Advice on Writing

I have a rather useful list of quotes from famous writers detailing insights and tips which they believe makes you a better writer.

All of the quotes revolve around writing but what i find most interesting and useful is that they focus on not just the writing itself but the process of writing. Some offer advice about how to stay organised with notes while others state realties of draft-making; some even highlight the remedial tasks of simply setting aside a day for writing which then becomes your routine.

Here are a few insights that I found useful:

  • PDJames – “Don’t just plan to write – write.” The importance of breaking the first hurdle and actually ‘putting pen to paper is daunting but simple planning will not help you to develop your own style. I can definitely relate to this point, and I have found using some writing techniques has helped me to simply sit down and write without prior thinking, scenes from a hat is definitely good for this.
  • Zadie Smith – “Work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet.” This speaks for itself.
  • Kurt Vonnegut: On finding a subject… This quote focusses on the ability to put you own emotions into your writing. Vonnegut says that by finding a subject that you are passionate about, you can then expand on the actuality of the fiction with your own concerns.
  • Bill Wasik: On the importance of having an outline. Main point is don’t stray from your outline, which as I am now venturing into the longer more detailed narratives, this is relevant to myself. I have found on my FMP that I do stick to my outline but I did float about a bit with the actual outline. It’s nice to think that the outline is perfect before you continue on but I did float about a lot with FMP narrative, so I think I need to focus my agenda a tad more in future.
  • Another point highlighted was that writing is a profession so you should give yourself a minimum word count everyday and stick to it. I think I am on my way to this as I have started my weekly word count with the scenes from a hat task. I guess writing everyday will be something that develops over time.

The list can be found here: 25 Insights on Becoming a Better Writer by Jocelyn K. Glei

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