I started this section of my blog to help me get back into writing again – sort of a place to park my notes and build a platform that would encourage me to keep at it daily. Having a blog does that, by the way. Once you’ve set it up, you feel responsible for feeding it some daily dose of love and commitment. (Note to self: if husband suddenly changes his name to Blog, I should be concerned.)
As a result, I really have been writing more than ever. My pages at Squidoo, blog posts on this blog, a personal journal I keep on Word, and my stories at Extreme Writing. I’m fulfilling my promise to myself, enjoying the process, and learning so much along the way. You can do the same. Need a push? Keep reading.
This section of my blog is also intended to attract others who want to start writing again. First, having a community of individuals who share a common goal helps all members of the community move forward that much more quickly. Second, writing online is a great way to get feedback on my own writing; a test of the waters, so to speak.
To that end, I realize that it might be helpful if these posts provided tips to folks who want to start writing, get back into writing, or hone their skills by writing online.
If you want to start writing again, here are five things I want you to do right now:
1.Put a comment on this post that says "I want to start writing again." Throw it out there, make a commitment, carve it on the world wide web. (Sounds ominous, doesn't it? But, really, you could use an alias. I won't tell. The exercise is psychological.)
2.Sign up for one of the following free blog websites and start your own blog. I've noted which sites allow you to keep the blog private in case you don't want anyone to see your practice work. Once you're ready, you can open your blog to the world.
Blogger - free blogging tool from Google. Easily customize the look of your blog and restrict who can see your blog.
Vox - free blogging tool from the creators of TypePad. Simple to use and settings allow you to keep the blog private.
WordPress - world's most popular blogging platform. Free and incredibly flexible but more complicated than the other two platforms. Some computer skills would be helpful to make use of this platform. You can also keep these private but it's not quite as simple as changing a setting like the other two.
3.Grab the feed for this blog and check back for regular tips and motivational encouragement to get writing again.
4.See that sidebar widget to the right of this post? It has pictures and writing ideas to get you started. Pick one - any one - and start writing. Right now! Take 20 minutes on the topic and just write. Don't edit as you go, just pour it out - whatever comes to mind.
5.Tomorrow, go back and take a look at what you wrote. Somewhere in there is an idea you can build on. Pull it out, clean it up, critique it, make it perfect. I bet you find that your mind kept returning to what you'd written and came up with some great ideas for improving the piece. The outcome will surprise you.
I'm off to plan tomorrow's post about some neat websites I found where you can practice your writing skills, get constructive criticism, and possibly get paid for your work. Sounds pretty neat, huh?