I can’t stress this enough. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have any business writing. If you can’t make time to read, how are you supposed to make time to write anything worth reading? Read new books, re-read old books. When you’re reading something you’ve read before, look for how the book is written. Don’t just read them, study them.
- DISCIPLINE > MOTIVATION
Motivation cannot be relied upon. Motivation will strike at 2am while you’re trying to sleep, while you’re driving down the interstate at 75mph, while you’re in the shower, basically any fucking time it wants. Sit down in front of your computer and try to call up MOTIVATION and you’ll probably be disappointed. But if you have the DISCIPLINE to sit down in front of that blank page then you should have the DISCIPLINE to write something, no matter how much you may hate it. Because…
…is your friend. Force yourself to sit down and write 1000 words. It may sound like a lot but it’s really no more than about a page of single-spaced 12-point type. Don’t sit down for an hour, because it’s easy to waste an hour in the blink of an eye. If you can’t be trusted to ignore your precious social media pages, close your browser window. Disable your internet connection. You don’t need internet to put words to paper. Force yourself to generate 1000 words, no matter how long it takes. You can always throw it away or rewrite it later. But if you consider yourself a writer, and you’re not writing, what the fuck are you doing?
Written works without number have sputtered to a halt, some never to rise again. There are many more works which have sputtered to a halt only to have the barrier destroyed by something as simple as speaking your quandry out loud to an objective party. You may have a ridiculous attachment to one of your main characters, and it may be the most obvious thing in the world to everybody else that your main character needs to die or have some horrible trial visited upon them to break your road block. Sometimes speaking to an inanimate object or pet is enough. Just verbalizing can be enough to make one think of things in a different way.
If you’re on your fifth Harry Potter fanfic, maybe try something different next time. If you have trouble writing dialogue, write a lot of dialogue. If description is difficult for you, focus on describing the characters and the settings in which they find themselves. Unless you are taking a creative writing class(which does NOT focus exclusively on poetry, which in my experience is what happens most of the time in creative writing classes of all levels but why put myself in a bad mood by dwelling on it) you are your own instructor. No one will drill you in improving your abysmal powers of description, or ask why your characters never speak. Ask a friend to read your writing and take their criticisms to heart, unless they have no idea what they’re talking about but if that’s the case, it’s your own fault for not choosing your audience better.
PS – for tips from a far more reputable source, I suggest you invest in Stephen King’s On Writing.