What are you top five favorite pieces of writing advice?
- First, a quote – not advice, really, but something I hold close as a children’s author: “We have been given the sacred task of making hearts large through story.” (Kate DiCamillo)
- Writing a first draft is making clay (so it's okay if it's messy!). Revising is sculpting something worthwhile out of that clay.
- Keep showing up. (Do the work.)
- So much of publishing is out of your hands. Don’t spend your energy on things that are out of your control.
- There’s always more to learn.
- Just because something works for someone else doesn't mean it must work for you. You do you!
- You don't have to write every day to be a writer
- Remove aspiring from your profile, if you write you're a writer, not an aspiring writer
- Kill the filter words, it strengthens your writing. Not he heard the car horn blare, just the car horn blared.
- Keep moving forward. Find good writing buddies that wont let you quit.
- You are your own writer - it's good to be inspired by other authors, but find your own voice. That's where you'll find the most success.
- Can't stop, won't stop - write when you can, as much as you can. But don't force it. Let it come when it feels the most natural.
- Always keep an open mind to critiques. Your beta readers, critique partners, editors, agents, whatever, all want what's best for you and want to help you improve your craft.
- KEEP READING!!! The most important part about writing is reading.
- Ignore the "no's" and focus on getting that "yes" - as writers we will experience ten million no's before we get that magic yes. The yes will come, as long as you're in it for the long haul.
- BONUS - never give up, never surrender
- Don't compare your progress to others.
- Give yourself time away from a project when you need to.
- Remember most of the work is done in revision.
- This is more of an industry thing that a writing thing, but all the same: Be nice to people.
- Every great book feels like a failure at some point. If you can remember that, and remember what it felt like to move past that failure, you'll likely be able to make a career as a writer.
- It’s about emotional connection. If readers relate to your character, then they’ll care what happens to them, and you’ve just won the biggest battle of good storytelling.
- Back on failure If you can embrace it (i.e. allow yourself to experiment and fail) you’ll grow much faster as a writer, as opposed to always trying to be perfect.
- Take every opportunity you can to remind yourself why you started writing. Push yourself to constantly rediscover that magic.
- Step out of the high-stakes performance zone on occasion and take time to study great books, analyze what makes them great and then experiment with what you’ve learned in your own writing.