- Always keep a pen and paper near you. Ideas can come at the strangest times so make sure you are always prepared. Do not rely on your memory as many great ideas are lost that way. Get it down on paper, a brief outline or even a sentence will do, just enough to remind you of your idea. You can write it up when you have more time. Do not let those precious ideas escape!
- Find out when you write best – some people like to write in the morning others in the evening. If you are trying to force yourself to write, you will find that the writing will not flow. Make time – even half an hour at your preferred time will be far more beneficial than two hours fighting to find the words at a time that does not really suit you. Try to get into a routine and you will find that the words will start to flow.
- Stuck for ideas? Brainstorm. Take a blank sheet of paper and write the first word that comes into your mind in the centre of the page. Now write any other words that pop into your mind around the centre word. Keep doing this until you either have an idea or the page is full. The words do not have to be connected or make sense, just write what comes to mind. Still no ideas? Read some of the words you have written and think about different articles you could get from them. Are some of your words frustrated or even obscene? You could write an article on how obscenities are now used in everyday language and compare this to our grandparents’ time. You could write a second article on the origin of various obscenities. Keep going you will soon have a portfolio to be proud of.
- Are you worried about your spelling or punctuation? Do not rely solely on spell checker or grammar checker on your computer as this may not pick up all of the mistakes. As a friend to read it through for you. Read it aloud as this is the easiest way to spot any errors. Make sure it flows and does not sound stilted. There are many excellent grammar books available and they are well worth the investment. Some of the most helpful are school textbooks as they deal with the most common mistakes and explain everything in plain English.
The most important tip is “just do it”. Get out your pen and paper, laptop or whatever you use, sit down and let the words come to you.
Do not put it off, just begin. You never know where you will end up.
Relax and go with the flow!