The Write Practice

The Online Writing Workbook

How to Become a Better Writer in One, Simple Step

write better

Want to write better stories, essays, and blog posts? There’s one trick that you can do to easily become a better writer.

I’ve read a lot of writing by amateur writers both in my work as a professional editor and as the moderator of this blog, and I’ve found that there’s one, single piece of advice I give most often.

If you master this technique, you will quickly go from a mediocre writer to someone who writes stories that people read and say, “Wow! You wrote this?”

So how do you become a better writer?

Summer Sun (writing prompt)

summer sun

It’s summer and the weather is beautiful—at least where I live. Today, write about the sun, the summer, the warm weather.

Write for fifteen minutes. When your time is up, post your practice in the comments section. And if you post, please be sure to read a few practices by your fellow writers and give feedback.

Happy writing!

Want to Write a Book? Do This First

premise writing a book

Whether you’re writing a book or a blog post, it’s tempting to just dive into your writing project. However, you will likely save yourself time and create a better end product if you settle on a solid premise before you start writing.

How To Write When You’re Really Tired

write when tired

Just last night, I arrived back home from the Middle East, where I was working for the last two weeks. I traveled over 7,400 miles over thirty-two hours, and honestly, I’m exhausted.

This Quote from Picasso Will Make You Want to Start Writing Right Now

Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon.

“Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don’t start measuring her limbs.”

You Must Remember Every Scar

Photo by AtomicJeep (Creative Commons)

“The only requirement,” to be a writer, said Stephen King, “is the ability to remember every scar.”

I have a few scars (and you do, too). There’s that girl in the eighth grade, my father’s illness in the seventh, and there was that boy earlier than that who told me to shut up every time I spoke to him.

When did I learn to fear my voice?

17 Reasons to Write Something NOW

Write Something Now

I get it. You’re busy. You have other commitments: work, school, the kids, your friends. I understand.

I know writing a short story or a novel or a blog post is scary. What if someone reads it? And yes, it’s true. You might fail. People might not like what you write. Worse, they might ignore your writing altogether.

However, if you’ve ever wanted to be a writer, now is the time to start. If you don’t believe me, here are seventeen reasons to write right now.

Too Busy to Write a Book? Write a Poem

write a poem

If you’re like me, you probably have way too much on your plate. Kids, school, work, the dreaded pile of laundry gathering in the corner. How do you make time for your writing when you’re so busy? One way to keep writing when you’re too busy to write a book is to write a poem instead.

Is It Possible to Market Your Books and Write at the Same Time?

market your books

As I’m writing this, it’s a cloudy morning in Georgia. The sticky heat of summer has finally let off. The crickets are still going away and the trees look marvelous. That’s one thing you don’t get in California, at least the part of California I grew up, huge, green trees everywhere.

And as I’m looking at them, sipping my coffee, I asked myself, when was the last time you noticed those trees? When was the last time you were this grateful just to be alive?

It’s been my experience that all my best writing—and most satisfying writing time—comes out of this place of gratefulness, this rootedness in the moment.

However, I’m in the process of launching a book right now, and I don’t have time to look at trees or even write very much. All I have time to do, it seems, is market. Of course, nearly every author today is struggling with the same thing. We all have to market our books. We all have to hustle if we want our words to spread. Which leads me and others to the question:

Is it possible to write and market your books at the same time? And on a larger scale, is today’s publishing reality keeping us from creating our best art?

This is How to Efficiently Evoke the Setting of a Novel

setting of a novel

How do you evoke a full sense of the time and setting of a novel? One way to quickly make sure your readers know exactly where they are (and when) is to write about the news.