Tips For Writers – Over And Over

I run across writing tips all the time.  Maybe that’s because I keep looking for them.  A lot of them seem to be pretty redundant, but I keep reading them whenever I see them, because even when somebody says the same thing somebody else said, they frequently say it in a new way.  It always gives a bit of fresh perspective, maybe a new way of doing what you’ve been trying to do that makes it easier.  And every time I read the same advice, it’s reinforced and bolsters my resolve.  At least a little.

There are a few points I try to focus on, and I string them together into something of a mantra.  If I tell it to myself often enough, maybe I’ll have the tight focus that will keep me moving ahead.  Worth a try.  It’s like this:

Make time.  Persist.  Rewrite.

That pretty much says it all, right there in the proverbial nutshell.  It covers most of the basics, at least.  The important thing is that you have to keep it in mind and take it to heart.  And those specific thoughts are recurring themes in tips from others, just laid out a bit differently, which enhances perspective in case that makes it easier to keep it in mind and take it to heart.

So there I was, wandering around the internet, and I found a few tips consolidated from this year’s Writer’s Digest Annual Conference…and there was my little mantra, splattered all through everybody else’s explanations of what helps you be a good writer.  But with perspective.

So it’s worth passing along to whoever might be interested.  And if you really want to be a good writer, you should be interested.  Never pass up advice.  You should think it over and decide if it’s right for you, but don’t pass it by, because you never know if this might be the big revelation you need.  That tip was free.  You’re welcome.

Here’s what the Writer’s Digest folks came up with:

10 Favorite Writing Tips from Successful Authors

If you ask 10 different writers for tips on writing, chances are you’ll get 10 completely different—sometimes contradictory—pieces of advice, as the writing process is a little different for every author. There are some fundamental truths that most writers agree on, though, particularly when it comes to approaching first drafts and committing to the process of writing itself.

We asked some of our WDC19 speakers for their favorite writing tips, and their responses were practical, inspirational, and—somewhat surprisingly—pretty consistent.

CARLA HOCH (Fight Write, WD Books): Tosca Lee once told me to write the first draft like nobody will read it. That really takes the pressure off.

STEVEN JAMES (Synapse, Thomas Nelson): Never fall in love with your first draft. Too many people with great ideas end up settling on an early draft when they really need to keep revising their story. I remember revising the first chapter to one of my books more than 50 times. It was brutal, but essential. That opening chapter remains one of the most powerful I’ve ever written.

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Networking For Writers

I’ve always recoiled at the term “networking.”  It always makes me think of people in business suits trading business cards and talking about having “my people get with your people” and “doing lunch”…a lot of high-falutin’ stuff for some guy who’d just as soon wear his jeans and sweatshirt to the burger joint and grab a cup of coffee and jawjack for a while with a buddy.  Well, if we can just squeeze our brains around it, it’s really the same thing.

A large chunk of writers prefer to sit in a cave and write, or just be around close friends.  We’re not extroverts.  Yes, some are, and they enjoy the networking thing, but the rest of us have to force ourselves to get out there and meet people who can help us with our careers.  And on the flip side, to help others with their careers.

You don’t have to jump into it up to your neck without dipping your toe in to test the waters first.  You can do it gradually and comfortably.  Think about it.  Learn about it.  See what other people are doing and find out most of them are actually a lot like you.  And once you figure that out, it’s easier.

So here to explain that and discuss some ways to go about it is an article I found on The Creative Penn website by Chris Robley from  It gives you plenty to think about but in a fairly short article that’s…I promise!…totally painless.  Just note that this article is a few years old, though most of the info is pretty timeless.  Some technology is more current, but just add in Facebook and Instagram when he talks about Twitter and you’ll do fine.  Take a look.

7 Networking Tips for Authors

Networking with other authors is one of the best ways to keep motivated and also to learn more about writing, publishing and book marketing. I learn every day from my author network and I wouldn’t be without it. But networking takes some work, both online and in the real world. In this article Chris Robley from offers some tips to help authors get the most out of networking.

The verb form of “network” is a curious thing.

I’m no etymologist, but I’ll bet it grew out of an archaic Latin or Germanic word that meant, “Hey, get off your lazy butt and go make some friends for a change!” I imagine shy Virgil being told by his father to leave the farm and meet some nice politicians. Poetry needs patronage, after all!

I know, I know. Solitary creative-types (ummm, writers!) despise glad-handing.  But networking doesn’t have to be a dirty word. In this post I hope to explain why networking (or forging solid professional relationships with other folks in your surrounding literary spheres) is essential, and how you can make the right connections without that icky feeling afterwards.

Why do writers need to network? Why doesn’t my work speak for itself?

Firstly, if a book could talk it would take 3 days to tell its tale. YOU have to speak for your work before anyone else is going to take the time to actually read it. (And speak quickly, for attention spans are shrinking!) Networking is one way of getting your foot in the door to give that initial pitch.

Secondly, in a world with lots of talent, success requires more than simply being great. If two deserving submissions are under consideration by an editor, which one do you think will be accepted? – The one written by the author who did the more effective networking, of course!

It’s a given in the business world that people do favors for their friends, or as Derek Sivers says, Life is like high school. It’s all about who you know, how socially charming you are, what scene you’re in, what you wear, what parties you’re at, flirting, and being cool.”

No, you shouldn’t just stay at your writing desk for the next 20 years and pray for a publishing miracle. You have to get up, get out, and meet people.

The good news is that the folks you need to meet aren’t necessarily uber-hip socialites, beautiful and fit fashionistas, or intimidating rock stars. They’re writers, editors, publishers—lovers of words—people just like you!

You can do it. Here’s how.

1. Start slow and adjust your expectations.

Not everyone storms a scene like Dylan in Greenwich Village.  You don’t have to “arrive,” fully formed and trumpets blaring.

Get to know one person at a time, and stay in it for the long haul. Wade in the shallow end of your local literary community for a while. Maybe even show your face a few times at readings and other events before you start introducing yourself.

You might be itching to meet the book reviewer from your city’s newspaper, but if they see you around town a few times in all the right places, they might start thinking they need to meet YOU!

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