There are many prolific writers out there who haven’t written books. Maybe they are not ready yet, maybe they never intend to write one. That doesn’t mean we can’t learn anything from their writing habits and practices.
I’ve sent three questions to five prolific writers with different backgrounds. By learning from their tips and tricks, you’ll get at least another per cent closer to your writing goal.
The answers were so good, I just did a copy-paste job. Please, forgive.
Mustafa Khundmiri: Freelance writer and startup founder. He’s been tweeting daily for over 400 days. And he’s not just tweeting random stuff. His one-liners are unequalled.
Jerine Nicole: Nurse turning writer. She’s a prolific writer on Medium and Twitter. You may know her as The Multipasionate Creator or the powerhouse behind Creator Sandbox.
Jeremy Ginn: The current atomic essay streak record holder with 106 at the time of writing. From leadership to family, I couldn’t imagine a better teacher and personal storyteller.
Amanda Natividad: Despite choosing quality over quantity, she has still completed 32 days of tweeting and 10 weekly newsletters. And it shows: her tweets and threads about content marketing are always on point.
Daniel Bustamante: Head of community at Ship30for30, where he brings together writers from all over the globe. Not the best at keeping streaks, but that’s hard when you’re writing tweets, newsletters, atomic essays and more.
Their Inspiration Sources
Mustafa: “I find a lot of my ideas from the conversations I have with people. These conversations inspire me to write on new ideas.”
Jerine: “I tend to trust that inspiration is everywhere. From conversations, from reading other people’s stuff, from watching Netflix, from working as a nurse, and from the shower. My mind is always looking to connect the dots that I can use as a next story or lesson for others.”
Jeremy: “Inspiration is everywhere. I find it in conversation, playing with my kids. It’s in books and movies. I find it while observing and in time alone. You can find it anywhere you choose to see it.”
Jeremy and Jerine did not read each others answers, by the way.
Amanda: “I find inspiration by reacting to others’ content: I think critically about what I agree with, disagree with, what I might have done differently. It helps me crystallise my own world views and opinions.”
Daniel: “I find inspiration by exposing myself to other interesting people’s ideas (reading a book, having a conversation, listening to a podcast), and then giving my mind room to chew, digest and make connections between those ideas (walking in nature, working out, sleeping).”
Prolific Writing Advice
- Practice reading at least 30 minutes a day.
- Practice listening to native English speakers for at least 30 minutes a day (sitcoms, movies, etc.)
- Practice writing at least 30 minutes a day.
- Write for yourself first and foremost.
- Once you’re over writing for yourself, write for others.
- Focus on getting good at writing in public and the rest will come.
- Commit to the daily process of showing up to write.
- Be ok with ok – it takes time to find your voice.
- Write with others. Connection can spur creativity.
- Copy your favorite writings into a notebook (digital or physical).
- You need to know what good writing feels like. Write every day to build a habit, but don’t ship every day. Shipping every day makes you more prolific, but it doesn’t make you better.
- Be clear, not clever.
- Curate, then create: don’t try to reinvent the wheel – everything is a remix.
- Publish a lot, publish often: frequent publishing is the cure for perfectionism and insecurity.
- Fish where the fish are: talent without distribution is wasted. If you want to build an audience, you should write on platforms where people can actually see your work.
What’s your favourite tip?
Their Deepest Writing Secrets
Mustafa: “I write even when I don’t feel like writing.”
Jerine: “Focus on the idea that you’re sharing. Writing is just a tool to spread your ideas. The more you focus on the ideas you want to spread, the faster your writing will improve.”
Jeremy: “I expect to write every day. If you’re struggling to find the words, start with questions like “What am I thinking about today?”
Amanda: “I focus on making ideas as accessible to people as possible. So I focus on clarity and trying to hold people’s interest.””
Daniel: “I write about things I’m genuinely passionate and curious about. Writing is hard. Writing every day is even harder. If you try to force yourself to write about a topic you don’t care about, you won’t do it for too long.”