I’ve been a professional editor for 20 years and a (paid!) writer for longer than that, and I’ve observed a few things over those years that many people would do well to know. Starting today, I have twelve little gifts for you, one per day. By “gifts” I mean advice I’m giving you free that you would normally have to pay me for. By “you” I mean anyone who writes. If you don’t write, read it anyway. What the hell. You’re here, aren’t you?
These gifts are not rules – no no no no no. I don’t care if you want rules. The only real rule in writing is Write stuff your readers will be glad they’ve read. (Well, there’s also Don’t be a jerk, but that’s more of a rule in everything.) Everything else is commentary. And so are these: insights, suggestions, ungentle nudges. But I think you’ll be glad you read them.
Here’s a table of contents, growing until the end of the 12 days; at the end of the 12 days I’ll make an ebook of the whole thing, and I’ll also make an audiobook… for my Patreon supporters.
- You’ve outgrown your high school grammar rules.
- You can’t cast someone else’s spell.
- Seek qualified advice.
- Don’t write from the heart. Write FOR the heart.
- Professional writing is a group activity.
- Good structure is made of desire.
- Read bad writing.
- Write whatever you want. Also write whatever you have to.
- You’re probably wrong about how good your writing is.
- Do your own damn research, and do your own damn writing.
- Everyone’s a writer.
- You already have a voice.