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:
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.
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.