Yesterday was a warm and sunny day, the warmest of the year so far and we spent a great deal of time working outside in the yard, trimming bushes and the dead stalks from perennials that we hadn’t managed to do before winter and that sort of thing.
It’s always interesting to see the yard after the snow has melted, to see what survived the cold temperatures, and what plants are already poking above the surface with new growth. We have a huge yard, nearly a third of an acre, in the suburbs and I love walking around it at this time of year, envisioning how lovely the gardens will look and making plans for changes and improvements—a new plant or tree here, maybe a trellis with a climbing rose bush there, etc.
Springtime offers a fresh perspective. It’s almost like seeing the yard for the first time.
How Writers Can Gain a Fresh Perspective on Their Writing
A fresh perspective is important to see where we need to make changes and improvements, but, as writers maintaining blogs and cranking out books, how do we gain that?
Here’s some ideas that might help:
- Read it out loud.
Sometimes we can hear the errors and weaknesses in our writing easier than we can see them.
- Read a book about writing.
For example, if you’re writing a thriller, read about how to write thrillers. You might find some advice that you can implement or recognize a weakness in your own writing that you need to correct.
- Take a writing course.
Learning new things can alter your perspective and as an added bonus, build your enthusiasm.
- Work with beta readers.
Feedback from others can be very helpful and can provide you with a fresh perspective.
- Walk away from your writing for a while.
You don’t have to physically walk away from it of course, but put it in a drawer or close the file on your computer for a while—a day, a week, a month—whatever it takes for you to gain a fresh perspective.
- Have your writing read to you.
There are numerous text-to-voice apps available. Many of them are free. Microsoft Word offers this with its latest versions. Find one that works for you as some of them sound more natural than others and listen to your book.
- Review your writing in a different environment.
Sitting in the same spot, at the same computer, can be like wearing blinders. Shake things up a bit and take your laptop into a different room before reviewing your text.
- Review your writing on a different computer or device.
Your writing will look somewhat different on a different device and sometimes that subtle difference is enough to give you that fresh perspective.
- Print out your writing.
I don’t like to review things online for errors and I will often print out my documents and grab my trusty red pen to mark them up.
- Change the font, text size or line spacing in your document.
It’s amazing how much of a difference something so simple can make!
Well, I hope that gives you some ideas for gaining a fresh perspective on your writing. If you have more ideas that you’d like to add to the list, please leave them in the comments.