Writers’ Boot Camp: Tip Roundup Edition

For about a year, we at ProfHacker have offered advice about writing, as it’s such a large part of our work in higher education. We’ve provided many tips, but you, dear readers, you have provided many more. As we know, writing is hard work, but it’s harder from some people and not so difficult for others. We are here to help, though, and to offer encouragement…no matter where you in the process or no matter the struggle you might have. Here’s a down and dirty list of many useful writing tips. Hopefully some of them will be useful to you.

  • Have an objective for your writing task.
  • Plan your time – setting aside time specifically for writing.
  • Join a writing group.
  • Share your deadline with others (peer accountability).
  • Break a large project down into manageable pieces.
  • Just Do It!
  • Find inspiration that will help you create text.
  • Give yourself rewards for effective / productive writing sessions.
  • Visualize success!
  • Commit to a writing project.
  • Read.
  • Use an alternate method to write. (Computer? Use crayon. Pencil? Use the computer.)
  • Ask for help.
  • Use a timer or a stopwatch and sprint / write for a set amount of time.
  • Learn to say “no” to tasks that distract you from your writing goals.
  • Set yourself up to be successful at writing at writing.
  • Construct a writing contract with yourself.
  • Use the DRAW method..
  • Turn off the Internet (and your Smartphone, the iPad, and Law & Order reruns)
  • Clean your workspace (a metaphor for cleaning your mind to focus on writing tasks)
  • Find a “third space” where you can work—a space away from family, students, and your job.
  • Find metaphors that support your writing lifestyle (the football edition!)
  • Use 750words (or similar service) that encourages you to write each day.
  • Think of yourself as athlete, a writer athlete, an athlete of the written word.
  • Take care of yourself (body, health, spirit)

How about you? What tips and tricks can you add to this list? Please leave suggestions in comments below.

[Image by Flickr user, Laffy4k and used under the Creative Commons license.]

Return to Top