November 12

One sure-fire way to improve your writing


    You can read a thousand books on the craft of writing. You can journal every day for years. But what’s the best way to actually improve your writing? By finishing a writing project, publishing it, and starting another one. It’s called “iterating”—to perform again and again.

    Write. Publish. Write. Publish. Write. Publish.

    That’s how you incrementally move from an amateur writer into the level of professional writer.

    An amateur writer will stay an amateur forever if she writes only one chapter and revises it incessantly. An amateur writer will remain hidden in obscurity if he writes the first draft and tweaks it for decades.

    The only way to level up as a writer is to finish the chapter, finish the draft, revise it until it’s good, and publish it. Then, yes, you’ll get feedback, and some feedback might be good, and some feedback might not be good.

    But the professional will absorb all of the feedback, both good and bad, choose which feedback is most useful, and start a new writing project. Notice that you can’t possibly get feedback unless you actually finish and publish.

    Publishing will always make you feel vulnerable.

    When you are first starting out, be kind and understanding with yourself. Releasing your writing to the world, when you know it’s not as good as you want it to be, will leave you feeling very raw and emotional. Every bit of negative feedback will lash your soul and make you want to crawl under a blanket and never write again.

    But you will write again. Because you won’t be satisfied with yourself until you publish again, this time, something better. And THAT is how you know you will be a success. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but you are making incremental progress every time you finish a project and publish it.

    As you’re making progress, just be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself as you would a friend who is a writer. Remind yourself that you’re making steps in the right direction, and that’s what counts.

    And when you do feel an elated high, celebrate yourself.

    Be assured that, soon, you will feel a rush, a thrill, a high when you publish. When that moment comes, relish it and encourage yourself to enjoy the feeling. Congratulate yourself, just the way you would a friend.

    I remember when I had just released my book, I hardly even wanted to talk about it with anyone. We were out to dinner with my family the day after my book went live on Amazon, and I hadn’t said more than 10 words about it. Halfway through the meal, my husband raised his glass and said, “I’d like to propose a toast to Morgan. She published a book! And that is an amazing thing. Good job, hun, we’re proud of you.” Everyone raised their glasses and said, “Cheers!”

    I realized in that moment that because I had shied away from celebrating myself, I was cheating myself and those closest to me. They wanted to celebrate me! They were just waiting for me to initiate the celebration. Thank goodness my husband didn’t mind kicking it off.

    Create rituals of celebration.

    Now, when I send something out into the world, I have rituals of celebration. I take a half-day completely to myself, a time when I can rest, read, and enjoy doing nothing. I use a work day, so my nanny is taking care of my kids, and I just let myself celebrate.

    And, if you have small kids you know, that is fantastic motivation to get back to writing, finish another project, and publish it. ;)

    Write. Publish. Write. Publish. Write. Publish.

    This is the beat of our drum.

    Click below to watch my more in-depth video explanation. If you’re struggling with how to iterate in your writing, take the next 25 minutes to watch this video:

    If you like this video format, you should download the Periscope app onto your phone and follow me @MorganGMac. I scope at least five days a week, all about writing motivation, inspiration, and advice.

    What about you? Do you struggle with publishing? What’s one thing you could publish in the next month? And how will you celebrate after you publish?


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