We know readers tend to be writers too, so twice a month, we’ll feature writing tips from our authors. Who better to offer advice, insight, and inspiration than the authors you admire? They’ll answer several questions about their work, share their go-to techniques and more. Now, get writing! What writing techniques have you found most important or memorable? I don’t have any specific techniques I employ on a daily basis. But there are some tips I’ve found useful over the years. In particular, an article that Zadie Smith wrote back in 2010 is one I think every writer should emblazon on the inside of his/her brain. The entire list is here. My two favorite rules from it, No. 7 and No. 8, are:
- “Work on a computer that is disconnected from the internet.”
- “Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.”
- Don’t waste inordinate amounts of time polishing small sections of your writing. Figure out your story first. Polish later.
- Show your work to people. Recently, I fell into an old (bad) pattern. I’d written 50 pages of something and was certain it was horrible, but hadn’t actually shown pages to anyone. Don’t do that! Find trusted readers amongst writer friends, and get feedback.
- Don’t make excuses for yourself. You can waste years that way. If you find yourself repeatedly saying you haven’t written because you’re too tired/busy/blocked etc., then rethink how badly you want to be a writer.