A statement of intention to become a better writer, and 5 hot tips that might help you too.

A duotoned dark purple and beige version of the Apple emoji of a hand holding a pen as if to write, in front of a bright green starburst shape

wordsmith, noun.
“One with the ability to effortlessly string together words, no matter their actual meaning, in an instance and in such a way it brings a smile to the faces of those listening, sometimes often laughter or tears of admiration for having heard someone with such an amazing skill.” 

Urban Dictionary

Writing is hard. We started this blog for a few reasons, and becoming better writers was one of them.

It’s weird, I have zero problem talking — for hours! — and yet when I flex my typing fingers, open up a blank page and see that blinking cursor, I’ve got nothing. Tumbleweeds. Time to make a cup of tea and wait for inspiration to hit.

When I do start typing, my default tone is unnecessarily formal. I’m all, “…discussion of the thing will make for a better understanding of its purpose and therefore a better thing itself. Kind regards.” (Don’t even get me started on “Kind regards”, that’s a whole other post.)

So here are some tips I’ve come up with for myself, that you might find helpful too:

Hot tip #1: Lose the distractions ✨

I know there are apps whose purpose is to minimise distraction so I Googled “just write app hide distraction” and found the one I’m using now: Calmly Writer. I’ve also heard good things about Paper App (free; for iPhone/iPad), but TBH Google Docs, Word, or Pages would work just as well in Full Screen mode… and now I’ve remembered, that’s probably what I’ll do next time.

Hot tip #2: Cut the fat ✂

Once you’ve written something, run it through a free online tool like The Writer’s Diet or Hemingway App for a quick check against useless words and lack of clarity.

Hot tip #3: Say it, don’t type it 💬

I had planned to dictate this post into my phone, then transcribe it afterwards but with a house full of people I decided to at least try to read it aloud in my head as I wrote. It helps!

Hot tip #4: Phone a friend ☎

Google Docs is my go-to for gathering feedback by sharing the link and asking for edits in Suggestion Mode, as well as any comments. If you’re not a Google native, or want clearer comparisons between versions, try Draftin.

Hot tip #5: Just write ✏

Writing something is better than nothing. Start with imperfect then refine, rewrite, edit, and revise.

Voila! That’s how I put this post together, and in the process I guess it has inadvertently become the baseline: the very beginning of my journey to wordsmithery.

Kind regards,