21 Tips to Keep Your Writing Sharp


Face it every writer has days when they sit down to write and the words just don’t flow onto the page. You write one sentence and check how many words you just added in hopes it will miraculously be sufficient. The problem writers have is, when their heart isn’t in their writing, it shows. (Here’s how to overcome your writing demons).

To help you get your writing on track, here are twenty-one tips to prevent you from getting to the point where you have what I affectionately call blank-screen-syndrome.

  1. Create a list of articles you want to write but don’t have the time. I find that it’s easy to get inspired to write pieces about other topics when the pressure’s on to write a specific topic. There’s nothing like a deadline to make anything else seem exciting.
  2. Feed your mind. Read a book and/or other sources of insight such as blogs and news sites to get ideas. This isn’t an excuse to get a snack or other indulgence.
  3. Develop a story around a trending topic, even if it’s not in your area of focus. The objective is to stretch yourself to find a way to write about the hot topics. This can be useful for bloggers and company content where you need to keep your content relevant.
  4. Keep a swipe file. Sign up for a wide range of newsletters focused on your main topics to see what other writers and bloggers are covering. Save those articles that provide new insights or a different format for inspiration. This doesn’t mean you should simply copy someone else’s ideas or articles.
  5. Collect relevant questions you and others have on your main subject area.Think like you’re writing an endless FAQ. A list of questions gives you a hook to build your content around. This is particularly useful for blogs and company content.
  6. Get a jump before you quit. Before you quit a writing session, write down the ideas you have for the next session; form them into an outline added to the current document to make it easy to pick up where you left off.
  7. Close your digital door to remove distractions. This means close your social media sites, chat and email. To this end, it’s useful to have a dedicated space for writing.
  8. Make an appointment to write. Set your timer or alarm for a specific time and that’s when you have to start writing.
  9. Change writing environments. If you always write at your kitchen table, and you’re now stuck for new ideas, try writing at a coffee shop or local library.
  10. Seek inspiration. Do something that provides you with a muse. Go to a play, or museum.
Read all 21 via heidicohen.com

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