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Everybody wants Inspiration to Write, Nobody wants Perspiration

There seems to be many myths surrounding writing a book (or a paper, for that matter). Most of these centre on the idea of ‘the muse’ and waiting for inspiration to strike. We mess about all day, thinking we’re adding to our work by reading a bunch of articles, going on Quora, and then immediately forgetting what was found. I don’t want you to be that person.

The scholar's greatest weakness: calling procrastination research

The one thing you might want to stop to read is a book I found years ago. It’s called ‘55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer’ by Roy Peter Clarke. In the preface, it says:

“These practical tools will help to dispel your writing inhibitions, making the craft central to the way you see the world. As you add tools to your workbench, you’ll begin to see the world as a storehouse of writing ideas. As you gain proficiency with each tool, and then fluency, the act of writing will make you a better student, a better worker, a better friend, a better citizen, a better parent, a better teacher, a better person.”

Surprising, hidden techniques are revealed in this book, techniques that will make you a better writer. (I just used one of them).

Writing a book requires long periods of quiet isolation. Enthusiastic, sociable people take the longest time to sit down and write, particularly if they are not getting feedback from a book writing coach. That’s me.

Then there is the mental hurdle of looking at one’s writing of a draft. Of course it may well be wooden or too wordy. That’s okay. Here’s where the perspiration comes in. You want it to be better, so you employ a couple of techniques in the re-write. Some of these are making brief sentences; just a clause really. Break a few rules.

Here’s More Grammar Rules you can Break

Don’t put ‘of which’; just end that darned sentence with a preposition (e.g. something he was dreaming of).

To create a scene, your sentences can go longer. Start with the subject and verb. To be clearer on a point, you might go shorter. You can start a sentence with ‘And’, but not too often. You can start with Although or But, followed by a comma.

Don’t mess with comma rules — this only creates confusion in the reader.

Writing tip: re-write your introductory lineMore Perspiration

So you have written a chapter to the topic you planned but it went a little off-track. A story reminded you of something, but that was not on task. Does it read like you’re wandering from the topic? Is it bringing up whole new areas that haven’t been explained yet? Set it aside in another document and come back to your topic.

Paragraph Level: Does an included story or factual point explain your idea? Did it illustrate clearly and does it feel authentic? Did you manage to keep to your point of view? E.g. You/your, I/me, We/our.

That’s all I can think of today… I haven’t perspired enough. 🙂

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