Great writing comes from thinking deeply and clearly about things. And not just the things you’re writing about: thinking around a topic is helpful too. In fact, thinking in itself is useful. Developing your critical faculties is always a good idea. Thinking will allow you to spot similarities, make connections, and unearth new themes faster. The mechanics of writing are important (and bloody hard to master), but form and style lose their importance if the ideas aren’t there. Argumentation, alliteration, ellipsis, onomatopoeia: all of these should be harnessed to make a point. Writing goes off-kilter as soon as the writer doesn’t what they’re saying any more (or why).
- Think about what you’re writing.
- Be silent and still for a second.
- Seek a second opinion.
- Be the devil’s advocate.
- Try to get some critical distance from your work.
- Engage in someone else’s writing or ideas for a moment.