And don’t stop.
If you can find peers and mentors along the way even better. I wrote briefly on the exceptional value of having like-minded artists to share your craft with in my first post on Inscribe. In this post I'll share my rhythm and tools that have helped me create over the years. Maybe an idea or two will work for you….
The habit of writing is perhaps the single greatest tool to become a better writer. Being a voracious reader is a close second, but honing your craft on a daily basis is crucial to continuously improve your prose. In what manner you put those words down isn’t so much important as the exercise itself. This routine is not only a job to improve, but it feeds the appetite of the writing soul. I’m one for journals/notepads (see below). I rarely leave home without a pad of paper--it’s my method to deal with the constant swirl of ideas in my head.
Whimsically jotting down odd ideas is one thing, but the opposite end of the spectrum includes the arduous labour pouring through draft after draft of a piece of work. Whether you have a publisher lined up or not, the task of producing crystal clarity in a completed work is a necessary task to hone writing skills. Sending that work to an editor (or critique group) so it can be gently torn to shreds is another step in growing tougher skin and improving by leaps and bounds.
Write—a lot—and don’t stop.
If you open the tool chest of the writer what will you find? Here’s a glimpse of mine.
Notepads for every occasion (I have a weakness, I know). The pen and the paper are better for my mind over electronic versions. Each one of my projects has a separate notebook that I can pick up and insert brief ideas or long thoughts, that in their scattered form, start to take needed shape.
Writers and artists are also picky in a manner that few people can relate to. Your tools are important and even the type of pens used (quick and don’t skip) are necessary features. I’m a creature of habit and when I find something I like I’ll buy 5. Right now I'm partial to Pilot VPens in blue (not black, it doesn't flow right) to scribe.
Although the tactile feel of paper and pen are my primary choice, I rely on important apps and software as well. Evernote is a powerful tool that can neatly categorize ideas based on tags (or electronic notebooks). Play around with the app and you’ll always have the resource so long as you have your phone. I generally build most of my blog posts within Evernote before transporting them over to Wordpress.
Eventually the computer comes into play. I've found dictation to be an interesting method of getting large portions of text down quickly that have been sitting dormant in my mind. (Although dictation doesn’t always hear the right word which leads to lost ideas as you try to remember what you were dictating 15 seconds ago.) My writing software of choice is Scrivener (I’ve essentially abandoned Microsoft Word as a writing tool). The capability of separating ideas into folders for quick access and clarity works wonders to build ideas and narratives.
These are some of the pieces I like to use in my writing endeavours. What are some unique tools in your arsenal?
Catch Rohadi at his missional church blog, and check out his Christian themed adult coloring book coming out in June.