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If you have just joined us, then you need to read previous editions in the series, you will find these here:
With each publication in this series, I was giving you assignments to do and asked you to return these to me for editing. This way you sent in your effort, which I called a ‘submission’ and I send back a ‘correction’ to you. In doing this, you ended up with a comparison.
If you have just joined us, you are free to submit the earlier assignments to us for correction, to help get you started.
Otherwise I have discontinued this routine for practical reasons.
As discussed in part Seven, discipline is a vital characteristic for a writer. As discipline is a learned state, we can all, with no exception, develop the habit. If you are a competitive sports person, fitness of body and mind as well as honing the skills required for your particular brand of sport are all essential factors.
Competitive sports people set markers along the pathway to achieving their goals; by virtue of the fact that this system is used world-over, it is probably achieving its purpose.
Writing is no different.
As writers, each of us can use the system above to reach our dreams and I am sure many authors will attest its success.
Best selling author Paulo Coelho wrote that, early in his career, he set down to write at 8 am. Took time off for lunch then worked on to five pm. From what I recall, his wife was influential in helping him to apply this discipline. In more recent times he attests to first thing, spending time finding reasons to avoid starting his writing. Once he starts he will write onwards through the day into the night.
Setting a goal and then staging markers to the point of completion, did not work for me. This maybe something to do with the fact that I am a pantser and or the fact that I was officially diagnosed ADD.
What has produced results for me, so far, is at prescribed times I sit down and write for as many hours as I have available. This is my discipline. I think that I am extremely fortunate, inasmuch as I love writing so much, it is not difficult for me to start writing and continue for hours on end, punching out about 800 to 1500 words an hour. Thank God, so far, I have never had ‘writer’s block.’
Bottom line though, is disciplining myself to write at prescribed times. Disciplining myself to set about my home-based business, in order that my bank balance stays out the red. Assisting my wife wherever and whenever she allows me to do so. Fortunately, my wife’s passion is to see me achieve – for this I shall be eternally grateful.
I have discovered this discipline has allowed me to accomplish without goals and markers. Discipline has kept me in that place where my passion is allowed to drive my creativity and send me across the finish-line of accomplishment.
In short, get down and do it – consistently.
That behind us, let us touch on two important writing points:
- Over Used Words.
These words I tend to overuse: ‘that, and, so, was, then, also, great…..’the list is endless. Visit this link: https://www.grammarly.com/blog/common-adjectives/
In my opinion overused words water down our creativity. Diluted creativity bores our readers and is a sure sign of immaturity. You would be quite surprised if you went over your recent writing efforts and see how many of these words you use sub conscientiously.
Try this exercise: Without giving it any thought write a quick seventy-five words; you should be well equipped to do this by now. Take the completed article and see how many over-used words you can find.
Rewrite the article removing these words and replacing them with more imaginative one’s. In many cases this will require a change of layout in your sentences. You may even have to completely rewrite certain sentences.
Once you have completed this, you will be surprised at what a far more interesting article you have written.
- Use of dull unimaginative words, especially adjectives and verbs.
Take your rewritten piece above and now set about changing as many words with others. Try this link: https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/. You will find interesting synonyms here.
On finishing this exercise, compare your present article with the first and you will be pleasantly surprised.
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