In this age of COVID and political unrest, I find myself thinking about simpler times. I try to live in the present, but I also find fulfillment in recalling meaningful events in my life, like filling in a timeline of who I am.
We all need refuge right now from grief and uncertainty. For me, that refuge takes the forms of classic sitcoms, music, and writing. Yep, “quirky” is my middle name.
My latest writing project is a memoir of my musical adventures arcing from my childhood in Los Angeles to my present-day as the lead singer of The Spirit of Rush. I grew up in LA in the 1980s at the height of hair metal and hard rock. I spent many a weekend on Sunset Strip in Hollywood going from club to club seeing incredible bands, and meeting them! I thought it was time to tell my story.
Writing this book has provided an escape from the world’s difficulties, but beyond that it allows me to document my life. Writing can be an outlet, a way to reach new customers, a tool for processing emotions, a way to express thought leadership, and so much more.
Today, I want to offer some writing tips that have worked for me. If you want to write more, don’t wait! Be bold and say what you want to say.
- Write about what you know and love, not what you think you should write about. Your idea needs to be enough to sustain your interest, so let it be authentic.
- If you’re not sure what to write about, grab a blank piece of paper and brainstorm using questions like these: “What is most interesting to me? What do I care about? What is unique about my perspective? How can I help people?”
- Write an outline, at least for your first paragraph or chapter, to get you going.
- To write a book, work a little each day-ish. Thinking about writing a whole book is overwhelming, but writing a couple of paragraphs… well, that you can do! Even writing a few sentences is progress. Forward motion counts more than speed.
- Whenever you finish the day’s writing, write down two or three bullet points spelling out what you will write about the next day. This action helps you keep your momentum and avoid getting stuck.
- Write your first draft without much thought to whether or not the writing is good. This is not easy because the human brain loves to judge. Just get stuff down. You can and should edit later.
- Get a copy of the book Write in Style by Bobbie Christmas. It’s one of the best writing books out there and it will help you with the editing phase. https://www.zebraeditor.com/book/write-in-style-how-to-use-your-computer-to-improve-your-writing/
- Let nothing, not even your own self-critic, stop you from writing. Even if you don’t believe in yourself, write anyway.
I hope this is helpful to you. Writing is a wonderful form of self-expression, whether or not you ever share it. Please post your writing tips for in the comments!