This tip is nothing new, but it is often overlooked.

Musicians learn by playing other people’s songs long before they write and compose their own. Painters paint still life, or copy existing paintings to understand a particular art style. Architects sketch buildings that already stand on the streets.

There’s value in understanding how and why something works a certain way, even if you’re not creating anything new.

Pick that one book that you absolutely adore, and try to re-type it. You may be surprised how many subtleties of language, plotting, and style you’ve previously missed.

I’m currently re-typing Terry Pratchett’s Night Watch.

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