Simple Flow That Makes Writing Easier
When English isn’t your first language.
Writing is hard, no wonder why it’s complicated to do it in another language. You can think of using different tricks like a translator, but that won't get you any progress. We want some quick hack, but at the same time, we would like to become better at it.
My first language is Spanish, I’ve been writing in English for 45 days non-stop. Along the way, I’ve read a lot of articles stating tips and tricks that will make you a better writer. Those can work if you’re already a literate person with a perfect sense of good English writing. But not all of us have been around this language all the time in our lives.
That’s why I will share with you my strategies to write better. I’m not saying that you’ll become the next Carlos Fuentes or Hemmingway, but they can help you with grammar and composition.
Plus, the secret sauce, how you can leverage them for free.
You can think this is a joke, but it ain't. The first step of writing is always to write, so you better get along to do it on this platform. The Medium editor provides a few advantages over other tools:
- You will be able to focus more on the article in hand.
- You can work on the format while letting your brain wander.
- You can search through the Unsplash library during your breaks.
- You save time if the whole piece is being laid-out while you create it.
Writing is important, work on a system that encourages you to do it more frequently. The way to deploy new habits into your routine is to make them very easy to fulfill. If you over-complicate the process of writing it might become dreadful.
Using this tool is fairly easy, you can do it on any device as it has the apps for all platforms. Thus, at any moment throughout your day, you’re able to do some editing or creative writing. In the long run, this habit will make you a better writer. Remember that the first draft will better not be the last one. Returning to the piece over and over again will ensure that it has good quality. That’s what I like the most about this editor, I can review my work at any time on any device.
I’ve been using Mediums editor to write all my first drafts for 45 days, the results are 12 articles written and published. I have also a few pieces that don’t convince me, but the writing is there. The important part is there.
There are some ways you can improve your writing while using this editor. You will need the following tools.
I’ve found a good combination of tools that will allow you to write faster without grammar mistakes. It even works better if you use Google’s web browser with the Grammarly add-on.
Here’s how the flow works:
- I start my first draft with Medium editor, finishing it without stopping.
- Once I’m through I go to my Grammarly on the desktop. Here I paste the whole article for spelling check. You can skip this step with the web browser add-on, it allows you to review the spelling while you’re writing it.
- When all the mistakes have been covered I go to The Hemmingway app. Here I paste once again the whole article. This tool will provide you with cool insights about your story. The use of passive language, forced adjectives, complicated sentences, complex words. You will have to decide which changes to make in your story, depending on the type of impression you want to make.
- Finally, you copy the whole text again to the Medium editor. Here you check the visuals and format of the story, ready to hit publish the moment you finish.
This system has provided me with the assurance of not getting in my own way. Sometimes inspiration comes in complicated situations. I have to be ready to write down my ideas as they flow. Having the app in all of my devices has been a great way of not losing that flux of powerful thoughts.
There is no easy way around becoming better at writing, many different writers agree with that. They recommend a habit that will allow you to improve, reading. This activity develops the quality and quantity of ideas that your mind generates. In turn, you can write better stories and have more to write about.
In combination with the flow that I described, I’ve been reading every day to improve my craft. This is also hard because I’ve never been used to consuming content completely in English. But after 45 days I can say that it has become easier and my mind does write with more flow than before.
I recommend to you these books to kickstart your reading abilities:
- How To Kill a Mockingbird — Very amusing and easy to read, the writer takes you through an emotional flow.
- The Richest Man in Babylon — This book has a double use, it’s simple to read but it also provides knowledge about managing your finances (Bonus).
- The Green Mile — One of my favorites, this book is a classic. It’s pretty big but worthwhile.
Those are 3 of the 9 books I’ve read so far in this period, the others are more complex and will make you struggle. Start easy, let your mind develop the taste of a good read. Soon you’ll be enjoying the process.
The flow I’m using right now might be good for you, but try to develop your own. Find creative ways to improve your writing, good ideas flow when the conditions are optimal. I hope you find my story useful, if you also have a flow I definitely want to hear about it.