How to Write Your Heart Out

We all have something to say. Whether you’re writing the great American novel or just crafting the perfect birthday card, some stories need to be told and heard. While you might think you don’t have the skills needed to take on this challenge, the truth is that everyone can write with enough time and practice. If you want to learn how to write your heart out, there are plenty of online tools that can help you along the way, from writing prompts to grammar checkers.

Try different types of writing exercises

Try different types of writing exercises
Try different types of writing exercises

Writing exercises help you get your brain and body warmed up for writing. Try different exercises—they don’t have to be long or difficult—to find out what types of prompts resonate with you. Do you like writing about your childhood? What about lists? Maybe do a daily exercise where you write down a list of things that happened that day, or free-write for 10 minutes each morning. Writing daily is an excellent way to improve your writing skills over time, so try and make it a habit if you can.

Use prompts from Pinterest

If you love writing but struggle with making it a daily habit, then Pinterest is a great way to get started. The prompts board on Pinterest offers hundreds of ideas for writing topics and prompts for your practice sessions. A number of these are very brief—just one or two words—which means you can commit just 15 minutes of time, but still come away with something to write about.

Use prompts from Pinterest
Use prompts from Pinterest

Keep up with your daily/weekly/monthly routine

It’s easy to fall behind in your schedule of writing daily/weekly/monthly. Before you know it, a week has gone by and you still haven’t put words on paper. If you find yourself falling behind, remind yourself that little steps matter: even if it’s only 30 minutes a day or 100 words a day, any progress is better than none. No matter how far behind you are, it is possible to catch up with your routine – just set aside some time each day or each week until you get back on track.

Commit to a schedule and deadlines

If you’re serious about becoming a professional writer, then you have to be serious about your deadlines. Get into a routine of writing regularly—daily if possible—so that you can establish good habits and make a real commitment. The best way to do that is to make sure that others know what your deadline is: Tell friends and family that you’re on a strict schedule, set up notifications on your calendar or phone reminders, or even find an accountability partner who will check in with you regularly. Do whatever it takes. Just don’t miss your deadline!

Set rewards for your progress

Planning rewards along your way to a big goal is one of those tactics that seems intuitive, but turns out not to be. In practice, it’s actually really hard for people to follow through. It doesn’t help that there’s little value in following through on a reward you’re already looking forward to. Yet research shows creating specific rewards along your way can help you stay on track and keep going when things get tough. For example, if you have an annual weight loss goal, find smaller weekly goals (lose two pounds) or even smaller daily goals (lose five calories). You’ll keep chipping away towards your weight loss goal because you’re setting meaningful checkpoints along your way.

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