I've read a lot of books and a lot of blogs chock full of all the tips they think you will ever need to be a GREAT writer. And I'll admit some of them are actually useful.
But wouldn't it be great to have the most important, the core philosophy, the mighty-guru-kahuna-big ball-of-cosmic-know-how condensed into 5 easy steps?
Well now you have it.
I don't profess to be the end-all-be-all of wildly successful writers either, but these steps work for me... and I mean they actually WORK.
And look, there is nothing I can do here in a few paragraphs that will make you a star. I will not sit here and blow smoke up your ass that these steps will GUARANTEE sales. That's not what this is about.
It's about being a better writer. And that, my little grasshopper, is the first and BEST step you can take to just possibly getting some more fans, and then... who knows?
So without further introduction, here they are:
1. WRITE. Yea, I know. It sounds overly simplistic doesn't it? But let me ask... what's your word count today? Yep. That's what I thought. Close the browser and open your word processor of choice and start WRITING. (After you read the next four tips of course;-)
2. STOP COMPLAINING. It's a common (and deep) pitfall we all fall into at times. It's the other guys fault. Blame the agent for not accepting your manuscript. Blame the dog for barking too much. Blame your wife, your kids, your boss, your mom and dad... you get the picture. In the end there is no one but YOU stopping you from writing and thus improving your creative abilities. Takes practice. Complaining effectively halts the process. Stop it.
3. MAKE A GOAL. I don't care if it's 100 words a day, 10,000 words a day, or 200 manuscripts by the time you're 35. Make a goal. It really helps.
4. SET A DATE TO REACH SAID GOAL. Doesn't work if you say "Oh maybe someday..." Stop being a pansy and make a goal, set a date AND WORK TO THAT DEADLINE!
5. TAKE A MOMENT TO APPRECIATE ALL YOU HAVE ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED. Stephen Covey calls it something like "sharpening the saw". Take a break, do a little contemplation, see the greatness and wonder of all that you have created and BE HAPPY ABOUT IT. Then get back to #1.
It's really not rocket science folks. With a little hard work and some direction in your life you CAN be a better writer!
Now get your ass BACK into that story (screenplay, poem, ...) you're working on!
And for more great advice check out Kristen Lamb and Chuck Wendig