Want to sell more of your writing? Common sense suggests that you can only sell what you’ve already written. So let’s take a look at ways you can write more.
First, it is important to understand that writing is a craft, art and skill that develops with practice. Just as the rich get richer, people who write develop the ability to write more. The downside is that if you don’t write, you’ll find it increasingly difficult to write; but this only means that you are out of practice.
1. Realize that writing is a process – Write in stages
Tip: The writing process has three or four stages: planning, writing (as in free-writing), revision, and occasional rewriting.
New writers don’t know this, and some established writers who write very little have never learned to write in stages. New writers try to do everything at once. They want to “write” in one concept. They don’t realize that professional writers use multiple drafts – and sometimes a lot of drafts.
Always separate the phases of your writing. For example, on Sunday I plan most of what I plan to write in the following week. I research topics, create mind maps, write titles and create mini contours. I can also make some plans during the week, when I’ve just been commissioned to write something.
If you remember to write in stages and separate the stages by at least a day, you’ll write more automatically, because you already know what you’re writing — your planning got the pump going.
2. Sit down and write – the eleven minute rule
Several years ago I wrote under contract and found the project both boring and depressing. I always put off writing that day for as long as I could until I finally forced myself to sit down and write.
This experience taught me something important: not to be influenced by my emotions or moods. If you force yourself to start writing, however reluctant you are, the inspiration starts around 11 minutes. From that moment on you are completely absorbed in your writing.
So if you don’t want to write, or feel like you’re blocked, give it 11 minutes.
3. Set goals and get jobs
Put yourself under pressure. Set writing goals and get as many writing assignments as possible. If you have goals and people are waiting for you to complete writing projects for them, you will write more.
Unfortunately, some writers wither under pressure. If this is you, you already know this about yourself. You may have reacted badly to exam pressure when you were in school. Meditation will help; take a meditation class, either in person or using a CD program. Meditation helps you to feel comfortable with stress. You learn to let emotions run free and to develop a relaxed focus.
So there you have three easy ways to write more – I encourage you to try them.