Q: What’s your advice for aspiring writers?
There isn’t one good answer to this question. Writing professionally requires a combination of skill, luck and diligence, and every writer has his or her own system. With that being said, I have learned a few things over the years.
- Read often. Reading helps refine those creative thoughts that many lose to watching too much television. So, read often and read a variety of different genres.
- Stay organized. Not only work on an outline for the story you want to write, but write out a schedule to stay on track with your writing. It is so easy to become distracted with life. You may have the best story outline, but it means nothing if you have no plan to stay on track.
- Write and rewrite and rewrite and … I think you get the point. A good story is not going to be the first one you write. The story gets better and better each time you rewrite it.
- When in doubt-cut! Writers by nature love the sound of their own words, and the hardest part of becoming a professional is learning to accept that what you find incredibly droll is oftentimes uninteresting to others. It’s a bitter pill to swallow but a necessary one. Most of what we write is going to be bad. (Hemingway said that he wrote one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pieces of trash. The trick was to put the trash in the wastebasket.) The key here is learning to evaluate your own work with the same critical eye you bring to a stranger’s work.
Have any of your own tips and tricks that may help other aspiring writers? Let us know!