Another Wednesday, another chance to be heard loud and clear.
What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received ever?
Here’s mine: “Writers write.” So simple. So profound. So maddeningly ambiguous. Sigh.
Discuss amongst yourselves.
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Best advice: Write. Don’t make it perfect before you go on. Just keep writing.
Maya Reynolds says
This one is on the wall in front of my laptop: Don’t tell me the moon is shining. Show me the glint of light on broken glass. Anton Chekhov
Julie K. Rose says
Best writing advice? It was a speaker at the SFWC this year (I’ll have to dig his name out). “Writing is a journey of personal discovery and development. Getting published is just gravy after that.” Incredibly valuable advice and perspective.
Alex J. Avriette says
Kevin Smith (of Jay and Silent Bob fame) was asked in “Evening Harder” by a writer if he would read his (at the time half-finished). Smith had to stop the audience, who were booing loudly, to say “Just f—ing finish your manuscript.” He repeated this several times, when the questioner began to explain why he hadn’t finished, why Smith should read it, etc.
Sadly, this point was lost on me before I started writing. At the time, I didn’t pay much attention to it. I can’t just go and write a book, now can I? It turns out you can, of course. At the time, the thing that got me started writing was realizing that the process is cathartic.
So perhaps the initial advice should be something along the lines of “if you don’t write it, whatever inspired you to write a book to begin with is going to give you an ulcer,” followed up with “just write it already,” when the inevitable doubt or procrastination sets in.
I believe that Heinlein’s third Law must be understood in connection with a literate understanding of the second – “finish what you write”.
It isn’t finished until you’ve done the rewrite and polish.
After that, you don’t try to mess with it except to editorial specs. Although for an unpublished author, specs from an agent constitute “editorial”.
"Try to write at the same time every day." -Anne Lamott (Bird By Bird)
It is so true! Creativeness LOVES routine!
You're allowed to suck.
I got it from http://www.ishouldbewriting.com (incidentaly where I found a link to this blog too). I suffered from compulsive first chapter re writes until I heard this bit of advice, now I get more done…and he first chapters are better too.
Sean Craven says
"Just because no-one can understand anything you say doesn't mean you're smart." — My college roommate Gerry.
And the ones about omitting needless words and avoiding the passive voice? They've got me excited all over again — I think I'm starting to understand what they really mean.
The best advice I ever got was not in words. My father, who was writer, never spoke to me (as I recall) about what makes good writing. Instead, he shared his enthusiasm of his craft with me. He made the world of words seem magical and powerful. The joy he demonstrated for writing, for me, was a lesson in itself.
I love how so many people say "just write" in some way or another.
George R R Martin (author of The Song of Fire and Ice series) gave me the best advice. Besides just writing, which seems to be a theme, he also said read.
Why is the best advice always so simple? Oh yeah, because it works, no matter how you think about it.