Advice on Writing, Vol. 1

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I shared that I left my job as a project manager to pursue a career in writing. So I thought it would be fun to start a little series where I share valuable writing advice I learn along the way!

Of course, saying I'm "pursuing a career in writing" can be pretty vague, when you think about it. What exactly am I writing? Magazine articles? Songs? Books? Blog posts? Greeting Cards? Tweets? The options seem endless, as long as you don't think too much about cash flow ;)

Well, in addition to blogging, I've been doing magazine freelance and fiction (that's all I'll say for now :)*

Other pervasive advice from the conference: drink coffee! {mugs at anthropology}
*Since I'm so rarely enigmatic, I revel in mystery when possible.

On behalf of my fiction, I attended the UW Writers' Institute last week at the Madison Concourse hotel and really enjoyed the experience. The keynote speaker on Friday, John Dufresne shared with us advice he tells his students:

"Understand that if you didn't write today, it is because you chose not to."

So simple, but such a powerful statement. It's all about taking accountability for what we do and—sometimes more importantly—what we don't do. Writers have the pesky "writer's block" excuse that pops up every once in a while and this guy was anti-writer's block and pro-hard work. He also said, "Writers block is when your imaginary characters refuse to talk to you" which made me laugh.

I think this advice extends far beyond writing. You can essentially substitute "write" with whatever goal you are working toward. E.g. If you're training for a marathon, replace "write" with "run." If you want to be a famous opera singer, replace "write" with "sing." You obviously get the idea. ;)

His advice, of course, reminds me of a favorite quote:

Happy Thursday, friends! And happy writing, singing, running —whatever you'd like to do :)

p.s. If you are feeling extra nerdy after reading this post: the cutest TED lesson ever on appropriate comma usage.

p.p.s. ICYMI: my family taking Harry Potter world by storm.

1 comment:

  1. I love the new redesign and this little lesson, lady!