Writing Wednesday: Clear Up Your Bad Habits with These Spring Cleaning Tips

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Spring cleaning is all about taking a look at what you’ve gotten used to (that mess of clothes in the back of your closet, the layer of dust in those hard-to-reach places) and seeing how you can make things better. Marie Kondo has written a bestselling book (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) about the benefits of decluttering, and those personal gains can be applied to your writing, as well.

So pull back the drapes and shed some light on your writing habits this spring. What is really helping you and what has become a crutch that you can do without? We have some tips for cutting back on the clutter in your work so you too may feel the magic that comes from a good cleansing.

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Writing

  • Always ask yourself, “Is there a simpler way to say this?”
  • Dive into the pile of abandoned drafts to see what’s worth resurrecting – say “goodbye” to the rest
  • Write, or do a pro-writing exercise (e.g., people watch on the bus), every day
  • Up-end your flow – if you typically start with an outline, try free-writing (and vice versa)
  • Submit it! You can edit and improve until your final breath, and sometimes the real work is actually just sending it in
  • Embrace failure and criticism – you might just learn something!
  • Pick a stream for a while. Having a depth of knowledge is great and it’s important to try diversifying your writing, but really developing a particular style or subject matter will grow your confidence, and that comes across in your writing
  • Use the active voice (for clarity and a shortened sentence length)
  • Don’t try to edit and write at the same time or you’ll be the snake eating its own tail

Unsurprisingly, the trick to decluttering your writing mind is the same as tidying up your home – Keep It Simple. Overanalysing every word and overstuffing every sentence is a recipe for a confusing final product, so tidy up your habits before tackling your next project and enjoy the magic that comes with a clear mind.

About Paperblanks: 25 years ago, we created Paperblanks to help keep book heritage alive and vital in our modern age, and to offer an inspiring space for people to express themselves. Thanks for joining us on this journey! For more about Paperblanks, go to our website at paperblanks.com.

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