A Potpourri of Writing Wisdom

I’ve gathered a lot of wisdom through reading, talking with other writers, and my own experience over the years, so I decided to start this week off by sharing some of that insight with you.  Use what you can and leave the rest.

  • There are three rules to becoming a successful writer–but no one knows what those rules are.
  • You can’t learn passion for writing. You can’t learn talent for writing. Thus, formal education isn’t as important as constant education is.
  • Success comes when you figure out what you need to do, then do it.
  • The key to writer’s block is to lower your standards.
  • Have a writing place and go there so the muse can find you.
  • When you stop the writing session you’re in, stop at a place where you know what happens next so you know where to start writing again.
  • Creative writing is filled with exceptions, so don’t get hung up on rules–instead, focus on reader needs and expectations.
  • To be a good writer, READ, READ, READ!
  • When submitting a query, follow the rules explicitly or your letter will get tossed. Editors are constantly looking for easy ways to whittle down the query pile.
  • Queries and story submissions must be limited to one page.
  • In query writing, don’t overkill. Instead, focus on “Here it is. See if you like it.”
  • In query writing, self-deprecation is as bad as boasting, so don’t do either one.
  • Always remember that a query letter is a sales pitch and write it with that in mind.
  • Enter contests to stretch yourself as a writer–you might become an award-winning writer!

The best writing wisdom I can offer, however, is be sure to write something every day. You’ll get in the writing habit and, as with any skill, your writing will improve with practice.

Happy writing!



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