Being a writer is a lonely profession. It has to be. You are trapped with yourself and the ideas that have been given you. Hearing from others who’ve gone through and are going through what this profession throws at you is very helpful. Good advice is hard to come by and every writer needs to know what it means to enter this calling and continue in it.
The following is a list that I call the meat and potatoes of writing. The bare bone basics. It’s sage advice from long time, successful authors. Though there are other similar lists that you can learn from, this is just the nitty gritty. Though I could elaborate on each one, I chose to abstain to let the simplicity of each speak for itself. My hope is that you enjoy them and put them into practice.
1. Do not place a photograph of your favorite author on your desk, especially if the author is one of the famous ones who committed suicide. – Roddy Doyle
2. Don’t be “a writer”. Be writing. – William Faulkner
3. Do give the work a name as quickly as possible. Own it, and see it. – Roddy Doyle
4. You don’t need writing classes or seminars any more than you need this or any other book on writing. You learn best by reading a lot and writing a lot, and the most valuable lessons of all are the ones you teach yourself. – Stephen King
5. Marry somebody you love and who thinks you being a writer’s a good idea. – Richard Ford
6. Read widely and with discrimination. Bad writing is contagious. – P.D. James
7. The way to write a book is to actually write a book. A pen is useful, typing is also good. Keep putting words on the page. – Anne Enright
8. It is perfectly okay to write garbage-as long as you edit brilliantly. – C. J. Cherryh
9. In writing, you must kill your darlings. – William Faulkner/Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing. – John Steinbeck
10. Finish the day’s writing when you still want to continue. – Helen Dunmore