Sunday, March 22, 2009

Give us your favorite writing tip.

Writers out there, I'd love to hear your favorite tip about writing, whether you're just starting or have years of experience. It could be something about how to think about writing, how to think about yourself as a writer, how to get over writer's block, how to get published, how to get lots of sales, viral marketing, or whatever wisdom you'd like to pass on to other writers.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Laura, One thing that has plagued me as a writer is procrastination. I finally figured out the trick. You just have to jump in the pool, so to speak! Start writing! No matter what you're writing about, even if it's not what you're aiming for just yet—when you start the process, the project will come. It sounds simple, but it's really the advice I wish someone would have given me a long time ago! Luck in your prose, Meg O'Morrow

Vix said...

Figure out the time when you are at your writing best (for me it's the first few hours that I'm awake) and don't let anything stop you from writing then. Morning pages, a letter, a blog, a chapter, an essay. Just make yourself write each day.

Anonymous said...

Be persistant. The only reason I did get published was I didn't accept all the rejections I received. I had a book I wanted out there and "No" was not a good enough answer for me. I never actually got the book published, but the persistance paid off anyway. I was invited to contribute a short story for anthology because I kept plugging away. The advice of "keep writing, no matter what" is also good. When I experience the dreaded "writer's block", I write nonsensical poems, scene fragments or even fan fic. It keeps my instrument fresh and keeps me in creative mode. Often times, I'll find myself writing a comment that throws me right back into the piece I should be working. Then I'm off to the races again, writing up a storm. You can post this on your blog if you wish."
Posted by Brandie Tarvin

Anonymous said...

"As for marketing, I'd say always follow up on your queries. Send a query, wait an acceptable time, say, 2 weeks to 2 months depending on your target's publication frequency, then shoot out a quick reminder. Emails get lost, deadlines take priority over new queries, editors forget to respond. Lots of things can explain an unanswered query, and sometimes it just takes a little reminder to really get the ball rolling."
Posted by Christina Rebuffet-Broadus

Anonymous said...

As a technical writing consultant, I often find myself trying to explain good technical writing practices to people who aren't writers. The heart of it is this: Inside every complex idea there is a simple idea waiting to be grasped. Find it, and let it shine through. It is always there. (In case you are wondering, I reached this conclusion while writing an explanation of how industrial particle accelerators work.)
Posted by Karen Mulholland

Angela said...

Good tips above! One tip I just told my readers was to find a writing buddy who can give you good feedback and support. Invaluable.

Angela

Follow me on Twitter @sparklyscotty

Steve Wilson said...

My boss, Barry Maher, has keynoted several writers conference. His favorite tip for writers is simply this: "Write. Sit your butt down in front of the computer and write. If you wait for inspiration you're going to be competing with all those who understand that the only way to become a better writer is to put in the hours and the effort, whether or not you happen to feel like it." www.barrymaher.com

Jim Donovan said...

Years ago, I asked the only professional writer I knew how I might become a writer. Her reply, "Write." So I did and, 7 books later, I'm still doing it:-)

I think the key, especially for a newer writer is not to let your inner critic take over. Just write. We have editors and copy editors for a reason.

For published (non-fiction) authors, look for niches outside the book store. Where else do your readers hang out? Who else could sell your books? Don't overlook foreign rights. Been very good to me.

Lorelei said...

From HARO, here is the first writing tip I received, from Melissa Hart. You may have seen her reviews of Literary Magazines in your favorite writing magazine. She has a new book coming out this fall, Gringa, a Contradictory Girlhood, so watch for it! Here is her tip:
Do you have a talent for telling a good story in just a few minutes? So many magazines publish one-page essays; at approximately 800 words, the piece leaves editors just enough room for a photo or other art. Some of my favorite markets for this type of essay are Horizon Air Magazine, High Country News, and Skirt!, but you'll find that there are hundreds of other publications that look for poignant, oftentimes humorous short essays.

Don't be afraid to pitch your own photos to illustrate your essay, as well. The first photo I ever had published was a picture of a weed in Horizon Air Magazine. I'd written an essay about flunking my nature photography course, and this was the only successful picture I shot.

Melissa Hart

and Laura says, stand by for MUCH MUCH MORE in the way of writing tips, my mailbox is pretty full!