Learning to Write


I am a novice writer, learning by doing.  I thought it would be fun and instructive to bring you along on my journey.  So, here is what I have been learning. Much of this stuff I have read as advice and have tried to apply.

  • Only write about things you find fascinating or feel passionate about.
  • The best way to learn to write is to do it every day. Okay, you might want to take weekends off or something, but the point is you have to diligently practice to learn a new skill.
  • You need a goal, so you will know when you are done for the day. Set a number of words, a thousand, or whatever for your daily goal, especially, if you are writing a book.
  • Let it rip. First write, then, re-write. For the first draft, just let the words fly.
  • A sentence seldom comes out write the first time. The craft of writing is really the craft of re-writing. After you have done your first draft, self-edit it. Then, do it again in a day or two.
  • Strip out every word you can. We tend to be very wordy when we write. If something doesn’t contribute to the story or message of your book, get rid of it. The average reader has an attention span of thirty seconds.
  • Inject as much of your personality into your writing as you possibly can. What you write needs to be true to who you are. That will make it far more powerful. Reach deep within yourself to tap into your core emotions and values.
  • Once you have stripped every sentence to its barest elements, try to bring the reader into your story, your heart, and your head by describing sights, sounds, smells, details, and feelings.
  • Choose strong words and words that surprise.
  • Be bold in how you say things. Believe in yourself and your opinions. Wimpyness doesn’t read well.
  • The title, the first line, and the last line are extremely important.


About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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