I like to write with reckless abandon. With great ferocity and an appetite for destruction. I sit down at the keyboard and start pounding out the paragraphs. Sometimes it produces works of great beauty and other times it is…less beautiful.
That is part of the beauty of blogging- the freedom that it provides to practice so that when I have to produce the words come when I call upon them. I write about writing on a regular basis. It is not always for the purpose of trying to find more work or to build a portfolio that I can use to solicit new business.
I write about writing because I like to make a conscious effort to think about what I am doing and why. I like to dissect and pull it apart so that I can find ways to improve. Really, I write for me first and for you afterwards. It has always been this way and I suspect that it always will be. Writing is where I empty out the closets and shake loose the dust that accumulate inside. Mental spring cleaning.
If you want to be a better blogger than you need to engage in exercises that help you improve your writing. You need to do the things that help you compose compelling content. Practice is a giant part of that, but it is not the sole thing that you should do.
Great writing is produced from passion. Pick a topic that makes your heart sing or your blood boil. It doesn’t matter to me which you choose as long as you find a way to tap into the feelings that lie just beneath the surface. Sometimes you can do that by looking at pictures and or listening to music.
Music is one of my favorite tools. My iTunes library has about 4,000 songs in it. It is filled with playlists that I have created to help set a tone and or create a mood. Dancing In The Fire, Words on a Page– these stories wouldn’t exist without music. They have mental soundtracks that play inside my head and help me find my way. Sometimes when things fall into place the way I want those same songs help the reader to better understand and or relate to the story I am trying to tell.
But you should bear in mind that while music can be one of your greatest assets it can also distract the reader. Words set to music resonate and rock. It is a dual edged sword that you need to wield carefully.
One of the more obvious but overlooked tools is your vocabulary. The stronger and broader your vocabulary is the better served you will be. Words are powerful and the only way to effectively unleash that power is to do everything you can to build a mental warehouse that you can pull from as needed.
I tend to visualize it as being like a Costco or Home Depot like facility. It is a huge space filled with shelves that have pallets stacked from floor to ceiling. The shelves are organized, but they are also filled full of the words that I use.
Building a bigger vocabulary is quite simple. There are endless numbers of books that have been written whose sole purpose is to help you increase your command of the language. A word of caution. Good writing can be killed by improper use of words. Don’t try to spice up your posts with language that you are unfamiliar with. Integrate it slowly so that it feels natural. Otherwise you risk you sounding ridiculous.
And don’t forget to read, read, read and then read some more. It is another simple tool that you can use to help improve your own writing. Watch and learn how others craft their thoughts and ideas and you’ll find little tricks that you can adapt to your own purposes.
I would also add that it never hurts to read so that you can further your own education. A broad base of knowledge is always useful or so I have found it to be.
If you are interested in reading more posts about writing you might want to check out some or all of the following posts. It is not a complete list but it should suffice for now.