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3 Quick Ways To Improve Your Writing

A good friend of mine once said: Every day I write is a good day. And after more than ten years of writing I still agree with this statement. Writing is great. But its also hard work. According to Malcom Gladwell, to become an e !ert in anything you need to in"est at least #$,$$$ hours. While that is somewhat an arbitrary number and im!lies that genius or e !ertise can be manufactured according to a formula, there is a certain truth in it, ne"ertheless: In order to become good at anything, not %ust satisfactory but really good you need to in"est a lot of time and effort.

1. Regu arity
&nless youre disci!lined, all you end u! with is a lot of em!ty wine bottles. All through my career I"e written #,$$$ words a day ' e"en if I"e got a hango"er. (ou"e got to disci!line yourself if youre a !rofessional. )heres no other way. *.G Ballard If you want a formula that se!arates serious writers from those who !refer calling themsel"es writers to the actual writing+!rocess, this is it. I would add to this that it doesnt necessarily matter how many words you write or what your inter"al is. (ou could write ,$$ words e"en second day or -$$ !er day, the main thing is that you stick to some kind of disci!line. In other words: If youre not working according to a deadline !ro"ided by your !ublisher or em!loyee, set yourself one. It will become a life+line. .ometimes it wont be necessary to follow the !attern because youre doing it automatically. But there will be other days on which youll want nothing less than to sit down and write. )hese are the days where it matters most. )he result doesnt ha"e to be e cellent. )he main thing is to keep going. /n good days youll effortlessly shoot beyond your self+im!osed word+count, on others youll struggle to e"en reach it and gladly !ut the !en down 0or close the lid of your la!to!1 once youre done.

In any case, this disci!line gi"es you an im!ortant yard+stick to measure your !erformance, not its 2uality necessarily but its continuity.

!. "ess Internet
)he !roblem with o"er+using the Internet or com!uters is not that necessarily that its bad for the eyes or that too much sitting will kill your back, although this is !robably true, as well. )heres a dee!er reason why, if you want to write !rofessionally, the Internet can become your worst enemy. .er"ices like 3acebook let your e ecuti"e brain off the hook: )he !lanning and e ecution of any task in"ol"es the !rocessing of information by multi!le brain regions and circuits acting in !arallel. 4ogniti"e tasks re2uire the brain to select and configure the a!!ro!riate data !rocessing resources5 a 6task set controls the moment+to+moment !rocessing of data in"ol"ed in the e ecution of a !articular task. 7ut sim!ly, if you kee! clicking Like, Tweet or Stumble too many times a day, your brain will enter a !assi"e mode where theres little or no conscious decision, e"aluation because reactivity ru es. 8emember the saying:9 Google before you )weet is the new think before you s!eak9: 3or more information about this, see also A Mindful Guide )o .ocial Media.

3. #ore $ooks
;I cannot remember the books I"e read any more than the meals I ha"e eaten5 e"en so, they ha"e made me.9 < 8al!h Waldo =merson )his is a no+brainer. )he better the 2uality of the in!ut, the better the out!ut, at least in theory. It doesnt mean that if you read #$$ !ages of .hakes!eare e"ery day youll become a .hakes!eare, yourself. >o. Its more like this: By !utting high 2uality material into your brain, it challenges the !rocessing, thereby im!ro"ing it. .eemingly sim!le, reading is an infinitely com!le !rocedure. )he way we !rocess words into feeling and images is de"elo!ing the more we nurture it.

In other words: If you are constantly engulfed in great writing, the way you !rocess words will be shar!ened and alert, a tool that you can a!!ly to your own sentences to diagnose why one thing works and another one doesnt. +