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April 21, 2022

Advice to Writers

Knowledge is the most democratic of substances. Birth, prior learning, experience, reputation, wealth, or circumstance count for nothing. Its acquisition must always be deliberately and consciously sweated over to be absorbed. Knowledge is open to any who are willing to put in the time, the effort, and the work. It has no equal in this regard and no greater reward.

In a recent interview with AllAuthor, I was asked what advice I would have for any budding writers out there. Here is my answer:


Write what you want to read.

If you don’t know how to write well, read more.

Look up words in a dictionary, if you don’t know what they mean.

Learn grammar.

Read as much as possible. Read the greats—not to copy their style but to discover why it is they moved you and how they did it.

Write what moves you.

Write what you think, not what others think.

Find your own voice by being true to yourself and what you truly believe.

Make it all up if it’s fiction. Create your own world. You don’t need permission.

Cite your sources if it’s nonfiction.

Be precise, but above all be clear. Your job is not to be admired but to be clear in what you want to say.

Find a person who is supportive and believes in you. Have them read what you write. Listen to what they say.

Become your favorite author. It is a fact that you will read your writing more than any other writer, living or dead, and if you don’t love reading what you’ve written, then you are not writing what you love to read. The logic is irrefutable.

Did I mention classes, software programs, gurus, teachers, agents, publishers, key words, important topics, what’s in vogue? I did not. As I wrote earlier in the full interview for AllAuthor, the absence of a thing is often more significant than its presence.

For more interviews, including my latest radio interview with the esteemed Todd Ortloff of KONP News, check out my Interviews page.

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