I often see people calling themselves a “writer” for no reason other than they occassionally write things.
The one thing these “writers” often forget is that they don’t know how to write.
That’s not the mark of a writer; that’s the mark of delusion.
Even if you think you’re brilliant, if you have no idea how to effortlessly get your point across through writing, the world will never get to experience that brilliance.
But there’s hope…
You can learn to become a great writer.
If you are looking to start up a writing career but don’t know where to start, let me help.
I’ve organized an easy-to-follow, practice-packed 30-day course for anyone interested in this line of work.
Take this course with intention, and in 30 days, you will be able to confidently call yourself a “writer”.
Start A Writing Career In 30 Days: The Definitive Guide
This post is divided into four weeks:
- Week 1 (Days 1-7)
- Week 2 (Days 8-15)
- Week 3 (Days 16-24)
- Week 4 (Days 25-30)
This progression is meant to take a student from nowhere to somewhere in 30 days.
If you follow this schedule, in 30 days, you will have at least one finished, polished, and professional piece of writing. You will also have a sure-fire method of how to effortlessly produce an infinite number of high-quality pieces of writing.
If you are a current blogger or writing professional and don’t have 30 days to follow this progression, don’t worry; you can still take the tips and practices from this post and implement them into your current writing practice.
That said, if you are not a current professional, I would highly recommend that you follow this guide and don’t produce anything tangible until the 31st day. This will ensure that you’re ready to work in accord with professional standards.
I would also recommend that you keep a notebook or notepad handy with you at all times to write down any good ideas that “come” to you during the day.
Again, don’t act on or write “finished pieces” about any of these ideas until the end of this program. But as we progress, your creativity will start to blossom in unimaginable ways. Capturing that creativity as it comes is a good idea.
Week 1 (Days 1-7): Learning To Practice
When starting out as a writer, the first thing we need to do is get into the habit of writing.
I’m about to say something that not a lot of writers are willing to say…
Most pieces of writing suck.
Not just “bad” writing, but writing that is so bad that the smell of awfulness seeps out of the computer and you start to choke on the rancid scent of “suck”.
Many beginning writers are arrogant and think that they could never write such terrible pieces.
These are the bloggers that started writing a week ago and post articles three times a day.
Their writing is terrible, worthless garbage.
Not only won’t they make a name for themselves, they’re doing themselves a great disservice by giving people such a bad impression of their work.
They haven’t learned the art of quality over quantity.
But there’s a very important thing that needs to be noted…
Bad writers are not the only ones who produce bad pieces of writing.
Good writers write bad things all the damn time!
The difference is that good writers never let anyone else see that bad stuff.
Good writers have one thing that bad writers don’t:
They’ve trained themselves to step outside of their own mind and look at their work objectively. They also know that they can’t let their pride get in the way of their art. If a piece is bad, they know it needs to either be reworked or trashed… but it definitely cannot be published as is.
In these first few days of our 30-day program, we need to teach ourselves how to a) write freely and b) discern what bad writing looks like.
Week 1 Practice #1 – Free Writing
Every day, twice a day, do a 15-minute “free write”. This is where you set a timer for 15 minutes and don’t stop writing at any point within those 15 minutes.
You’re simply writing the very first thing that comes to your mind.
If nothing is coming to your mind, you should write: “Nothing is coming to my mind. I don’t know what to write.”
For 15 minutes, don’t stop writing.
Here’s an example of a free write:
- This morning I walked to the corner to fetch a dog but the dog had to eat so I fed him a giant goat and a plate of beef. I felt a tingle in my nose. I sneezed and shouted. This was not the right way to do it because I wanted to study Russian. But I do like peanuts. It’s my favorite. I think fish are best when kept under a black light. Tap that toe, rinse that hair; it’s time to go shopping.
As you can see, none of this makes sense, the grammar is bad, and there’s no point.
But it doesn’t need to make sense, have good grammar, or a point.
This was just me listening to my subconscious thought process and writing down what I heard.
Do you remember CD players? (I can’t believe I’m old enough to have to say that…)
When you press “pause” on a CD player, the CD keeps spinning. You’re not “stopping” the CD, you’re just “pausing” it.
That’s what you’re doing to the mind with your free write. You’re “pausing” the conscious thought process and listening to the sound of the still spinning subconscious process.
No one wants to listen to hours of a CD spinning; they want to hear whatever has been recorded on the CD. Likewise, no one wants to read your free write, they want to read what comes out after you’ve pressed “play” on your conscious thought process.
In this way, there is no room for “I can’t think of anything to write”, because if that’s the thought, that’s what you write down.
Also, if you’re thinking that, then you’re trying waaaay too hard.
Just sit down and listen to what your mind is saying. Then write it down.
If you happen to stumble across a gem, by all means, put a star next to it and record it in your notebook.
But don’t expect anything during a free write. Just write for the sake of writing.
Write with the intention that no one will ever see this work. This is simply a practice to get you to tap into your creative process.
It’s not meant to win you a Pulitzer.
For more information on free writes, check out this Wikipedia definition.
Week 1 Extra Practices:
In week 1, our main goal is to open up our creative thought process (the subconscious) and learn how to capture those thoughts with our fingers (the conscious).
If you have the time, these extra practices will help you along in this process.
*Week 1 Extra Practice – 1. Keep a dream journal.
Our dreams are gigantic smatterings of creativity.
There is an equally infinite world inside of our dreams as there is outside. And that world is bizarre, interesting, and largely forgotten.
Beside your bed, keep a pen and a notebook ready so that when you wake up, you can scribble down any and everything you remember about your dreams.
Don’t get discouraged if you only remember a tiny fragment; over time, you’ll learn how to remember each full dream you had over the course of the night.
Read this for more info on dream journaling.
*Week 1 Extra Practice – 2. Start meditating.
In my opinion, there is nothing that can open up hidden layers of creativity quite like meditation can.
When you stop reacting to things with habitual tendencies, you begin to cultivate a sense of ease that is able to think about things from many different angles.
If you already have a meditation practice, great! If not, I would suuuuper recommend you start one.
For at least 5 minutes a day, meditate.
While there are many different kinds of meditation practices, I think the best and most effective is mindfulness.
*Week 1 Extra Practice – 3. Start brainstorming.
As you continue down the path of being a writer, you’re going to need to come up with great ideas so that you captivate your audience.
As a writer, it’s OK to tackle a topic that has been written about before (as long as you do it really well), but it’s so much better to tackle a topic that no one has ever written about before.
Your personal brand needs to be strong and authoritative; in order to do that, you need to be original in your thinking and unique in your writing.
Start to think outside the proverbial box. Brainstorm new, creative, and distinct ways of looking at everyday things. Start to encourage your own creative process.
Go here for a quick guide on how to start brainstorming.
Likewise, if you’re a blogger looking to find your niche, check out this article.
Week 2 (Days 8-15): Building A Framework
Congratulations on making it to week 2!
Note: You should be continuing all of the practices after each week. Getting to week 2 doesn’t mean you should stop doing the practices from week 1. You should still be free writing for 15 minutes, twice a day. And if you took on any of the bonus practices, you should still be practicing those as well. When you get to week 4, you should still be doing the practices from weeks 1-3.
By now, you should have a generally good idea of how to capture thoughts as they come. Your creativity should also be brimming.
(Remember to keep a notepad with you!)
You should also be able to look at a piece of writing and see if it’s terrible. Your free writes, for instance, are not organized, they’re not interesting, they’re full of grammar errors, and they don’t make a whole lot of sense.
If you can see that, then you’re making progress.
In week 2, we’re going to start to gather our ideas together and learn how to create a little bit of coherence in our writing.
At this point, our writings are jumbled and all over the place. We’re literally writing whatever is on our minds and there is no thought process behind anything. We’re just writing for the sake of writing.
Now, let’s start to change that a bit…
Week 2 Practice #1 – Free Write Journaling
This week, we’re going to do something I call “free write journaling”. It’s a mix between the free writes that we’ve been doing and traditional “journaling” (a.k.a. keeping a diary).
Journaling is basically writing about what happened to you during your day. It’s meant to be done at night and act as a mental rewind of the day’s events.
Every night, starting from the moment you woke up that morning, write about your day. Be as detailed as possible.
The “free write” aspect comes into play because you shouldn’t think too hard about how or what you’re writing. You should just write as quickly and continuously as possible.
Follow whatever thoughts take you away from your main topic of the “journal”, and “free write” about them. When you’ve hit a dead end, come back to journaling about the day’s events.
As you recreate the day’s events, don’t pay attention to grammar, spelling, or style.
Do pay attention to storylines, emotions, and details.
Here’s an example:
- This morning I woke up kinda late because I really didn’t want to get out of bed. I stayed in bed for about 30 mins before I finally told myself that I needed to get up. I really don’t like waking up, it’s kind of annoying. I like being cozy in my bed. I don’t like going to work. Work sucks. I hate my boss. I hate my job. I want to stop doing it. I think that’s probably why I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. But I did anyway. I brushed my teeth, made pancakes with butter and jam. I like butter, but I don’t think I should eat it anymore because it’s not good for me. I should start exercising more. Maybe tomorrow I’ll go to the gym. After breakfast, I got in my car to go to work and immediately got stuck in traffic. This is another reason I hate going to work.
In this example, you can see how I start talking about my day but also allow the various events of the day to take me on tangents.
Both the events of the day and the thoughts about the events of the day are important.
It’s irrelevant what happened during the day, and it’s irrelevant what you think and feel about those things; the practice is just about learning to tell a story and then following the thoughts that come out of that story.
And remember, just like in the free write, you need to keep writing for the entire duration of the session. While there is a little more room to think about what to write, you should not be concerned with grammar, spelling, style, etc.
You should only worry about accurately telling the story and explaining how you feel about the story.
And again, NO ONE WILL SEE THIS. Don’t worry that it sucks. It’s supposed to suck.
This practice is teaching us to follow threads. Our initial thoughts lead us into other thoughts, and we’re learning to follow this logical progression. Most of the time, they lead nowhere and are basically useless. But on occasion, with practice, we can turn these tangents into very interesting ideas.
This practice also helps with the bonus practices from the previous week…
Journaling every night will help you clear your emotional baggage from the day, so when you begin to dream, there’s less emotional “fog”. This will help you remember your dreams a lot easier.
This emotional “fog” is also a barrier to meditation. When you start to journal, you’ll realize that you can focus in meditation much easier.
And because you’ll be focusing on some interesting emotions, habit patterns, and storylines, your brainstorming sessions will become much more interesting.
Journaling is one of the best things we can do for balancing our emotional states. Couple this with free writing, and we have a powerful practice for learning expressive, emotional, and captivating storytelling.
Week 2 Practice #2 – Outline
So now that you’re into the practice of writing and storytelling, we need to build a solid framework for you to work from in the future.
And this step is VERY IMPORTANT.
Many writers just write and don’t work from this framework. But this is a very inefficient way of doing things.
Not only that, but the chances are much higher that these writers will produce a scattered and half-baked piece of writing.
When you work off of an outline, you are able to easily collect your thoughts and allow them to exist in their proper place.
It’s like building a house – first we lay the foundations, and then we start construction. Without this foundation, our house will not be strong.
And when we move into this newly built house, we are greeted with empty walls and empty floors. Only from there do we start to move in furniture and decorations. It would be silly to bring in furniture before the house was built.
Likewise, if we build pieces of writing without a strong foundation, we will have weak pieces of writing.
We can’t “furnish” the piece until the “house” has been built.
In our outlines, we should make notes about each section and work to “fill in” the outline, the same way we would “fill in” the furnishings of a new house.
Here’s an example of the outline for this piece:
- Beginning writers and bloggers
- Learning about how to write
- Spend the time needed to learn
- Explanation of how the post is laid out
- Week 1 Introduction
- Get into the habit of writing
- Most writing sucks
- Write every day
- Only show people the good stuff
- Week 1 Practice #1 – Free Writing
- Explanation of the technique
- Teaches fluid writing
- Like CD player on “pause”
- Week 1 Extra Practice
- 1. Dream journal
- 2. Meditation
- 3. Brainstorm
- Week 2 Introduction
- Keep doing week 1 practices
- Laying foundation
- Gather ideas together
- Create coherence
- Week 2 Practice #1 – Journaling Free Write
- Follow threads
- Helps organize thought
- Helps dream recall and meditation
- Week 2 Practice #2 – Outline
- Building framework
- Helps keep structure
- Helps keep focus
- Foundation of a house/furnishings of a house
This is what my outline looks like. Your outline should look different because you’re a different person who thinks differently than I do.
You also may find a better outlining system than mine.
However you do it, you should make the largest strokes first, and then work to fill in each tiny detail.
For this week, create 1 outline every day.
As you’re creating your outline, be really critical and make sure it makes sense. Proofread it, edit it, and read it over several times. Put it down for a few hours, and then pick it up and read it again.
Really make sure you have created a solid foundation.
If it doesn’t make sense, go back and fix it.
Make sure that everything follows a very clear logical structure.
But don’t start writing your piece just yet. Take all that energy you have for creating great pieces of writing and learn how to make great outlines first.
Having a good outline will make everything soooooo much easier later on.
Tip: Show the outline to a friend and ask them to look over it to see if it’s an exciting idea, if it makes sense, and if they think it could turn into a good piece of writing.
And an example outline can be downloaded here.
Week 2 Extra Practices:
In week 2, we’re learning to build strong foundations which we can later turn into big, beautiful pieces of writing.
If you have the time and the drive, these extra practices will greatly help you achieve that outcome.
*Week 2 Extra Practice – 1. Practice grammar.
Having good grammar is CLUTCH! Especially if you are a non-native English speaker, having a grasp on the proper usage of the English language is so very important.
Once you have a general mastery of how to use English in a technical sense, then you can develop your own sense of style. That’s when you can break certain grammar rules to get your point across in a super effective and stylistic way.
But you have to know why you’re breaking those rules before you break them; otherwise, you’ll just look like you don’t know what you’re doing.
Also, when you start to proofread (week 4), you’ll be able to spot problems more quickly and more efficiently.
I was listing out specific grammar points that many people screw up, and then I stumbled across this absolutely perfect guide to identifying and fixing common grammar issues. Definitely check it out.
For a more basic list, check out this infographic from CopyBlogger.
I’d also recommend that you start taking some online grammar tests.
*Week 2 Extra Practice – 2. Keep meditating.
Did I mention meditating is a really good thing to do?
But I’m going to say it again…
Meditation is a really good thing to do.
If you haven’t started yet, you definitely should.
If you started last week but are only doing 5 minutes a day, try increasing that to 10 minutes a day. Maybe you can go from one 5-minute session to two 5-minunte sessions, or one 10-minute session.
The point is to not stop, and if anything, increase the amount of time spent practicing.
For further reading:
- How To Improve English Grammar – A Blogger’s Guide
- How Grammarly Can Help You Stop Making Mistakes in English
- How To Write TOP Content If You’re Not A Native English Speaker
Week 3 (Days 16-24): Writing Articles
So, again, before we get into week 3, you should still be practicing everything from week 1 and week 2. You should still be free writing twice a day, journaling once a day, and creating outlines. Don’t think you’ve “advanced” to a stage where you don’t need to do that stuff anymore. You need to be practicing all of these things every single day.
So now, after two weeks, we have a solid foundation to work with – a daily writing practice and strong, unshakable outlines. We also likely have a strong desire to actually start writing articles.
This is where we go ahead and actually create the pieces we’ve been thinking about.
This past week we’ve been throwing around a lot of ideas – our daily journals have a lot of emotional power, and our outlines are basically articles waiting to happen.
By now, we should also have a pretty solid idea of the kinds of things we want to write.
And unlike the previous weeks, there is a lot more flexibility in the writing process. This means that if you want to write one 5,000-word article this week, go ahead and do that. If you want to write ten 500-word articles this week, go ahead and do that.
The important point is that you keep up the practice. Spend these 7 days writing. Again, whether that’s one piece a day or one piece for the whole week, it doesn’t matter… just make sure that you’re writing every day.
You can’t slack off.
Every day you need to be working on writing.
Week 3 Practice #1 – Writing
If you have been a faithful student up until this point, you should have a series of outlines from last week that you have proofread, edited, and shown to a friend.
If those outlines are weak, your writing will be weak. So before you do anything, make sure that your outlines are strong.
Now, we need to fill in those outlines with our ideas. Select one of those outlines that you worked on last week, and start writing.
There are many ways to do this, and I don’t want to tell you exactly how to go about writing because everybody’s process is different.
But what you should realize is that this process becomes more well-defined over time as you keep up the practice. So even if you’re struggling in the beginning, with practice, you will find your natural sense of rhythm.
If you’ve been doing the free writes and the journaling, you should have a pretty good idea of how to fill up a piece of paper (or Word document) with your ideas.
That said, there are certain things that make a “good” piece of writing. And instead of diving deep into what those things are, I’m simply going to give you a few pointers.
Firstly, if your outline is good, you will have few problems. But if your outline has some big holes that need filling, you will have to do a lot more work.
Next, as you write, you need to continually ask yourself several questions:
- Why am I writing this piece?
- Who is going to benefit from this piece?
- What is the overall point of this piece?
- How can I be more clear, more concise, and more intentional?
- Have I detailed everything that needs to be detailed?
- Are my subjects meaningful?
- Is there a logical flow of ideas?
- What can I do to make sure that I keep a reader’s interest?
- Has everything that needs an explanation been explained?
- Am I using the right kind of language for the right kind of writing?
- Would I be proud to put my name on this?
By understanding these points, you should be able to write really well. But it needs to be mentioned, you will not become a master in one day, two days, five days, ten days, or even thirty days.
It takes yeeeeaaaarrrrs to fully understand how to use the language of your choice (these points can be applied to any language) to have a dramatic impact on the lives of other individuals. It’s not something that “just happens”.
You need to practice, practice, and then practice some more. And when you think you’re done practicing, you need to keep practicing.
Check out this article I wrote a few months ago for a few more pointers on how to keep up a writing practice.
You can also look to this article for more ideas on what makes a good piece of writing.
While there are a lot of specific techniques you should ultimately utilize, the most important thing is that you keep practicing.
This is the only way you will get better.
Week 3 Extra Practices:
So now, in week 3, we’re using our creative minds to build up large bodies of work. These extra practices should help you as you strive to achieve this objective.
*Week 3 Extra Practice – 1. Practice the Socratic method.
This is not something many people will tell you to do, but I think this one little practice is so vital to personal levels of understanding (and ultimately your writings) that you can’t afford to ignore it.
Here’s a brief description:
- Have a conversation with yourself and an imagined opponent. As you go throughout your day, bring up a topic in your mind that is interesting to you and debate it with your opponent. Explore all the good things, the bad things, and the neutral things. Tell your opponent why you like it or dislike it, and then listen to what they have to say. Take in their points, and offer them a rebuttal.
For a really advanced practice, you can even try to argue something contrary to your own beliefs as you counter your opponent with indisputable logic.
This practice of self-debating important topics is teaching you how to build and strengthen a persuasive argument while creating solid, rational, and logical statements of fact.
For a really detailed overview on how to practice this, check out this article.
*Week 3 Extra Practice – 2. Keep meditating.
Did I mention this was an important thing to do?
And I’ll keep doing that.
If you’ve been meditating for 5 minutes a day, increase it to 10. If you’ve been at 10, increase it to 15. If you’ve been at 1 hour, increase it to 1.5 hours. You get the point…
If you’re struggling with your meditation practice and need some encouragement, check out this article.
*Week 3 Extra Practice – 3. Read.
When I was in school, my writing teacher always encouraged me to read. I couldn’t understand why. I thought it was really dumb, and I didn’t do it.
But after I started realizing that my writings had no point, no story, no style, and a lot of unnecessary words, I begrudgingly started reading what other writers were writing. What I found was that they were all so fluid, so intentional, and so precise with their word choices.
I didn’t just read the articles; I studied the way those authors wrote.
I began examining their techniques and analyzing their style. By seeing how they were writing, I began to understand why I wasn’t writing well.
Even if you hate reading, find someone whom you respect and read what they’re writing.
Understand why their writing works, and then strive to write as well as (or better than) they do.
Week 4 (Days 25-30): Proofreading, Editing, Finalizing
If there’s one thing that bothers me about most beginning writers, it’s this:
- They think they don’t need to proofread.
That’s not only arrogant, it’s dumb.
It’s so dumb.
You ABSOLUTELY need to proofread.
If you aren’t doing that, then you are 100% not offering the world a good piece of writing. I guarantee it.
Even if you have the luxury of working with a copy editor, you should not rely on the editor to proofread for you. The editor’s job is to polish your work and make sure that everything is OK before it gets published. Their job is not to clean up the sloppy mess that you made because you didn’t want to re-read your own work.
I remember reading an article from a writer about how he never proofreads. He was so cavalier and so arrogant about this. He said, “I just don’t like doing it, so I don’t do it. If it needs to be edited, I’ll just send it to my editor.”
The problem with that is he’s not allowing his editor to do the job the editor was meant to do.
If the editor has to initially fix large chunks of problems, they’re not going to be able focus all of their attention on the finer details to make the writer’s words shine. All they’re going to be focused on is making the writer sound less like an idiot who doesn’t know how to write. (Note: That particular article had a decent amount of grammar errors…)
Here’s the point: ALWAYS PROOFREAD.
Just because you don’t like to do it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to do it. It’s part of the package of being a writer.
Eventually you’ll learn to appreciate the value of producing a high-quality piece of writing over the simple act of writing.
If all you want to do is write, then that’s fine… keep journaling and keep free writing. There you go, you’re writing…
But if you want to be a professional, you need to make sure that you’re producing a professional product.
Week 4 Practice #1 – Edit and Proofread
So take the piece(s) that you’ve written last week, and fix them!
Well, there are two main things you need to watch out for:
Having good grammar is very important, especially if you are targeting native speakers.
Even if you aren’t perfectly fluent in English, you can still write as if you are. All it takes an understanding of basic grammar.
Understand article usage, punctuation, capitalization, and basic syntax.
If you can understand those four things, you can write as if you were native.
And if you are a native English speaker and you couldn’t re-read this sentance & understand what’d be wrong with it then, you need study grammer more.
Consistency is the other big part of editing/proofreading.
For example, in this post, I sectioned each week’s practice with the label “Week (x) Practice #(x)” . This makes you subconsciously attach onto something familiar while scrolling through a really long piece.
It also lets you understand where the different sections are being broken. This helps you follow my thought process in a logical and easy to understand way.
If I said “Week 1 Practice #1” and then said “2nd Week Practices” and then said “Things To Practice On Week 3”, you wouldn’t be 100% sure that we’ve entered into another section because you’re subconsciously expecting the headings to follow the structure of the first week.
This will make you subconsciously annoyed at the sloppiness of this piece. (I’m annoyed just thinking about it.)
Here’s another example (see if you can spot the errors):
The title of your piece is “5 Reasons Why Cats Are Great”
Your sections are:
1. They’re great friends.
#2. They Keep You Company
3- Cats are smart.
4- Be careful! They scratch!
5. They’re not dogs
Note: This is not an exaggeration. This happens all the time. Don’t be this person.
So I’ll give you a minute to think about all the errors here…
Firstly, the numbers are not labeled consistently. Secondly, the headings are sometimes sentences, sometimes headings, sometimes capitalized, and sometimes not punctuated. Thirdly, #3 is not following the same structure- “cats” instead of “they”. Finally, #4 is not a “reason” why cats are great.
Here is how this outline should be edited:
1. They’re great friends.
2. They’re good at keeping you company.
3. They’re smart.
4. They love being alone.
5. They’re not dogs.
The fact that I changed #4 to “They” and didn’t rewrite it in a “They’re” format would be a point of contention for another editor, but I’m not that ridiculous...
But it’s not just headings; you also need to be aware of a lot of other things – capitalization choices, punctuation choices, formatting choices, tense choices, tone of voice choices, etc.
You can read more about these kinds of things over on this article.
You can also check out more proofreading tips over here.
In general, these are the main things to watch out for:
-Grammar- (Refer to Week 2 Extra Practice #1)
-Consistency- (see above)
-Correct headings- If your heading says “10 Things I Hate About Summer” and then you start talking about how your favorite winter jacket keeps you warm when you’re snowshoeing in Alaska, your reader is going to be really confused.
-Logical fallacies- I don’t know why drinking coffee reminds you of pandas. I don’t know why you’ve assumed that I also think about pandas when I’m drinking coffee.
-Awkwardness- If you read something over and you think it sounds awkward, that’s because it is. You need to change it.
I know all of this sounds like a lot of stuff, but it really isn’t. The more you practice, the better you will get at spotting all of these errors.
And yes, if you don’t have decent grammar, you should study. But if you are interested in writing, you should naturally want to write like a well-spoken, intelligent person. And you won’t write like that if you have consistently bad grammar.
Don’t think that being a writer is a way to escape hard work.
It’s a serious profession that should be treated professionally.
Editing/proofreading takes time, is hard, and requires talent, but it’s one of the most important things you can do as a writer.
After you’re done proofreading your piece, proofread it again. Then do it again. Each time you read it, be more meticulous and careful about your editing process.
Proofread the piece until you have proofread the whole way through and haven’t found a single error.
You have these final 5 days set aside for nothing but proofreading. Spend these whole 5 days proofreading. Get into the habit of proofreading. (One fun thing you can do to practice is proofread your free writes and your journal entries.)
Proofread once, put the piece down for a few hours, and then proofread it again. If you have the time (and you have 5 days), put the piece down for a day or two before you do another proofread. This time-lapse will help you gain some perspective.
Repeat the process until everything is perfect.
Week 4 Extra Practices:
Here in week 4, we’re teaching ourselves to pay attention to details and make everything shiny.
So what can help with that?
*Week 4 Extra Practice – 1. Keep studying grammar.
Make yourself dedicated to the proper understanding of grammar and syntax. This will become a crucial part of your written works.
If you can understand how to properly use words in a smart, intentional way, you can understand how to be a good writer. It’s as simple as that.
When you have an in-depth knowledge of grammar, you’ll be able to spot even the smallest error in your work.
This is how you progress on the path of professionalism.
*Week 4 Extra Practice – 2. Keep reading.
Again, this is a very important thing to do.
When you start to understand why certain writers resonate more with you than others, you start to find your own “style”.
This is when your writing stops being a mechanical practice and starts being a natural extension of your personality.
Pay attention to the little ways that the author introduces ideas, the flow of those ideas, the development of those ideas, and the wrapping up of those ideas.
Each detail adds up to an overall sense of style. Learn what those details are.
*Week 4 Extra Practice – 3. Keep meditating.
You knew it was coming…
If you’ve been meditating at 15 minutes a day, go up to 20. If you’ve been at 20, go up to 25. If you’ve been at 3 hours, go up to 6 hours. You get the point…
Meditation is possibly the best thing you can do to not only advance your writing practice, but also to help you live a more healthy, balanced life.
Whenever you have a free moment, meditate. Learn to incorporate this into your life, and watch everything around you transform.
Become A Professional Writer In 30 Days
So if you’ve followed this guide and all the practices here, then you should be free writing for 30 minutes every day, journaling for 15 minutes every day, meditating for at least 20 minutes every day, keeping a dream journal, reading a lot, talking to yourself a lot, studying grammar, brainstorming, creating well-defined outlines, proofreading everything (multiple times!), and most importantly, writing with intention, creativity, and passion.
This definitely sounds like a lot of things to balance, but when it all becomes incorporated into your life, everything will become very natural.
And when you start to produce high-quality and professional pieces of writing, you’ll start to understand where each one of these things fits in your daily practice.
That said, there is no “do this and you’ll be successful” method. There is no substitute for hard work, patience, and perseverance.
You will need to practice. Every single day.
That’s the only way that you will get better as a writer.
It would be naive to think that you’ll be the next Harper Lee in 30 days.
But if you take this 30-day foundation and keep practicing every day, it’s entirely possible that in 30 years, you’ll have written the next “To Kill A Mockingbird”.
And as you’re standing on stage receiving your Pulitzer, don’t forget that your empire was built upon this foundation.
Are you excited to become a writer? Are you going to follow this guide? Are you in the middle of following this guide and are stuck on a step? Have you finished this guide and are being awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature? Let me know about your process in the comments below!
I’ll be here to help you out in whatever way I can!
Here are a few more articles that will help you become a better writer:
- 5 Things To Practice To Become A Great Blog Writer
- Why & How To Create Blog Style Guide Like Top Media Houses
- How To Create Informative Blog Posts Even If You’re Not Good At Writing