Often, I’m asked my advice for people who are just starting out as writers. My response is always the same. Conjuring my inner-Hemingway (and paraphrasing him), I say, “Just write one true sentence. Then write another. When you have no more true sentences for the day, stop.” What I mean by that is write something simple without flourish that gets your ideas out of your head and onto the paper.
I then follow up that advice with another great piece of advice I picked up from Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. Write shitty first drafts. Great writing, I tell people, comes in the editing, not the actual writing. If you’ve been writing for a while, this is nothing new to you. But I find for many people, this is unsatisfying. For some reason, people never want to hear that writing is hard work that takes years to get good at—if you get good at it at all.
Those thoughts lead us into our top-5 posts for the month of September. And while they may or may not be “good” (I leave that up to you dear reader), they are certainly read. Enjoy some posts you may have missed, and while you’re at it, post up your advice for beginning writers in the comments.
**As a side note, apologies for missing my post last week. I was in Seattle at a conference. I took only my iPad and was able to get much work done well and efficiently, with the exception of my scheduled post, which is a good follow-up to our most-read post for last month.**
[Photo by ilike]