Advice and Tips for Writers

Q & A

Advice to aspiring writers

First, trust your heart. If you want to write, then write. Don’t let anyone tell you not to, or that you can’t.

Second, join a local writers’ guild or talk to a writer-in-residence. Your writing will improve with feedback from others, and you will feel less isolated.

Third, take general writing courses as well as courses that target your particular area of interest or genre. (Grammar and editing courses help too.) Writing is a craft that writers learn. Writing is hard work that requires tenacity and commitment.

See also Daily Writing Tips website.

Finally, have fun. Write because you enjoy it.

How do you deal with writer’s block?

Three methods I use to get going are:

1. Reread some of what was previously written to get into the world and heads of the characters.

2. Just start writing. The flow and precision will eventually come. You can always go back to re-word and improve.

3. Listen to music that correlates with the mood of the section of writing you’re stuck on. If music doesn’t work for you, go for a walk while thinking about your work-in-progress. Ideas come more readily when you are away from the desk. Bring a notepad, smart phone, or tablet to jot down any ideas you get.

How do you get inspired to write?

My two big go-tos for writing inspiration are people’s lives and listening to music.

People’s lives, conflicts, and the human condition inspire characters, conflict, and possible plots.

Music helps me to generate images and dialogue to formulate scenes. I can’t write to music, but I create to music. Music is a lot about mood, and mood and emotion drive conflict. Character and conflict drive plot.

More recently, images (photographs or art) with mood and setting have become a huge inspiration.

See also 14 Tips to Inspire Your Writing.

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