Every writer needs some help with their writing. Every writer can improve their writing. One simple technique you can use to improve your writing and better develop your writing process is to drop the pen, spend less time writing and more time thinking about your writing.

Many writers struggle with their early drafts simply because they have not allowed an idea enough time to simmer. Giving yourself time to brainstorm, sift and sort through ideas, and to both have and build upon creative inspirations is one of the keys to becoming a successful and productive writer.

It is best to work on this when you are away from your desk, your computer and any writing equipment (even something as simple as a paper and pencil) however that is the only rule about location. You can sit yourself on a park bench or in your car, you can take a walk or a jog, or you can perform some mindless household task such as vacuuming, folding clothes or washing dishes. There really are not rules as long as you can focus the majority of your brain power on your writing without the distractions of friends, family, or co-workers.

Even with today’s hectic, busy days there are moments when we are alone with our thoughts and if you want to improve your writing then you should set aside at least a portion of those moments to focus on your writing. In fact, you might find that not only does this improve your work but it also allows you to multi-task by completing some other mundane task (or simply getting in your exercise for the day). I promise you that once you have focused your brain on your writing that you will see an increase in your productivity. You will actually spend less time in front of the computer (or notebook) but will deliver more quality writing in that shorter time.

It is important once you are set on a specific project that you focus your thoughts on that goal. If you are writing something short then focus first on the introduction, for example. If you are writing a novel or book then focus on one scene or section of a chapter. Create a movie in your head, and because it is your movie, do not overlook the sounds, smells, and textures that go along with it. Put yourself in the shoes of the characters of your movie so you can identify with them and feel their emotions. Play with words and sentences in your head. Get a feel for the rhythm of the language. Does it match the “movie” you created?

The more you work these elements over in your head then the easier it will be when you sit back down to write. Use your head to make writing easier for you and more effective as well.

The more time you spend thinking and planning your writing before you set out to work on your latest project the better.

ANSA Nigeria