There’s a thread weaving through Facebook that I’m enjoying these days. Writers from all walks of life are sharing their top five writing tips and secrets, and then they challenge another five writers to do the same. I’ve been following the threads like a hound chasing rabbits, loving the snippets of insight and advice from the authors that I admire. And so, when Alexandrea Weis challenged me to post my top 5 writing tips/secrets, I thought I’d share it as a blog post as well.
5. Read. Everyday. Not junk. The good stuff. If you can’t find something new, go back and reread stories you love, the ones that moved you in some way, and break them down. Analyze them. Find the magic between the words.
4. Write. Everyday. Even if it’s only a few hundred words. Even if you don’t feel like it. Even if you resent it. Write anyway.
3. Surround yourself with creative, intelligent, fierce, people who are brutally honest. These friends love you enough to tell you if your back fat is showing in that dress you want to buy, or if you have spinach in your teeth, or you need to tone it down and order a glass of water between the wine. Let them read your stuff before you send it somewhere, and trust them. They’ll tell you if they see a plothole or if your writing is weak.
2. Dedicate a few hours a week to improving your craft. Whether it is watching a video from a famous author or taking a class about plot and structure, make continuing your education a priority. The stronger the writer, the better the story.
1. There is an inescapable sense of vulnerability when we share creativity. Embrace it. Whether it be sharing music, writing, or a sculpture, the feeling is the same because it was created from a deeply personal, intimate place. There’s no getting around it. So be courageous and share your writing, for it is in these moments of intense vulnerability we truly live.