One of the fun things about being a writerly-type person, besides the actual writing and reading that you do, is that your friends often know you are a writerly person. Maybe its because you are constantly writing down tid bits of life in your journal to use later on in your own work, or maybe its because you never buy a bag unless its big enough to carry a book. Either way, they know. But then sometimes they send you fun literary things. Last week, a friend of mine sent me an article from the guardian – Ten Rules for Writing Fiction, where various authors share their tips and suggestions on being a writer.
I always enjoy reading this kind of thing and seeing what works, or what doesn’t work for different people. Whether they are famous writers or just like to put down a few words in their free time, I’m always interested. Some of these tips I had heard before from fiction writing classes in college and some of them are new. Some of them I do already, like keep a journal, and some of them I struggle with.
There are a couple of mentions of not working on a computer that is connected to the internet, or not having the internet in your work space, which is something I’ve struggled with ever since I realized its easier to write on a computer than it is to write on paper. Especially after college where we had assignments due, it was just easier to write it all out on the computer to begin with as opposed to writing longhand before transferring it to the computer. And I have found that the quality of my writing is better on the computer as well – easier to change things around – but there is always the internet…
Some of these pieces of advice contradict themselves in one way or another, but that is bound to happen when you get a long enough list. I think the point of that is to find what works for you. Some people write really well in the mornings and can’t seem to get anything done later in the day. Some people, like me when it comes to my own writing, are the opposite. And some of these pieces of advice are universal. Maybe take a few tips of the trade from other people, or from this list, but also find what works for you and go with that. And then maybe you could have your own list of tips of the trade.