Top 10 Pieces of Writing Advice That I Live By

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know everything about the world of writing. Whether it’s article writing, blogging, or even works of fiction, I’m always trying to learn new things in order to better myself and my craft. Getting better at writing is one way to do so, and it’s also the best and most important way. But I also look to other writers for inspiration. Not just fellow writers at the same level as I; well-established writers from all walks of life have also helped.

I’ve decided to share 10 pieces of writing advice that has helped me in some way. Perhaps on or more of these will resonate with you, inspiring you to get back to whatever WIP you’re currently working on. If it can help me, it just may help you, too!

1. “Set a goal each week for your writing and work to reach it. Wake up every morning and treat it like a job. It’s all about regularity. Read back what you’ve written and ask yourself, ‘Do I enjoy this? Does it work?’ If you’re stumbling over something as you read it, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite!” – Sharon Grenham-Thompson

2. “First drafts are always horrible and ugly. Don’t worry about that – it’s the same for everyone. Just remember that the first draft is as bad as the book is ever going to be, and if you keep redrafting, one day you will look at your horrible book and realise that you’ve turned it into something actually quite beautiful.” – Robin Stevens

3. “Write down everything that comes to you in an adrenalin rush in the small hours, and on waking up. About one-half – truly – will turn out to be useful and it sets you up for the morning’s work.

Write something, anything, for the first few hours of the day before lunch. Even if it isn’t perfect, it is the stepping-stone to the afternoon and settles your brain (and your conscience!).” – Laura Cumming

4. “They say write about what you know. But maybe, more importantly, one should explore the unknown within those areas of familiarity. Whether that be a technical or emotional aspect. Writing, as much as reading, is an investigation of the world and your response to it.” – Rachel Rooney

5. “Growing up I believed only certain people were allowed to write books – namely, fancy literary heirs who had gone to the right school and university. Not people like me. But of course, anyone can write a book. And anyone should, so that we have more diversity of voices in publishing.” – Julie Mayhew

6. “You have to write because you love writing, not because of something external the writing might bring you. Most of what you write only you will ever see, and that needs to be enough or you will never do the work that’s needed.” – Benet Brandreth

7. “Keep generating new writing and new ideas. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. Oh, and make peace with the fact that (in your eyes) it will never be perfect, or finished.” – Michelle Thomas

8. “It’s important to be inspired by other writers and sources, but when it comes to the actual writing, I swear by going into Tunnel Vision Mode. Pretend nothing else exists but you and your idea. Don’t compare and don’t despair.” – Emma Gannon

9. “Make yourself write regularly. It’s like anything: The more you practise, the better you’ll get.” – Jennifer Gray

10. “Writing is not just about the act of sitting in front of the computer, fingers on keyboard. It’s watching the world around you, eavesdropping on conversations (if you can do it without being noticed, a learned skill: waitressing helped me) and talking to people. I’ve gotten some of my best ideas at the grocery store, or sitting at a stoplight and looking over at someone in the next car, wondering what their story is. Carry a pen and paper so you can jot things down. They may seem silly or useless at the time, but you might surprise yourself.” – Sarah Dessen

Keep in mind that not of these pieces of advice will apply to you. There’s nothing wrong with that! Just remember that everyone’s on their own writing journey, and that no one journey is the same. Walk your path proudly- but never be afraid to look for inspiration or help if you need it.

xo,

Elizabeth

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