When you write something--a speech, letter, email--think about what you want the reader to do in response. Write that one thing down in a sentence. Doing this focuses your work. Work from the goal. Work backwards.
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This works not only because of the ol' notion that you better by doing something over and over. Instead, a lot of writing is a numbers game. You have to try out a lot of versions of writing before you find the right one. There are few great writers. I'm not a great writer. But I'm a killer re-writer, and that takes less magic than just hard work. THAT is the difference between those who write professionally and those who wish they did.
(Image via ScreenCraft)
Writing is rewriting, and whether it's good or bad stuff it takes about the same amount of time to rewrite a first draft.
Speaking as someone who has spent years competing as a writer for jobs and recognition, I will tell you that this is among the most important things to keep in mind. In the long run, persistence is more important than talent. You can develop the latter over time, but you can have the former just by making the decision.
(Image via Scriptapalooza)