Saturday, May 23, 2015

Why Thought Balloons? - Brian Manton

Before joining Thought Balloons I wasn't writing every week, let alone every day. That weekly deadline might seem like a small thing but it brought about big changes. It was a starting point to build from. The benefits of having like-minded writers to learn from and with cannot be understated. I've learned a lot since that time so I thought I'd use this post to pass on some second hand advice that I've picked up over the years.

- The best way to improve at anything is regular deliberate practice. Write every day and focus on what you want to get better at.

- If you are not good at creating self-imposed deadlines, try joining a writing group (like Thought Balloons!) so that you have someone to be accountable to.

- Read widely from all mediums and genres. You can learn from everything - even bad writing.

- If you think you don't have time to write, watch this video:

- Don't spend too long reading about writing. It's easy to get caught up in process stuff. Allow yourself to indulge in it only on days when you've already put in your writing time.

- If you do spend more time thinking about writing than actually writing, read this book:

- If the process of writing comes easy to you, be thankful that you are one of the lucky few Ray Bradbury-types who sit down everyday and enjoy writing every word.

- If, on the other hand, writing feels like a constant process of frustration and humiliation... don't worry. You are not alone. “When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.” ― Kurt Vonnegut

- It's never going to get easier, and you need to be ok with that. You need to want to do it anyway.

This is all advice that I still struggle with at times - but I have improved, bit by bit, and Thought Balloons was instrumental in starting that process.

- Brian Manton

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