The Best Writing Advice

Alarm clock 2Someone recently asked me, “What’s the best writing advice I ever received?

“Get up earlier.” This came from my mentor, DiAnn Mills when I whined about not having enough time to write while also working a full time job.

So I did. I began a daily routine of beginning my day at 4:00a.m. This gave me one-and-a-half hours of writing time every day. I would not have completed by my first novel without this advice. To this s day, I still schedule time to write every day.

I also shared this piece of writing advice from Dorothy Parker. “If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.”

Advice 6Then the person asked me, “What’s the worst piece of writing advice I ever received?

“Write what you know.” I knew very little about the story that was in my heart when I began. I also knew very little about how to write a story.

I quickly changed this to “Know what you write.”

Learn the craft, research your story, research your genre. And realize learning is a process that will be part of you for your entire writing life.

My advice to aspiring writers: Writing is work. Treat it like your job.

Do you only go to work when you feel inspired? Be professional in everything you do in writing. And enjoyAdvice 2 it. Especially enjoy the serendipitous discoveries you’ll make about your characters and yourself as you craft your stories.

What’s the best and worst writing advice you’ve ever


One Response to The Best Writing Advice

  1. David Friant August 22, 2016 at 7:01 pm #

    Looking forward to meeting you during the Roanoke gathering on 9/2 & 3. I’ve finished a 30-year Fed’l Gov’t career and am now chasing my passion. Hope to forward the one-page “critique-able” bit of effort from what is remnants of my first YA/Realistic Fiction short story.

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