Redditors on Writing: The Takeaways

Morgan Freeman on Reddit

It is nearly impossible for a writer to exist in a vacuum. We all need the support, encouragement and especially the advice of other writers. It doesn’t matter if you are seeking tips on how to write an essay for college, ways to improve your sales copy, or insight for developing characters in a novel. We all have something to learn from our fellow composers.

What Do Redditors Have To Do With It?

Perhaps you yourself are a Redditor – an obsessive fan of Reddit.com. If so, you understand the site is a wealth of information and insight. Therefore, it probably isn’t surprising we’ve managed to compose an entire article filled with your witty repartee.

If, however, you aren’t a regular at Reddit.com, you are probably questioning our reasoning. After all, it’s sometimes said a Redditor “possesses an inflated sense of self-importance.”

In most situations, the tendency to spout out opinions on nearly everything under the sun is a bit obnoxious. However, in some instances, it can also be helpful. And fortunately, we’ve found one of those helpful situations!

One particular Redditor (GetYourAlbatros) started a conversation that is actually quite helpful. This Redditor posed the question: “What is your number one tip or trick for better writing?”

This extremely popular thread shed light on a very helpful topic. There are plenty of websites, books and even inspirational quotes from the literary masters who supposedly offer tips for writers. While these things are often helpful, the information is sometimes hard to relate to.

After all, it’s challenging trying to emulate a famous author who simply needs to churn out a half-hearted attempt at a blog post or book and instantly secures an obsessive fanbase. Following in the footsteps of a starving artist who is still in the trenches, trying to combat writer’s block on a daily basis is easier to relate to.

So, let’s hear what the Redditors have to say!

“Don’t be afraid to write shitty. Assume it will always be shitty until the end.”

This is perhaps one of the best pieces of advice when it comes to battling the blank page. If you expect sensational material to flow magically from your brain to your computer screen, you’ll never get anywhere.

Another Redditor added: “Get the ideas on the page before you lose them.” Don’t correct spelling errors. Don’t worry about proper punctuation. Don’t stop to research a point. Just write. You can edit later.

C. J. Cherryh said, “It is perfectly ok to write garbage – as long as you edit brilliantly.” Once you have all your thoughts down, go back and edit. And edit again.

“Always start a new sentence or paragraph before you stop writing for the day so that when you come back, you have somewhere to pick up from again”

If a single composition spans several writing sessions, it is a fact of life that most of the time will be spent reviewing what you’ve already written. There is a chance that just as much time can be wasted trying to determine where you’ll go next.

Combat both of these issues by leaving yourself a little inspiration. Maybe you jot down the opening sentence to the next paragraph. Maybe you quickly compose all the upcoming subheadings. Maybe you leave yourself a short and direct list of bullet points, outlining where your thoughts are headed.

E. L. Doctorow said, “Writing…is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”

“Disconnect from the internet.”

For me, as a blogger of the company that provides essay writing service, this is probably one of the most difficult tips to follow – yet it is probably the most helpful. Another Redditor commented, “My output increased by roughly 300% when I started writing in a café without WiFi.”

Until it’s gone, you won’t notice how much time you really waste on the internet. Sure, you know the time spent Facebook stalking or Reddit obsessing is pointless, but you won’t know just how many hours you waste until you disconnect.

Having the internet in the background is just too tempting. You might jump online quick to research a fact. While you’re there, you check your email. Someone sent you a link to an article. You must read it. Now, you need to log on to all your social media accounts and share it with the masses. While you’re there, you’ll want to catch up on the latest gossip.

And what happened to your writing project? What writing project?!

Just remove the temptation. Turn the WiFi off. Go somewhere where the internet isn’t available. Heck, use paper and a pen if you must!

“Learn to kill an idea.”

For most of us, writing is our passion. We often feel we are bleeding as we type. That’s why it is difficult to edit. No one wants to think a single word is unworthy.

But to be successful, you must learn to kill an idea – no matter how attached you are to it. Another Redditor commented, “Good ideas usually don’t take long to flesh out. Bad ideas suck hours from my productivity.”

Stephen King added, “When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.”

“If you have inspiration, do not stop writing until it runs out. This is when your absolute best stuff is going to flow, so letting an arbitrary thing stop you will only impede your progress.”

Work schedules are great. They can force you to be productive when you are absolutely certain nothing of worth can flow from your brain.

Most writers recommend establishing a writing schedule. Tell yourself you are going to write for a certain length of time at a designated hour each day. If you don’t do this, there is a very good chance you’ll never get around to it.

However, writing schedules can be very limiting too – if you let them. When writing is a struggle and thoughts aren’t flowing naturally, having a cut-off time will ensure you don’t give up prematurely.

But if the good stuff is flowing, don’t stop! Don’t close up shop just because the clock chimes a certain number of times or because your favorite TV show is about to start.

William Faulkner said, “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.” Get it down – no matter what else might be going on around you.

Hopefully, you’ve made it this far and the fact we suggest you take advice from Redditors didn’t offend you too much. In a worst case scenario, you can just pretend we got the above tips from an anonymous source. After all, according to Ernest Hemmingway, “it’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.”

Now, how about you pass the torch, share the love, follow in the footsteps of others. Share your best writing hacks in the comment section below.

image source: Reddit

 

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