Write Tip Wednesday: Stretch before Writing Your Novel

November 9, 2011

Stretch your writing skills. Yep, my tip for today: write something you wouldn’t normally write. If you’ve never written non-fiction, write an essay (blog), a magazine article, or a newspaper column. You may have no intention of going into advertising, but write some ad copy or a television commercial. Every “real job” I ever had eventually became a writing job. When I worked for a department store in high school, I ended up writing advertising copy, when I was hired as an office assistant for an auto accessory boutique, I managed to wiggle my way into writing press releases and catalogue copy, and although I started as a receptionist for an advertising agency…I ended up writing ad copy and a few television commercials.

A writer that I’ve known for many years made it clear to me that these projects weren’t real writing. The truth is that everything I’ve written has challenged me as a writer and sharpened my skills. Advertising work is some of the most challenging writing I’ve ever done, and the twelve years that I spent writing columns for newspapers and freelance writing magazine articles sharpened my skills in other ways.

So stretch your skills. If you have a daytime job in accounting, consider asking to work on an employee newsletter. If you are a stay-at-home parent, volunteer to work on the PTA’s publicity committee. Simply start a notebook that you use exclusively for little writing projects that take you in new directions and challenge your current skills. Everything you write has the potential to make you a better writer…so write.

Now, I need to get started on my goal for today…rewrites on chapter nine. What are you writing today?


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