Share Your Best Writing Tips (and Discover Some New Ones)

    best writing tips - woman on phone

    Every writer is an expert on writing, write? I mean, right?
    You don’t feel like an expert? Join the club! Neither do I. But imagine this scenario:

    You’re at home. It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon and you’re sitting at your computer.
    The phone rings.
    “Hi,” the caller says. “My name is Jordana and I hear that you write.”
    “I do, but…”
    “Well, I want to become a writer. Could I please ask you something?”
    “I don’t know whether I…”
    “Look, just let me know your three most important tips for a new writer. What are they?”

    What would you say to Jordana?

    Please share your response in the comments! (You can find my three little secret tips there too.)


    Image courtesy of Pixabay

    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at WritetoDone.com. Grab her latest all new course Blogwriter's Bootcamp 2.0 or a copy of her free report, How to Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet in Less Than 5 Hours. In her “spare” time, Mary’s also the brains behind AlistBlogging.net. and GoodlifeZEN.com, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • marika says:

      While I am a complete amateur, I do have a few things that I find helpful writing pretty much only for my own pleasure. Plus I am actually way too young to write tips. So I don’t know if these will technically improve or worsen your writing, but at least this helps me to get started.

      1. Write what comes, and let your style flow naturally. Don’t think “I want to sound like this and that”, but just write for now. Write. As much as possible.
      2. Don’t worry about anything when you are writing the first version. You come back later and edit it, so no need to overthink stuff when you are just trying to get everything down in a logical order – or not even that.
      3. Read, listen to music, watch movies, look, see, listen, catch inspiration on the way. Sit down. Let pictures fill your head, and think why, where, when. Enjoy for example long busrides watching your very own movies, and write them down if not at the spot, then as soon as possible. Keep thinking of your ideas until you get them down. Talk to your ideas and characters, make little behind the scenes -shots with them, to open up their personality. It doesn’t just help, it’s great fun!

    • :) Laura :) says:

      1. WRITE
      2. READ
      3. Read pages like this so you can get more tips than I just gave you 🙂

    • Larry says:

      Aaron — would love to hear you elaborate a bit on your post. I use house analogy a lot myself… not sure where you’re taking it here. Thanks.

    • Aaron says:

      Great houses are expensive, but if you want a house that is really fancy then you may contact some private individuals who have the ability to build you a stunning house.

    • 1. Read a lot.

      2. Write daily – even junk. Write from your heart; later from your head.

      3. Be good to your body; exercise – get out of the house. Your brain will thank you.

    • Thanks for the article. Very helpful. I’m a publisher myself and I always like to read articles like yours.

    • Larry says:

      My three favorite tips:

      1. Every scene should have a succint mission to accomplish. And it should get to it quickly, with pace and efficiency and the colorful extension of characterization.

      2. Character isn’t just quirks and personality. It is decision and action, juxtaposed against pressures, conflicts, temptation, backstory, inner demons and desires. It it integrity, courage, generousity, lovingness, truthfullness… or not.

      3. Enjoy the writing journey. Don’t copy the bestsellers because that word means nothing to you and is out of your control. In fact, the only thing you have control over is your work, from there it’s almost completey out of your hands. If you do this for some future return, you’ll be frustrated. If you do it for the love of putting it on paper, then you’re a happy writer.

    • Most of the ground has already been covered. I am a character writer and one of the most magical feelings in the world is having your characters come to life and head off in directions you hadn’t anticipated. There is no sure fire way to accomplish this, but something that often works for me is vague plotting. When your plot is too defined, you tend to shoehorn your characters into it. This is restrictive and suppresses your subconscious (where the good stuff lives).

    • 1. The more you read the more you will succeed.
      2. Believe in yourself, then others will as well.
      3. Always write from the heart.

    • John P. says:

      1. Each day: Get in front of the computer and write
      2. Each day: Get in front of the computer and write
      3. Each day: Get in front of the computer and write

    • dbonny says:

      1. Keep it short*
      2. Keep it interesting
      3. Don’t leave the reader hanging

      *Just enough is more.

    • 1-Write

    • Anna says:

      1. Be natural. You don’t want to come across as “trying too hard” in your prose. And unnatural dialogue is the kiss of death for a reader.
      2. Give your characters flaws. Nobody can relate to perfection.
      3. Do your research, but don’t let that stop you from actually writing. If you need to go back to research something later, just make a note in your manuscript. Don’t get bogged down with the process.

    • Daniel says:

      1. Be very sincere.
      2. Avoid vagueness. Instead refer to people, actions, stories.
      3. Deliberately imitate the best writing you find.

    • 1.Shut up

      2.Be quiet, close your eyes(and)

      3 Open your eyes and just transcribe what you hear coming from your head after 10 minutes of applying 1 an 2 above.

    • 1.Shut up.
      2.Be quiet (and)
      3. Just transcribe what you hear coming from your head after 10 minutes of applying 1 an 2 above.

    • 1. Don’t edit anything you write until you’ve written all you can, at least for that time session/chapter/word count. Let it flow, get it out, revise later.

      2. I found my best writing friends and thus invaluable help and advice by searching for writing groups online and joining the local writers guild. Don’t underestimate the value of networking, critique groups, and moral support.

      3. If you’re meant to be a writer, NOTHING, be it rejection, discouragement, periods of staleness, what have you, will ever stop you. PERSIST.

    • Don’t take advice, which means you should ignore what I have to say. And another tip – Don’t waste your money buying costly binoculars. Just stand closer to the object you want to see.

    • 1. Write what you know. Even if it’s a subject matter you know nothing about initially, try to understand it as best you can. And then once you’ve internalized it and figured out what makes it of interest to YOU, it’ll be easier to communicate “what you know” to your readers.

      2. Write tight. If you can’t be your own editor and ruthlessly slice and dice copy, then you aren’t going to get any better. Don’t be married to your words. Sometimes you have to lose a few layers of paragraphs to get to the good stuff.

      3. Write every day. How else can a muscle get any stronger? You have to use it! Start a blog. Begin a short story. Do whatever it takes to get your thoughts written down each and every day.

    • Tom Williams says:

      Follow the advice of Elmore Leonard and “leave out the parts people skip.”

    • Mikeachim says:

      1. ***Care***.

      Find the things that fill you with intellectual lust and endow you with a world-conquering glow of self-satisfaction afterwards. Things you fall in love with. Write *them*, When you’re writing straight out of your soul, your writing glows and sparkles like Tinkerbell, and your readers get the very best that you’re capable of. OK, as a freelancer it’s not always possible to write the things you love, but work towards that goal, all the time. Anything else is just a job.

      2. Push everything you write in every direction (in a non-spammy way, without being obnoxious) – because you’re not a good judge of your own writing. You’ll always be able to find fault, and you’ll always see it as unfinished. So push it out there. Get feedback. Get rejected. Every single successful writer sits on a pedestal made of mistakes and rejected manuscripts. All of them. See if you can get as high as them, so you can shout howdy.

      3. You’re not *becoming* a writer. You *are* a writer. It’s something that you are, not something you might be one day. If you’ve written something, you’re a writer. The end. So use that kind of language when people ask you what you do. Believe it and revel in it (without pretention or pomposity). And measure up to it, too – which means writing lots and lots, even if it’s just for the hell of it.


      There’s a lot of really good suggestions in this comment thread. I like. 🙂

    • Basho says:

      Actually, I once emailed Terry Pratchett (back when I wa, in Uni and he had a public email address – web 0.5 days), and he said, “You have a pencil? Paper? Then write!”

      Glib, but then he is correct.

      The best advice, not withstanding what I said above, came from Saul Stein when he said (paraphrased), “Writing is the putting on paper of what is not visible (or unsaid)”

      I try every day to follow that advice.

    • Kimmo says:

      Thank you for this thread and thanks for all the advice! I am a bit sceptical, though, about the advice that just state: “Write!” It sounds snappy and to the point, but it is a bit like if someone asked you for advice on how to lose weight, you would say: “Lose weight!”

      Here’s my go on the subject:

      1) Keep thinking about your goals and keep revising them: Why do you want to write? What do you want to write? How could you arrange your everyday life so that you could write more? As Steve Chandler puts it: “Discipline is merely remembering what you want.”

      2) Do your best to avoid distractions, from the outside and from within. I have promised myself not to get on the Internet or check my e-mail before lunch on the days I am writing. I also tend to write in cafes where it is difficult to run away from a writing job and where you get at least an illusion of being social.

      3) Ask for help. Interact with other people and ask for advice, feedback and encouragement.

      I hope someone finds this useful!

    • Basho says:

      1. Read your work out loud to yourself/wife/cat.
      2. Writing is a habit, it must be formed and nurtured to become natural activity.
      3. Critics wish they were writing novels. Don’t just critic things, write new material.

    • Don Bates says:

      The best and least expensive writing courses I know of are given by your local colleges and universities. They’re 10-14 weeks long which gives you a lot of time to study writing and write. The teachers have been vetted, as well.

    • kentropic says:

      My favorite observation on writing: “Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” ~Gene Fowler

      On the way to looking that up, I stumbled across some great advice on grammar and mechanics:
      “Do not put statements in the negative form.
      And don’t start sentences with a conjunction.
      If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
      great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
      Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
      Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
      De-accession euphemisms.
      If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
      Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
      Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.”
      ~William Safire, “Great Rules of Writing”

    • 1. Think about what you want to say before you start writing.
      2. Write like you talk–only better.
      3. Good writing is rewriting.

      Works for me.

    • Chris Moore says:

      For those that reference writing courses/meetings/conferences, what are your favorites?

      Fiction, Non-fiction, whatever.

    • Don Bates says:

      1. Take a writing course. Put your feet to the fire and see if you’ve got what it takes.
      2. If you have what it takes, write, write, write and don’t look back.
      3. If you don’t have what it takes, walk away. Save yourself from the agony of an unfulfilled life.

    • Great question Mary. Here are my 3 best tips:

      1. Don’t write if you don’t know your topic well and haven’t done your research.

      2. Write in simple, everyday language. Don’t send your readers to the dictionary unnecessarily.

      3. Follow Sol Stein’s advice – “show, don’t tell”. Exploit the engaging power of imagery.

      A bonus tip – don’t just sit and write, read more, take a walk, take time out and meet people, look around and feed your muse.

    • 1. write for yourself first to learn and feel comfortable and confidence with your unique voice.

      2. write with an eye to adventure but never lose your passion for certain topics.

      3. write without fear of what others (family, friends, etc.) might say.

    • janice says:

      1 – Be present, feel deeply with all of your senses and LIVE! How else will you have anything to write about.
      2 – Write for yourself but explore what ‘connection’ means to you.
      3 – Read and write like your life depended on it. It’s like drinking water; it’s vital, but the occasional glass doesn’t do the trick.

      Great post, Mary – good way to collate and distil some marvellous ideas!

    • Nina Baker says:

      1. Live a full and rich life and be observant
      2. ABC – apply butt to chair
      3. Read a lot – note what it is that you like in other writers, but create your own style – be yourself.

    • Lovelyn says:

      1. Write everyday
      2. Read everyday
      3. Don’t think too much about it

    • I think we can all agree the big ones are:
      1) write every day
      2) read everything.

      My #3 would be “Participate in NaNoWriMo,” it’ll fill in the rest of the details.

    • Felix says:

      1. Picture your audience sitting in front of you. Pitch your stuff to him/her/them and don’t bore them.

      2. Aim to get your prose so that it sings. Which means revising, revising, and then …

      3. Be interested in words and language. Listen, weigh, ponder.

    • John H60 says:

      All good suggestions, but I would add this:

      Plan what you write, because no one has enough time.

    • Morten says:

      1. Writers write. Everyone else makes excuses.

    • Wow, if anyone gets down this far in the comments section you’ve done well.

      I’m hoping not to repeat what’s come before:

      1. Steal: Copy other writers you like, literally, until your own voice starts to emerge.
      2. Stretch: Take some time each day to do something from a totally new perspective
      3. Be: Live a life and cultivate experience worthy of sharing with others so that when you decide to write you are buoyed with the urgency of getting your point of view out there.

      And don’t spend too much time online. Oops.

    • 1. Do not listen to what other people say about you, your writing or writers
      2. Do not listen to what the voices in your head say about you, your writing or writers
      3. Give yourself permission to write badly. That’s what revisions are for. If you try to write something “perfect” (or clever or witty or moving or even good), you will never put a mark on the page

      These are obviously very personal advice to myself, specifically. If it can help anyone else, then I am overjoyed.

    • rosemarie says:

      Start writing.
      Pause to think about what you want to say.
      Keep writing for a predetermined time (10 minutes, 30 minutes?) and decide at the end of that time if you want to keep going. At least you’ll have something that you can point to by then.

    • 1. Write every day. Every SINGLE day. EVERY. DAY.
      2. Save all editing/rewriting until the first draft is done. Get your personal editor OFF your shoulder until the first draft is done. Banish him/her to the furthest reaches of the universe until the first draft is done.
      3. Rewrite. Rewrite. Rewrite. Three rewrites should just about do it.

    • Um…and proof-read so that you don’t spell “strive,” strieve like I just did LOL.

    • Yes, what all of them above me said : )

      Plus, don’t strieve to emulate other writers. Do learn from them, but then write from your own soul and in your own unique style.


    • 1. Write everyday from the heart (anything), then edit from the head later.

      2. Read lots.

      3. Keep a note book with you to jot down ideas, even in your bedroom.

    • 1. Write daily in a journal whatever comes to mind without censoring what you write down. Don’t read what you write.
      2. As Anne Lamott says, give yourself permission to write “shitty first drafts.” Many of them. Just write.
      3. Join a writer’s group, often referred to as a critique group. This will help with networking, deadlines, and commitment to writing. Plus you can’t beat feedback from other writers to help you improve. If you can’t find one to join, start your own.

    • 1). Write what you are passionate about.
      2). Write. Put it it down for 24 hours. Then be absolutely brutal to yourself in editing. Cute phrases etc. that don’t add to the piece MUST be cut- no matter how much you like them.
      3). Proof-read again and again- even the title. Put yourself in the READER’s shoes. For example the lead-in to this article said “Please share your response in the comments! (You can find my three little secret tips there too)” — but never actually said where to go to get to this page- one had to rely on the fact that the words “What are Your 3 Best Writing Tips?” was a hyperlink.

    • I don’t really have three, but the one I have may be all the aspiring writer needs. Here you go:

      Any question you have about how to be a writer, will be answered through the act of writing. So shut up, and get to work!

      Besides, there are far too many questions about how to do it, and this activity – these questions – act as another stalling tactic. It can indicate a weakness, or lack of confidence in one’s expression. Sitting with the blank page is not the time to be timid or self-effacing.

      If you must fart, fart LOUDLY.

      Hope that is helpful.


    • 1. Be yourself and be natural.
      2. Write first from your heart, then edit with your brain.
      3. Write or die.

    • Felicity says:

      1. Lower your expectations when you start something. Save your internal editor for later.
      2. Know why you’re writing and don’t let others’ reasons cloud your own. If you’re writing just for yourself or a few friends, that’s fine. You don’t need to go through all the challenges and criticism that you would if you want it published. If you want to write just to make money, that’s fine too. If you want to be famous, that’s another legitimate goal. Don’t let others give you advice that is meant for one kind of goal and not for yours.
      3. Make sure there is something in your life other than writing. You will need it, to avoid burning out, and to add depth and breadth to your material.

    • Brooke says:

      From a journalist:

      1) Use action verbs

      2) Read it out loud.

      3) Learn to accept criticism.

    • 1) Write

      2) Rewrite

      3) Go back to tip 2. 🙂

    • Annie says:

      Single best piece of advice anyone gave me: let yourself make a mess.

      Keep your hand moving, as Natalie Goldberg says.

      Practice being more precise. Ask yourself questions and answer them.

    • #1 Read, read, read.
      One of the best ways to learn to write well or improve your skill is to READ. It also happens to be my favorite writing tip! I used to feel guilty that I read so voraciously – now I consider it work as well as leisure. It is important that it does not take the place of writing, however.

      # 2 Set a schedule
      Write for exactly that amount of time, whether it is going well or poorly. I wrote my first book by writing from 10 am til 2 pm. Whether I was pulling unwilling words out with a forceps or birthing baby pages faster than an octomom, I always began at 10 am and ended at 2. I allowed 10 minutes for a coffee break and 15 minutes for lunch. It doesn’t matter how long or what your time frame is, as long as you maintain a structured, disciplined approach to your writing. (I have to say that it was hard for me to stop at 2pm if writing was going well. I had to trust that I would be able to pick up where I left off or that something even better would be written the next day. I did and it was.)

      #3 Start in the middle.
      The beginning of a piece is where I find so many new (and not so new eg. me) writers get stuck when the words aren’t flowing. Don’t worry about making the beginning perfect or even writing the beginning. Start writing in the middle, or the end, or even a sidebar, but whatever you do, START!

    • David Cain says:

      1. Don’t use clichés.

      2. Continue to write even if you don’t think you can write anything good right now. Just one great line can make you suddenly inspired.

      3. Say everything in as few words as possible.

    • Great tips, guys!
      Here are my three bits of advice:

      1. Only write when you feel like it.

      2. Make sure you feel like writing at 8am every morning.

      3. Write a set quantity of words each day – worry about quality the day after.

    • I’m disappointed, most of the comments of the same, and even then I was looking for something more useful.

      That said, here are three tips that you can use immediately.

      1. Reading won’t help you if you don’t know what your looking for.

      All writers should read “Elements of Style” by William Strunk and E. B. White-all books I have found on writing lead back to this one work.

      Another book I found useful was “The Lively Art of Writing” by Lucile Vaughan Payne.

      2. Don’t use ‘there’ and right in the third person. Examples:

      Don’t use: “there are two rules every writer should follow”

      Instead use:”Every writer should follow two rules.”

      Don’t use: “I believe these rules are necessary”

      Instead use:”These rules are necessary”

      To find more on these two rules, read the two books in number one

      3. Vary your words. Mix up your writing. Use big words use small words, use big sentences you small sentences. As they say “variety is the spice of life.”

      Hope you find these three tips useful, they have helped me out recently.

    • 1. Write–As mentioned in several commets above, write! Write every day. Write as often as you can. Write as much as you can. Write!!

      2. Do what works for you–So many writers try to immitate other writers or try to do what works for other writers, but that will always lead to failure. In order to be successful, you need to do what works for you. It’s really that simple.

      3. Never stop dreaming–Never stop believing in yourself. Never stop believing that your writing dreams will happen. It’s easy to let rejection or fears stop you, but you’ll never reach your dreams if you do. So don’t let outside circumstances stop you.

    • 1. Keep a notepad handy to use when inspiring thoughts hit your brain.

      2. Read, and then read some more! I get a lot of my inspiration from others, including books, articles, blogs, and even quotes.

      3. Write, and then write some more. If you have to write different styles of writing, the best way to get better is to practice. Practice, and then practice some more!

      Most importantl, write using YOUR voice and not someone else’s!

      Thanks Mary for this post!

    • Tierra says:

      1. Write. Spew it all out on paper regardless of how it sounds or looks. The hardest part is getting it out.

      2. Read what you write about. You begin to use the vocabulary and learn your audience by reading what and how others write and adapting it to your own style.

      3. Be authentic. There’s nothing worse than a dainty little black girl trying to sound like a Harley riding, gun toting white guy just because he makes money doing so. Find your own voice and make it work. Seriously, it’s conveys and converts better!

    • (Very clarifying writing prompt!)

      1. Read. Learn to hear the rhythms and nuances and melodies of language, especially in the genres that attract you the most. Read it aloud. Read it with others. Soak yourself in reading. Listen to language, especially the language of the page.

      2. Walk. Nietzsche and a host of others contend that only ideas reached by walking have any value. Walking roots and grounds the writer in the world to whom he wishes to speak. Walking makes space in a writer’s head and untangles his thoughts.

      3. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write clean and messy. Write plain and fancy. Write, leave it alone, return to it, and rewrite it. Write mad. Write happy. Write at the same time every day. Keep something handy to write on and use it. Write.

    • Stephen Williamson says:

      1. Read.
      2. Experience new things and push your boundaries outside of your writing.
      3. Remove distractions when you sit down to write. Especially the damn phone. *click*

    • Sigil says:

      1. Observe everything! Pay attention to the environment. Everything has a personality. Yes, even rocks!

      2. Writing is about relationships…So, value all your relationships (good and bad). Explore all of your relationships and note them. Realize that you don’t truly know anyone and that’s EXCITING! So much to write about…To Create! To Predict! To be wrong about!

      3. Be yourself! Be everyone else!

    • Wonderful question! My three tips would be:

      1. Read as much as you can — fiction, nonfiction, magazines, blogs, newspapers — EVERYTHING. Definitely read about writing too!

      2. Be yourself. Everyone has his/her own style and you should embrace that. Don’t try to be like another writer.

      3. Be concise and clear. I have a lot of trouble not being too wordy, but people really do like to read things that are clear and concise.

      This really made me think a lot about writing…Thanks for this!

    • 1. Write what you would want to read.
      2. Half of the words you used are not necessary; get rid of them.
      3. The five senses: your words should “paint” as many of these as is reasonable to create a three-dimensional world.

      And, as already stated, READ – READ – READ (and not just the crap).

    • Tom Williams says:

      I would add Elmore Leonard’s advice to “leave out the parts that people skip.”

    • Stephanie says:

      People have said pretty much what I was going to say 😉

      1. Read (to learn and for pleasure). Especially read poetry.
      2. Be open to learning and improving; people giving advice want you to succeed, not fail
      3. Find a writing group online or in real life (or both) so you can get comfortable getting feedback, submitting and critiquing.

    • For beginning writers, (like me) I have found blogging to be a fairly good medium for getting feedback from other people. It teaches you to be concise, succinct, appealing, stimulating, and coherent all at once. Being able to have people comment on blog posts is one way to see if people are understanding what you are trying to say. With that in mind, the top three tips are:

      1. Write.
      2. Read. Lots
      3. Write some more.

    • I would tell anyone who was asking me advice about being a writer to read Charles Bukowski’s poem “so you want to be a writer” at http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/16549 then to swallow hard and try to do anything else but writing for a few years. If they find they are writing anyway (say in a diary or in letters), then go ahead and give in to the urge and accept the terrible/wonderful consequences of the fact that they are after all a writer.

    • Writer Dad says:

      Be yourself.
      Read constantly.

    • 1. Write like you speak – a conversational writing style will win you more readers than turgid gobbledygook or an affected literary voice.

      2. Break the rules – but only if you know you’re breaking them and can justify doing so.

      3. Always get a second set of eyes before you publish – it’s impossible to proofread your own work.

    • Tori says:

      1. If you are having writer’s block or are just really dissatisfied with what’s coming out on the page or screen, drive through it. You will come out on the other side. (For example, watch this video by Ira Glass: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hidvElQ0xE )

      2. Don’t limit yourself. I know someone who is happy to call himself a writer, but does not want to go outside his comfort zone. As a result, he’s not getting very far with his writing.

      3. Putting words together on a page is easy, but putting your own spin on them can be daunting. The person mentioned in #2 recently told me that blogging felt like work to him. Writing is work!

      3a. Read, read, read.
      3b. Revise, revise, revise. You could write something great, but no one will pay attention to it if it is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. I don’t, anyway.
      3c. Good luck!

    • Gianluca says:

      * open a blog and write posts, almost one every month
      * study and observer famous writers and try to discover how they live
      * read books of every type ( thriller, romance, dramatic, short, longs, etc)

    • Lori Hoeck says:

      three most important tips for a new writer:

      *Writing isn’t just knowing rules and grammar. It’s a desire to open up and connect with yourself and the world.

      *Self expression is wonderful, but the more clarity and power you bring to the process of writing, the happier you and your audience will be.

      *If you want to write, why? What motivated you beyond thinking about it? What touchstone experience or thought process opened this door? Whatever it is, it may be the core to your writing or the impetus, but it’s a good thing to keep in the back of your mind to stay focused on during your exploration of writing.

    • Mr. I says:

      1. Keep your mind open when writing a post! New ideas approach, do not be afraid to alter the post, change it, twist it, do whatever you want, never let an idea get wsted!
      2. Set a fixed time to write and try to make it a habit.
      3. Do not try to be a better writer in 1 day, learn a new thing and then go for another only if you master the previous!

    • Write from the heart.
      Write from the soul.
      Read what you write, out loud before you hit send or submit or stick a postage stamp on it.

    • 1) Read everything you can get your hands on–and not just in your field.

      2) Come up with a system for writing (that is, a certain amount of words, hours, or articles per day) and stick with it. Don’t do less, but don’t let yourself do more either.

      3) Don’t identify too closely with your work. Everything you write will be criticized by somebody or other. Don’t let that feel like a criticism of you.

    • Peri says:

      Well, my top three have already been mentioned, so I’ll add “Attend a Writer’s Conference.” It doesn’t matter if you have a finished manuscript or not. You’ll be able to take classes/workshops, meet other writers, editors and agents, and you can network, network, network.

    • sefcug says:

      1) Write. Whatever you are thinking, whenever and wherever, write it down.

      2) Read. Read everything books, magazines, blogs, etc., in every genre, and note to self anything of interest. Once again write it down.

      3) Network. Not just with writers, but with others who share your interests, whether it is computers, knitting, camping, walking, parenting, etc.

      I find that #3 has helped me a lot in finding outlets for my writing, as I have yet to find an interest that does not have a blog, newsletter, website, or some other medium that needs content.

      Unfortunately, I do not get to write too much myself, as I am editing two newsletters for computer groups, but I do occasionally post on my blog, and do the occasional review for one of the newsletters. Also, I still work full time, and am active in local politics, and my union as a steward.

    • Cork says:

      Best piece of advice I ever heard was to just write whatever comes to you. Set it aside for an hour or a day. Then go back and cut it in half.

    • Great idea 🙂

      1. Read everything. Read all different genres, from Harry Potter to Hunter S Thompson.
      2. Write. Write. Write. Don’t stop writing, always write something, anything.
      3. Be silly, extreme, have fun, act stupid and make sure the paper captures all of it.

      Not great tips, but three recent lessons for me

    • Annette says:

      While I am still a beginning writer, it seems to me that the three things I would recommend to anyone learning to write are: 1. sit your butt down with your laptop or in front of your computer and write, write everyday, practice, practice, practice; 2. read as much as you can; and 3. find someone to read your work who will be willing to give you an honest critique of your writing and who you can trust.

      Numbers four and five that I would include would be to start sending things off for publication and grow a thick skin.

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