Last weekend, I was invited to speak at a writer’s group over here in Covington. They wanted me to talk about my latest book, offer some tips for those interested in taking writing seriously and then have a question and answer exchange. It was all fine—done it before.
As far as the writing tips, I wrote them down, came up with five of them. Since they’re already written and I need a blog post for today, I might as well share them with you. Here ya go.
Read. I’m going to assume you, like me, want to write because you’re a reader. That should never change. Read books, magazines, newspapers or anything else that interest you. Reading always makes you a better writer.
Be a noticer. Pay attention to what’s going on around you. Keep a small memo book and pen in one of your pockets. When you’re out and about and “noticing,” jot down the funny or unusual things you hear people say or record in your memo book thoughts that come to you or sights you’re seeing. You never know when some of those notes will make their way into something you’re writing.
Write, but don’t always write. Take your writing seriously but don’t feel obligated to write every day. If you’re blocked, burned out or if it’s starting to feel like a job, take some time off and do something else. Writing should be fun. It should never feel like work.
Read out loud. After you’re written something and you think you’ve gotten it as good as you can get it, read it out loud to see how the words flow as you’re saying them. You’ll be amazed as to how good an editing tool this is.
Know the publication you’re submitting to. You want to get published, that’s one of the reasons why you’re writing. Invest some money in Writers Market. You can purchase the actual book or it’s available online. When you find a publication you want to submit to, get to know that publication before making a submission. Read articles or stories in it to see if your words will be a good fit.
Also, always keep in mind it’s a competitive writer’s world out there. Rejection is part of it. Keep pounding away, keep submitting and your words will make it into print. When they do, don’t expect to be paid a bunch of money. If you’re getting into this writing business to get rich, you probably shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
I know what some of you are thinking. Who are you to give any kind of advice on writing? Hey! That writing group invited me—remember?
I shall return on Thursday.
(Image from danienglish.com.bk)