• Words of Wisdom For Aspiring Writers, Part III

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in Inspiration     Comments 4 comments

    Our writing coaches spend plenty of time dishing out wisdom for aspiring writers in one-on-one settings, while delivering our signature writers’ services. But we can’t let our clients hog all of the great advice, so today we’re presenting the third installment of our video series, Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Writers.

    Turn off Netflix and go paddle a canoe, Brad Tyer says. Resa Alboher wants us to listen to the music of our own words. Chris Mattix urges us to show our work to others. These three and five more talented WriteByNight writing coaches and consultants share their knowledge with us in the video below, which, along with lots of other goodies, is also available on our YouTube channel.



    And here is a transcript, if you want to spread some of the love on Twitter, Facebook, et al.


    “Let yourself love writing for itself and in and of itself. Love the narratives you want to create, the stories that are burning in you to be told, the rhythms of the sentences, the feel of the words on your tongue, the music of the syllables, love these for their own sake and allow yourself to step out of the way and give the process permission to happen.”

    — Resa Alboher


    “At the risk of stating the obvious, write. Like Maupassant said, ‘Put black on white.’ I don’t think we really figure anything out unless we’re engaged in the process, since for many of us, the process of writing is actually the process of deciphering the process itself, of learning how we write.”

    — Tom Andes


    “Keep going! Be willing to radically revise your drafts. Don’t expect perfection on the first, second, third, fourth (and so on) try. Read constantly, and read widely.”

    — Jessamine Chan


    “You learn to write by writing. Also by reading, but writing is number one. So pick a period of time each day that you can devote to your craft and keep faithful to that schedule.”

    — Bill Hammond


    “Write as much as you can until you get something decent. Then revise it and revise it and revise it. Put a piece away for a couple of months when you finish a draft. Have several pieces going so you can always have something to work on while other projects are incubating.”

    — Lydia Conklin


    Don’t be afraid to show your work to others! I meet a lot of people who tell me they write, but never show it to anyone because they feel it’s no good. The only way to get better as a writer, other than writing a lot, is showing your work to others and getting their opinions.”

    — Chris Mattix


    “The best ideas come when you’re doing something else (unless that something else is watching Netflix). Take a walk. Ride a bike. Paddle a canoe. Keep a notebook or digital recorder handy, and use it when no one is looking. Spend as little time as possible staring at blank screens.”

    — Brad Tyer


    “Get your butt in the chair.”

    — Carolyn Cohagan


    And if you missed ’em, check out Part I and Part II.


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    Scott McClelland

    You don’t have to be in front of a keyboard to write. Inspiration is everywhere: the expression on an old woman’s face at the bus stop. A lyric from a Tom Waits song. An overheard colloquialism in the butcher shop. Be sure you have some way to record these gems. I keep a tiny notebook in my back pocket (old school). The difference between writers and non-writers is that fleeting moment between having a thought and writing it down. Everyone has these thoughts. The difference is, we write them down. And that’s how the rock begins to tumble down the… Read more »

    Realizing that an important thought or observation has escaped you, possibly forever, is among the worst feelings a writer can have: loss followed closely by panic. Good thing that experience is avoidable. All you have to do is write it down!

    Thanks for reading, Scott.

    Annie Sargeant

    Re. Telling and showing/ show don’t tell. How else, when working w/ words do you show by telling ?
    I mean when we write words we are telling right ? Am I getting caught up in semantics ? Perhaps (hopefully ) other people are having difficulty w/ this.

    Annie Sargeant

    “My left brain and my right brain have never met ” Funny, perhaps, but not quite accurate. Creativity begins, we are told, in the right hemisphere of our brain, the intuitive, non-judgmental part that lets it all flow. Sentence structure, grammar, punctuation sound like very left brain activities to me, and switching back and forth seems jerky and somewhat clunky like learning to drive a stick shift. As a graphic artist I became aware that if I could give my left brain something to do it wasn’t very good at, it would surrender control to my right hemisphere, where it… Read more »

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