Great ideas on writing from professionals

Written by: Sophia Anderson
Imagine yourself in this situation: your mind goes blank and you have no idea how to start writing a post. Where do you find inspiration? Maybe you do have an idea, but you’re looking for ways to improve your writing skills. Pinterest might be your first idea. It’s flooded of nice images with inspirational quotes. There’s a problem: those quotes rarely have anything to do with your situation. They don’t offer practical tips and solutions because they are taken out of context.

Take this quote as an example: “I am in the process of becoming the best version of myself.” No author, no context. Just a pretty picture with a random quote. That’s not the kind of trigger that would inspire you to write.
When you’re looking for inspiration, you have to make it relevant. Search it in the work of professional writers, bloggers, and editors. We collected 10 great recommendations on writing. These pros know what they are talking about.
  1. “Use simple words - don’t try to use vocabulary as it makes blog posts harder to read and understand. As a general rule of thumb, use vocabulary that a 5th-grader can understand.” – Neil Patel, co-founder of KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg, and Hello Bar
  2. “10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer
Write more.
Write even more.
Write even more than that.
Write when you don’t want to.
Write when you do.
Write when you have something to say.
Write when you don’t.
Write every day.
Keep writing.” – Brian Clark, founder of Copyblogger
  1. “Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have “essential” and “long overdue” meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.” – J.K Rowling, author of Harry Potter
  2. “Do not imitate someone else’s style. You have your own personal style and your readers are following you because they love your style. You need not imitate someone nor do you have to write as if you are writing for a news agency. Make your writing personal.” – Amit Agarwal, founder of Digital Inspiration
  3. “You want to edit your own work? Assume you don’t know anything about the topic and read the content. Ask yourself: does the author sound like they know what they’re talking about? You think the readers won’t notice the paraphrased online sources? Think again! The audience can see right through your insecurities. If you’re still not an expert on the topic, become one. Read more, learn more. Then, edit the piece to make it valuable.” – Kim Taylor, professional editor from EssaysOnTime.
  4. “Other bloggers’ posts are often useful jumping-off points for writing your own. Some bloggers simply report on somebody’s post, link to it, and that’s it. A more strategic way to do this is to either agree with the blogger you’re citing, disagree, or add your own perspective.” – Denise Wakeman, founder of The Blog Squad
  5. “I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one in your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day… fifty the day after that… and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s – GASP!! – too late.” – Stephen King… you know who he is.                        
  6. “Tell the truth. Never lie, mislead, or cajole. Trust is slowly earned and easily lost.” – Jeff Goins, author of The Art of Work
  7. “When people write on forums, they rarely do so for style or beauty (there are exceptions, of course, but they’re rare). Forumers are writing to convey information and ideas. Still, those ideas can be beautiful and inspiring in and of themselves. They can inspire more ideas in you. I’m not saying you have to read a wide array of forums every day, but if you’re looking for information, trawling some good forums isn’t a bad idea.” – Leo Babauta, the blogger behind Zen Habits.
  8. “Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.” – William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Do You Have Your Own Quotes?

That’s the kind of practical advice that pushes you to write more and write better.
However, you don’t have to seek motivation online whenever you feel stuck. There is wisdom in all of us. When you’re in your best mood and nothing can stop you from writing that piece you planned to complete, think: what makes you that inspired? Once you’re done working on that post, note down your impressions. They might help you pick yourself up during a low day.
Do you have some advice for other writers? Do share!
Sophia Anderson is a freelance writer and a blogger from Australia. She is passionate about covering topics on writing, blogging, learning, self-improvement and others. She believes that constant development is her route to success. Her inspiration comes from reading like-minded blog posts and communication with interesting people. Meet Sophia at @Sophia7Anderson.

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