been overtaken by a whirlwind of inspiration, written like a lunatic, and then gone back to read what you’ve written only to throw it in the trash?  Don’t dismiss the idea just because the second time around it looks like garbage. The number one rule of making your creative writing better is never to stop at the first draft. A second rule may be added which is to give it time. When you finish your first draft take a break and let it sit for a while. After a day or two or ten, you’ll come back to the piece of writing with a clearer mind.  When you do come around to reading it you’ll likely find yourself making a large number of improvements.  The second draft will be better, the third one will be even better, and so will the fourth, and so on. By the time you make it to that last draft, there may be very little left of the first draft in there.

Get A Second Opinion

Letting others see your writing may or may not be comfortable for you, but eventually, you have to show your work or it’s really nothing more than a journal entry. Fresh eyes can be a wonderful way to bring on new creative writing ideas. It’s also the only way you’ll ever know if your intention is coming across to a reader.

Stay Passionate

Sometimes coming up with creative blog ideas becomes a chore, but in those times it’s important to remember that you love writing. If you find yourself feeling indifferent about your writing topic, try writing about something else.  If you’re also passionate about fishing, cooking, or Mozart work to bring them into your writing. You shouldn’t have to give up any of your other passions just to write. They can all strengthen each other. As Kathryn Vicello, a professional blogger puts it, “I think that your voice will come through if you write from the heart. Write as though you are speaking to a friend. Be honest and open.”

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