You know me, I always encourage you to experiment, to learn new things, to reinvent yourself, but sometime the wheel doesn’t not need to be reinvented. Sometimes the best thing to do is to learn from the experience and wisdom of our “elders”. Such is the case of today’s blog post. Instead of sharing some of my own tips with you, I’ll leave you in the company of some of the world’s most famous authors and only interpret their teachings in the art of writing.
Easy reading is damn hard writing.
Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret.
It’s easy to get lost in words and ideas. It’s harder to keep your writing concise and to the point, to make it clear and easy to read. Focus on getting your ideas across, to your readers, in their most natural form. Nathaniel Hawthorne and Matthew Arnold both agree on this.
A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.
If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Writing is a continuous activity. You experiment constantly. You learn and evolve. The more you write, the better the chances to put something good out there. It’s “trial and error” until it becomes “trial and success”.
You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
It’s something I’ve always preached. Keep your eyes and ears open to the world around you. Look for inspiration in every single thing you read, hear and see. There’s actually no such thing as a “writer’s block”, but rather failure in finding a good starting point.
Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences.
Stories… even simple news have a story behind. Give people a story they can relate to. Give them a story they can understand and let them draw conclusions themselves. Give them the tools and let them build their own result.
The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.
I try to leave out the parts that people skip.
Being a good editor is also a must for a good writer. Proof-reading and “shit detecting” as Hemingway calls it are required in order to make sure you get the best possible copy out there. What’s harder to achieve though, is being neutral, looking at your own work from an outsider’s perspective.
The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.
When 20 people are writing about the same thing, the only one to “make it” is the one putting it in a new light. There’s no point in doing the same things in the same way. Find your original angle.
What is written without effort is in generally read without pleasure.
And your original angle comes from within your original voice. Put your heart and mind into your writings. Put passion into writing and passion with be reborn into reading.