Over the past few years of reading about writing, taking courses, and a mentorship, and actually writing, I’ve been given a ton of advice…about writing. Here are the most useful tips I’ve received so far. I really wish I could attribute more than one of these, but I’ve heard them from so many sources it would be unfair to credit just one writing genius.
1. Read everything.
Read the genre you’re writing in, the newspaper, gardening magazines, gun magazines, the phone book (if you can find one), classics, YA, non-fiction, biography. Just read all of the things.
2. The more you get rejected, the less it’s going to hurt.
Not to say some rejections won’t hurt like h-e-c-k, but it gets better. I started a tracker of all the times my short stories had been rejected (and wow did they get rejected at first, and still haha). But over time the rejections slowly started to hurt less and become less frequent. Go get rejected!
3. Not everyone is going to like your work.
Get over it and go make more of it. Soooo true. I can’t think of one food that everyone likes. I’ve even met some (clearly troubled ‘) people who don’t even like chocolate.
4. If your writing has made someone angry, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing it wrong.
Early on in my writing classes, I wrote something that infuriated one person in my class. This person and I didn’t see eye-to-eye, and initially I was pretty upset by it. Until I talked to Scott Birke, who told me this meant I was a writer now: “You’ve provoked an emotion. That means you’re doing it right!”
What’s the best writing advice you’ve received in your career?