As writers, we often hit roadblocks and whenever that happens, we look for inspirations and advice, mostly from other writers. While it is true that everyone has different sensibilities, there are some evergreen writing tips that work. We can personally can vouch for a few of them that we have received over the years and internalized. When we asked our team, it was hard for them to pin point and say what’s the best writing advice I have ever receive, but these sure are at the very top!
Do not hesitate to write the first draft
Most people do not ace it at the very first attempt. The first draft may suffer from terrible-osis more often than not. Do you feel too embarrassed to see your own words that you delete them immediately? Stop. It is normal and you are not the only one. Most new writers struggle to get going. So, the first step should be to shed all the inhibitions and write your ideas down. It is fine if it’s not perfect. Get your cup of chai, work on it, polish and improvise it till it reaches the level that you are comfortable with. Write. Edit. Repeat.
Rinse your story. And flesh out the soul by keeping at it. You can’t get anywhere if you didn’t first start.
It is OK to take a break
Sure you need to do it each day, but you do not have to write relentlessly. In fact, quantity is inversely proportional to quality at times. So, do not panic if you are not churning out masterpieces each day because nobody does. Take your time and let the ideas develop. Break your routine and go some place or meet new people for a fresh perspective.
Pro Tip: Do not let your personal life stagnate, it will stagnate your ideas as well.
A better writer is the one with stronger knowledge and experience. She/he has a lot of things to draw from. Read a lot on diverse topics to enhance your understanding of the society and the world in general. You never know what may influence your writing. As John Cleese says,
“We don’t know where we get our ideas from…we don’t get them from our laptops.”
Originality takes time and effort. Every piece you write should not make your readers feel that they have read that before. Take your time but come up with something that is fresh and unique.
Watch: How to write a story by Novelist Jill Dawson
Brevity is the soul of wit
Well, this is one cliche that we use to illustrate our next point :-). Some new authors assume that long passages and verbose language is considered good writing. It can’t be further off. Try to hone your writing in a way that enables you to describe everything in a concise and effective manner. Write as you speak. It’s in your voice and authentic.