Refining Your Writing Style 90 Seconds at a Time

NR90secthursdaysThere are three reasons promising writers never get around to refining their skills.

Reason #1: Money. Writing coaches, professional critiques and experienced editors all come with a price—a numerical one with dollar signs in front, which you are expected to pay in exchange for a service. Even though you’re only trying to get better at writing so you can, oh, actually get paid for what you do, perhaps?

Reason #2: Anonymity. You might spend all your free time writing, figuring out how to get your name out there, tweeting out posts and following other writers’ web sites and blogs like it’s your job (it probably isn’t, if that’s how you spend your “free” time). But no one pays attention. No one knows who you are. It isn’t anything personal. And you might write some good stuff. So do a lot of other writers-to-be, though, and it’s hard to know who to network with to make it to the next level. So when you’re finally ready to look for someone to help make your dreams come true … well. You start to feel stuck.

Reason #3: Time. School, work, family, friends, grocery shopping T.V. good books planting flowers teaching the cat to fetch … basically, the ability to block out writing time is a luxury, especially if you’re dealing with Reason #1. If it’s not your full-time job, it gets moved to the bottom of the list. Not because you don’t want to. There just aren’t enough hours in a day. And by the time you finally do sit down to write, you find yourself staring at something you wrote three weeks ago and don’t know how to get back into The Zone.

Of these three reasons, time is probably the toughest to deal with. You could have the money to get good critiques and the connections to get your query letters into the right hands—or at least a cup of coffee with a potential agent thrown into the deal—but without time to actually sit down and crank out a product to sell, you haven’t really made much progress. And if you do have something you want to work on revising, it even takes time to find resources to help you with that.

That’s why we’re starting a video series, 90 Second Writing Lessons: to help you clean up your writing style, once per week, in just a minute and a half (or a little less—give us a break, we’re new at this). You can watch each segment while you’re waiting for the train (or sitting on it), on your break, between classes and even while you’re waiting for your water to boil before starting dinner.

Our tips are quick, and you can easily apply them to your own projects as you watch Meg work on hers. Sometimes when you spend all day staring at a screen, and want to come home and work on something of your own, you don’t want to read a blog post about how to write better. Now you can watch a video instead, leaving plenty of time afterward to write a few hundred words before moving on to The Next Thing.

Our videos and subscribing to Meg’s channel are free. If you have something to add to the video, or have an idea for a future topic, leave a comment: it’s a great way to network with other writers, get people to follow you and keep tabs on your writing progress, and contribute to a much bigger mission: helping writers organize their ideas and put them into words. Catering those words to a specific audience, a band of readers who will listen and respond to what’s on that page. Refining your writing style, so you can establish your own unique voice in this noisy, busy world, and make that voice heard.

We’re here to make writing what it should be: enjoyable, fulfilling and enlightening. Will you join us?

You can check out Lesson 1: Using Fewer Words here.

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

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