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read like a writer

How To Read as a Writer

If you fall down the right wiki-hole in the tinfoil hat-wearing corners of the internet, you’ll learn that “it was aliens” is a rational origin for much of modern technology. Whether it came as gifts from our interstellar allies or was reverse-engineered from crashed saucers, no one at Area 51 is returning my calls to confirm.

But in a big way, reading another author’s work is the same as discovering a UFO from another galaxy and digging out its secrets.

Some philosophers say each person is a world, so it would follow that each message they send out is a vessel from that world. So how do we as writers who want to upgrade our own abilities brush away the dirt and damp forest leaves, find a seam for our crowbars, and pry open a panel of alien metal to reach the glowing sprockets and humming diodes inside?

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practicing writing

The 2 Most Effective Practices for Professional Writers

After writing full time for four years, I’d still modestly consider myself a rookie writer. But just by advertising my articles on LinkedIn and Twitter—where I have a half decent following—occasionally younger, more inexperienced writers get in touch with me and ask me this question:

“How do I become a successful writer and get clients?”

It’s quite funny, actually; I remember torturing writer and writing coach Elna Cain with similar questions in the past.

“Elna, how can I become a better writer?”

“Elna, how can I earn money writing full time?”

“Elna, where can I bag myself clients regularly?”

Her answer was pretty clear, and that was to keep practicing my writing—practice even when I’m not working on a project—write even when I have no clients—and when I’m not writing … read.

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writing inspiration

3 Ways to Inspire Yourself Out of a Writing Drought

One essential ingredient for your writing life is knowing how to wake up your writing spirit, which is that subconscious push to write. Writing droughts exist, but there are ways to avoid getting caught in them.

Writing can be fun with its expressive nature and can also be challenging through the fight to string words together to reach a sensible point. However, it can feel burdensome when you reach a dead end or fail to get inspired to write.

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harry potter

What I Learned About Professional Writing from the Harry Potter Series

My Harry Potter story is unique: I didn’t attend Hogwarts via the book series for the first time until I was 17, almost too old to be a student. The first Harry Potter movie I saw in theaters was Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald in late 2018. I’d heard of Harry Potter growing up, but I had so many other good books to read, I simply never found the time.

But although I fell in love late, I fell hard. On any given day, you can catch me wearing my Ravenclaw Quidditch (est. 1092) sweatshirt, listening to the movie soundtracks, and drinking a butterbeer latte at a coffee shop.

The book series about a young wizard boy is a classic, but for writers, it’s more than just a good story: Analyzing what exactly made the Harry Potter books so successful can help us become better writers. Here are the top things we can learn from Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling (the first self-made billionaire author) to carry over into our own writing careers.

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