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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

20 Writing Exercises and Tips for Expert Authors

20 Writing Exercises and Tips for Expert Authors

Keep Your Inspiration Flowing and Pen Moving
Whether you have writer’s block or simply don’t have a lot of time on your hands, you know creating buzz will help you succeed, but how do you do it?
First, it’s important that you don’t let your platform lay fallow or become stagnant. From publishing articles to social media, stay fresh on the scene by continually providing content that offers a great user experience. And not just any old content – make sure it’s quality content that’s relevant, informative, and original.
Next, make writing a priority. Even if it’s simply 15-30 minutes a day, create a dedicated writing routine. If and when you feel the clammy hands of writer’s block or just need a jump start, try any of these 20 writing exercises and tips!
  1. Research trends. Don’t become obsolete – stay in the conversation! Change can happen daily; be the first to pick up on new trends. See what others are discussing on various blogs and news sites. Discover, consider, and then predict.
  2. Become a storyteller. Stories of real-life events often show the reader what you mean better than just telling them. These stories can lead to relevant calls-to-action that offer advice as to how to accomplish or avoid the moral of your story.

  3. Listen to imagine. Listen to one of your favorite pieces of music – something that ‘moves’ you. Let that music feed your imagination and write.
  4. Train the rookie. “When I first started …” Imagine you’re giving advice to your replacement, i.e., someone who has little or no experience. Explain the obstacles you overcame, what you learned (the hard way), etc.
  5. Read your draft out loud. This helps you pick up errors or “trouble spots” more easily than silently reading. When you become tripped up, consider how to write your message more clearly.
  6. Going on holiday? Use the new scenery as inspiration for article ideas! Take a travel journal with you and discover how you can work those ideas into your niche.
  7. Read comments. Next time you’re reading an article or a blog post online, scroll down to read the comments. Note the questions, reactions, etc. to gain reader insight as well as discover what readers want or what other authors are missing.
  8. Ditch the technology. Combine a fresh sheet of paper, your passion for your niche, and a good pen to unleash the power of your ideas during your next brainstorming session.
  9. Ask: who, what, where, when, why, and how? Start with any subject and apply all of these questions. Dig deeper, beyond the obvious, to deliver incredible answers to readers.
  10. Get your blood pumping. Workout. Go for a run. Do push ups in your living room. Get moving! A healthy body is a healthy mind and it will channel your energy into great articles.
  11. Change your scenery. Go somewhere. The park, zoo, downtown, or just sit under a tree and enjoy the day for a moment. Focus on your surroundings to find inspiration in your environment.
  12. Alphabetize. From A to Z, list the letters of the alphabet. Write a word related to your niche for each letter of the alphabet. Go over these words and consider how you can expand on these topics.
  13. Respectfully eavesdrop. Sit in a busy public place and listen to others around you. Jot down the topics of their conversations. What are others passionate about? What topics are popular in the world around you? Write a list of 10 article titles based on the conversations you heard.
  14. Shake up your approach. Instead of envisioning your article, imagine you’re writing a movie or a book, painting a picture, or giving a speech. You will think of new approaches for your niche; utilize those approaches to create new and compelling articles.
  15. Get a stopwatch. Write down a topic. Set a stopwatch for at least two minutes and then immediately begin writing. Allow your mind to tangentially flow without reviewing what you’re writing. Once the time is up, consider what your readers would find most valuable. Use it to write your next article.
  16. Save the introduction for later. Don’t get stuck deciding how to introduce your topic. Write the most important information first: the benefit(s) to readers. Once you have the structure and informative benefits, then write the introduction and conclusion.
  17. Turn on the television. After watching a movie or TV show, consider the most memorable scenes or character interactions. What emotions did you feel? What did you relate to the most? What parts of your niche or audience’s needs are similar? Try to emulate these scenes or characters to engage and compel readers in a relevant article.
  18. Practice descriptive writing. Paint a picture in your readers’ minds by incorporating more descriptive details in your writing. Use similes, metaphors, and even analogies to help form a clear image.
  19. Start a conversation. Whether it’s a peer, a friend, or family member – start a discussion. Talk about your ideas, your audience’s needs, or even a new trend in your niche to gain another perspective because two (or more) minds are better than one.
  20. Map your ideas. Pick a topic and map it out by narrowing it down to its most basic principles. Reverse this process by expanding the topic – consider elements that are related to or affected by the topic.
BONUS: Use Article Templates. Take the guesswork out of article writing and generate hundreds of article ideas with EzineArticles’ 52 interactive Article Templates on PDF. Click here to learn more.
Do you have any exercises or writing tips you would like to add? Join the conversation by sharing them in the comments section below!