10 Tips for Writers, from Writers

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If you’ve chosen a career as a writer, you may feel isolated as it’s such a solo endeavour. But, no matter what you’re going through – whether it’s writer’s block or an abundance of creativity – you’re not alone. These ten writers have all been through highs and lows, and offer this advice for making it in the literary realm…

Katherine Howe (The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane)

“Write every day, even if it’s not in the service of a greater project, and even if no one will ever read it.”

Ernest Hemingway (For Whom the Bell Tolls)

“The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck.”

Stephan King (The Shining)

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

Elmore Leonard (Get Shorty)

“If it sounds like writing… rewrite it.”

Regina Brett (50 Life Lessons)

“If you had six months to live, what would you tell the world? If you were on your deathbed, what would you shout to the world? We all have an expiration date. Don’t die with your best writing inside you.”

Rose Tremain (Merivel: A Man of His Time)

“In the planning stage of a book, don’t plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it.”

Erica Jong (Fear of Flying)

“The hardest part is believing in yourself at the notebook stage. It is like believing in dreams in the morning.”

Neil Gaiman (American Gods)

“The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.”

Mark Twain (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer)

“I never write ‘metropolis’ for seven cents when I can write ‘city’ and get paid the same.”

Annie Lamott (Bird by Bird)

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life…”

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve received?

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