1. Read: Nothing helps you internalize successful writing like reading. You may or may not realize it, but you’re absorbing the rhythm of well-crafted sentences, scenes, and stories. As you develop your own story, it helps to have published works that serve as examples of aspects you’re trying to include.
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3. Critique: When you help a fellow writer by reading their manuscript, you reinforce good writing for your own projects. You may find elements of a critique partner’s WIP that force you to take a closer look at your own strengths and weaknesses. Just being mindful of what makes or breaks fabulous writing keeps those rules in the forefront of our own minds.
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5. Research: Whether you want your story to include a scuba-diving character or to take place in Venice, Italy, researching is a great way to immerse yourself in your story. Researching can stimulate ideas for conflicts that naturally tie into your character’s interests or the history of your setting. Another benefit of research is that it helps you envision the world for your story, making it easier to immerse yourself in the shoes of your characters.
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7. Attend a conference: There’s no better way to meet other writers, hear inspirational presentations, or get feedback on a manuscript. Another benefit of going to a conference is that it gives you a gut-check—Are you on the right track with your writing? Do you know what agents and editors want? Have other authors experienced the highs and lows you're going through? Conferences are filled with writers just like you, reminding you that you’re not alone in this business.
8. Move: Give yourself permission to step away from the screen and go do something else. Successful writers and illustrators often talk about the benefits of doing a daily physical activity. Walk around the block, busy your hands with knitting, or hit the gym. Even if you’re thinking about writing during these breaks, you’ll come back to the chair with greater focus.
What tips do you have for non-writing activities that make you a better writer? We'd love to hear what works for you. Please post your energizing activities to comments!