Some writing tips

May 11, 2017

I was recently asked by Lynne Lumsden Green for some writing tips. The Australian Writers Centre runs regular Wednesday night writing races where a Facebook group is set up and people encourage each other for an hour to get some words down. It’s a good way to feel part of a bigger community and get motivated by other people in the same boat as you. And this week, Lynne asked if I’d be a guest writer at the race and throw out some motivational tips to help people along. I was happy to oblige. Lynne put my tips onto some graphic that she posted throughout the horu and I tried to encourage people along too. So I thought I might as well subsequently share those tips on my blog. Here’s what I offered the racers:

In order to be a good writer, you need to read as much and as widely as possible. In your genre and out, fiction and non-fiction.

“Write what you know” is a good idea, but it’s misleading. We can’t know everything, but research is fun! So learn about what you want to write about.

The only rule of writing is this: You must write. When, how much, how often, what about, is all up to you and varies from person to person. Do what works for you.

In the immortal words of Chuck Wendig, “Finish your shit!” And in the immortal words of Angela Slatter, “You can edit shit, but you can’t edit nothing.”*

You can’t write all the time, but you must be a writer all the time. See everything with a writer’s eye. Notice everything.

Don’t write what you think people want to read. Write what you want to read. That’s the stuff you can write best.

Laird Barron said, “The youth I wasted makes me a better writer today.” Remember to live, always. Experience everything you can. It all feeds back into your writing.

*Angela has since informed me that she got that tip from Kevin J Anderson, but I heard it first from Angela, so she gets my credit.

So there you go. Those are things that have helped me along over the years.


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