10 Things To Do To Become a Better Writer in 10 Days

How to Find the Best Independent Editor for You

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.
—Kris Kristopherson, “Me and Bobby McGee”

  1. Spend one day being a troll

    Be as obnoxious as humanly possible online. Go around arguing with people on their own sites, expressing opinions they won’t agree with, picking fights you have no possible hope of winning. Make a complete idiot of yourself. And no hiding behind “Anonymous,” either. Use your own name. Then go back at the end of the day and read all the responses, especially the ones that prove you wrong. APOLOGIZE SINCERELY. (This one doesn’t count if you skip that step.) Endure the shame. That’s your crash course in publication.

    Alternatively, if your moral code won’t let you be a troll, go to the last three people you’ve hurt in your life and ask them to talk to you for as long as they want about how it felt to them. Don’t respond, just listen. Endure the shame.

    This step is necessary to clean out the interior censor, the one who thinks there’s still time left to protect your reputation. There’s no time left. You’ve already long-since destroyed your reputation with the ones you love, the people who matter most. Welcome to the real world.

    If you’ve never hurt anyone, put down your keyboard and go apply for sainthood. You are the wrong kind of liar to be a writer.
  2. Spend one whole day being silent

    Don’t speak. Not even when asked a question. Point when your husband asks you where you keep the toilet paper. Smile and nod when your neighbor asks about your weekend. Don’t email or DM or comment on social media. Just be silent. Larry Hagman used to do this every Sunday, for years on end, and he said it was an extraordinary education in self-awareness. Of course, he informed his friends and family of what he was doing, so they wouldn’t think he’d lost his mind—you should too.

    This step is necessary to clean out the interior egoist, the one who thinks what you have to say is the most important thing. You have nothing all that important to say. You can only record the world of your readers for them.
  3. Spend one day as a student of reality

    Take a notebook and make a list of the most important locations of scenes in your novel. Then, beginning as early as possible, go to each location at the time of day your characters are there. Sit for at least an hour at each place taking copious notes. Note down every single fact you can about that location and the people in it. Not impressions. Just facts.

    The sidewalk is pale grey with oval splotches of charcoal grey one-to-three inches in diameter every foot or so and, when the sun gets to about 60 degrees, almost invisible sparks of rainbow light from bits of glass embedded in the concrete, more reds and blues than yellow. The woman who sells fruit at the corner is in her fifties with a slight double chin ending rather sharply in premature dewlaps and a dress with huge pinkish-brownish-greenish blossoms and what look like spiders, which hangs on her as if there were weights in the hem.

    This step is necessary to teach you to write in your reader’s world.
  4. Spend one day with the lyrics of your favorite songs

    Pick one, and annotate every single line with random details you can see or hear (or smell or taste or touch) from where you are. Make the details absolutely specific—not a book, but Maria Durmout’s The Ten Thousand Things lying open on its face; not a cat, but the grey-&-black striped nine-year-old James Dean wannabe or the carrot-tip Siamese who pees outside the litter box whenever he’s mad. Feel free to throw in gratuitous imaginary details so long as they’re neutral and not meant to sway the reader toward either positive or negative interpretation. If you feel the urge to sway the reader, use a detail bent in the opposite direction from where you want it to bend.

    Do this with a handful of your favorite songs, then treat the annotated songs as Rorschach blots. Read them and take copious notes on what underlying connections you pick up. Swap the details around and do it all over again.

    This step is necessary to teach you subtext.
  5. Spend one day writing and re-writing a single scene

    Make it a scene about confrontation, and write it the first time as if you were the protagonist and you were indisputably in the right. Then write it as if you were indisputably in the wrong. Then write it as if you were insane. Then write it as if you were unbelievably boring. Then write two scenes about different confrontations and cut-&-paste the characters’ lines into the opposite scenes.

    Read the first scene and notice how appallingly self-congratulatory victims are to read. Read the second scene and notice that you didn’t entirely manage to make yourself indisputably in the wrong—write that second scene over again more honestly. Read the third scene and notice how hilarious non-sequiturs are. Read the boring scene and notice how much you rely on action and description to illuminate boring dialog—write that scene over again with the same action and description, but only 1/3 of the lines of dialog. Read the final two scenes and notice how much innuendo is buried in scenes at cross-purposes.

    Write the second scene over again, even more honestly. Write the boring scene over again with those 1/3 lines of dialog taken from one of the final two scenes. Write the second scene over again, even more honestly.

    Write all kinds of confrontation scenes, swapping characters indiscriminately when you’re done. Keep this up for the rest of the day.

    This step is necessary to teach you hard work.
  6. Spend one day on research

    Pick a handful of topics you know a little or nothing about and learn everything you can about them. Read articles. Take notes. Collate your findings. Write essays. Compare your conclusions. Look for the essential truth about reality underlying two of your topics, and write an essay on that. Do the same thing for two others. And the same thing for two others. Do the same thing for three. And four. And five.

    Write an essay taking the most fascinating fact out of each topic and linking them into a single theory of everything. Voila! You’re Einstein!

    Write a counter-essay proving yourself completely wrong.

    This step is necessary to teach you deeper understanding.
  7. Spend one day watching children

    Children are people confused by their world, without adequate skills to either communicate or function within the social norms of their tribe. Watch a family, preferably of several generations. Take copious notes on how they interact with each other—how they treat one child, how they respond to the child’s efforts to communicate and function, how they communicate with each other about the child, how they communicate with each other with no reference to the child at all. Take notes on how the child attempts or does not attempt to be involved with them. Now take the same notes on the other children, along with notes on why you picked that first child first. Sketch choreographic notes on how the members of this family move around each other in space.

    Write a scene in which a character is an adult using the child’s tactics, only in adult language and with adult understanding. Read it, and analyze the subtext between the characters. Write it again with a different character. And again with a different character. And again with the same character but a different outcome. And again with the same character but a different outcome.

    Write it as if it were your one chance in life to communicate what you need to communicate.

    This step is necessary to teach you compassion for every single character you create.
  8. Spend one day crying

    Face it: you’ve got a lot to cry about. Sometimes your life has sucked. And putting all the effort of not crying into your work will make it superficial and dishonest. Go ahead and cry as much as you can out of your system. Reach the anger underneath and go punch a tree. Reach the pain under that and go bandage up your hand. Take a good look at the damage while you’re bandaging it. You did this to yourself. You punched a tree. Don’t you feel like a prize idiot? Learn to love the prize idiot who punched the tree. You need to know how to love prize idiots who rush around getting themselves into trouble without ever feeling sorry for them or allowing them to feel sorry for themselves.

    This step is necessary to teach you courage.

    If you don’t have a lot to cry about, put down your keyboard and go apply for a job in a nice, safe cube somewhere. You’re the wrong kind of fantasist to be a writer.
  9. Spend one day laughing at things nobody thinks are funny but you

    This will feel like hysteria brought on by all the crying, which is what it is. Laugh until you can’t talk. Laugh until you can’t breathe. Laugh until tears are running down your face. Laugh in front of loved ones to whom you can’t explain the joke. Laugh in front of strangers until they raise their eyebrows and shy away.

    This step is necessary to teach you to accept what you bring to the craft of fiction. Claim your own utterly unique and bizarre nature. This is the only new thing you have to bring to literature, the one thing—paradoxically—your reader comes there seeking.

  10. If you don’t have anything to laugh about, go back a step and cry some more.

  11. Spend one whole day being grateful

    In our family, we used to do a gratitude ceremony around a lit candle at the dinner table every evening, everyone taking a turn to say what they were grateful for. Dinner guests would wonder if they had to be grateful for only important things, and we’d say, no, no, anything at all. We had one friend who was always grateful for football. Sometimes I was grateful for compost or fingernail clippers. Sometimes my son—when he was very young—was simply grateful for the candle.

    Write long, rambling, specific letters to people who have made a difference in your life. You don’t have to send them. Just get them down in words. And don’t worry about making sense or communicating what you really mean. Just blither. Go up to people you love and look them in the eye. Tell them why your life is better because of them, in very specific terms. Mention football and fingernail clippers and candles, if they’re pertinent. Write letters to your characters. Write a letter to your imagination. Write a letter of gratitude to yourself about all the most dreadful aspects of your personality without which you would not be you.

    Remember that 1970s chain letter where you were supposed to send cute underwear to the top ten people on the list and then sit around waiting for 500 pairs of underwear some total strangers thought were cute? Say, “Thanks for all the underwear.”

    Put your hand on your heart and say to the world in general, “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me all you wonderful, insane senders of underwear.”

  12. Then go keep your promise.

How to Find the Best Independent Editor for You

UPDATE: If you have trouble making yourself cry, try celebrating the end of the War in Iraq with the return of our soldiers to the families who love them—guaranteed to push you over the edge. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, President Obama.

And once you’ve made yourself a better writer, you’re ready to tackle the three aspects of the novel:

HOOK: 5 Ways to Make Your Novel Inescapable

DEVELOPMENT: 5 Ways to Make Your Novel Helplessly Addictive

CLIMAX: 5 Ways to Make Your Novel Unforgettable

Of course, you’ll need to know those 9 Ways to Find the Time to Write.

Starred comment: I not only punched a tree, but I punched a lot of other things too… breaking two fingers on my writing hand in the process. Ah, the irony.—AnnaMay Fox

92 thoughts on “10 Things To Do To Become a Better Writer in 10 Days

  1. Love it. Always enjoy your sardonic voice.

  2. Jeff says:

    Extremely good advice.

  3. Simon says:

    That is NOT my idea of vacation, fyi. Quite frankly, I’d prefer to emulate one of my literary idols by moving to Paris and getting blithering drunk while picking fights with Ford Madox Ford and Gertrude Stein. Seems rather easier than what you’re proposing.



    (Of course, if pressed, I’d say you have some lovely gems of advice up there between the flashes of black humor and uncompromising rigor.)

  4. Ami says:

    Outstanding advice. Exploring emotion & observing the world. #1 makes me cringe, though I doubt anyone would seriously consider my application for sainthood.

  5. Jeffrey Russell says:


    Buckets of rain
    Buckets of tears
    I got all them buckets coming out of my ears…

    [but there’s] Buckets of moonbeams in my hand…

  6. Kathryn says:

    Whatever made me think it would be as easy as brushing up on my grammar? πŸ™‚

    A demanding list, but one I’ll work on.

    Thank you.

  7. layinda says:

    Interesting tips. I’m partial to #9. πŸ™‚

  8. This is lovely! As usual. πŸ™‚

    My favorite: If you’ve never hurt anyone, put down your keyboard and go apply for sainthood. You are the wrong kind of liar to be a writer.

    That is so absolutely true.

    What I love about all of this is that when you put it together it spells out PASSION. You must have this to be a writer.

  9. I totally misspelled my name above. Hah.

  10. Victoria says:

    You guys are too hilarious. Where did you get the idea, Simon, this was supposed to be a vacation?

    Yeah, Ami, #1 is supposed to make you cringe. I’m sorry. But you can’t write honest and deep and meaningful fiction while simultaneously trying to keep up a false front. Sandra Day said, “The only person you’re fooling is yourself.” Write from the heart of darkness—that’s where great fiction lives.

    And yeah, Layinda, #9 is your reward for surviving #1 and #8. Assuming you do. >:))

    Jeffrey, I’ve never taken that Dylan song seriously because of the final line (“you got all the lovin’, honey-baby, I can stand”)—but you made the connection really beautifully.

    And I love that Michelle had to admit she misspelled her own name. That girl’s on her way!

  11. I really like the one about spending time with a notebook and truly ‘seeing’ the scene. I like the idea of storing minute details and descriptions in a notebook. That seems like it might be quite helpful. I think I’ll try that this week…thanks!

  12. Donna Hole says:

    Lately, I do lots of crying. No provocation necessary.

    Maybe I should focus on the rest. Nobody would ever confuse me for a saint – especially at work. πŸ™‚ But hey; an apology is always worth the time and energy.

    Perhaps these were meant as snark; but today, it suits my serious mood. I’m with Raquel; notebooks – the paper kind – suit me. I like pencil and paper for deep thinking.

    Thanks for the writing lesson Victoria. Much appreciated.


  13. Victoria says:

    Heavens, no, Donna—they’re not meant as snark at all. Rumors of my snarkiness have been greatly exaggerated! (Okay, maybe #1 is a little bit tongue-in-cheek—but I do expect you to let your loved ones teach you how to find the humility inside shame.)

    They are meant as exactly what everyone is taking them for (they know me): absolutely serious advice on digging down through the layers of persona we all use, to the authentic, unique human being inside who is the source of all real creativity.

    The more you laugh and cry, the more you understand the meaning of life. And that meaning is your entire reason for writing fiction.

    1. Garrett Boak says:

      You’re great. I started writing stuff a month or two ago, and now I’m working on having 70+ pages of amazing insanity written and I don’t even know what I’m doing =) But I do this stuff all the time, your list is like all the things I try to do with my endless days!! Today I learned about my home city of Syracuse’s amazing abolitionist history… The Jerry Rescue is the most amazing true story I ever got to write about in my little book that I carry around =) thank you for existing

      1. Victoria says:

        You bet, Garrett! Existing is my reason for, um, being. . . πŸ™‚

        It’s incredible the stories there are lying around out there just waiting to be written, isn’t it?

  14. Jess Tudor says:

    I’m one of those no-criers. I had a traumatic childhood that means I do the shock and faze out, no crying.

    1. Victoria says:

      You’d better cry, Jess. That stuff is like cement boots on your creative imagination.

  15. Tyler Reed says:

    Hilarious and super smart!

    1. Victoria says:

      Thank you, Tyler. I’ve done it all.

  16. What kind of editor has spelling errors in her blog posts?! (Hint: in step #9). Good grief.

    And so begins my attempt at step #1…

  17. Thank you. I have put you on my gratitude and Favorites list.

    1. Victoria says:

      Ah, shucks, Julee. Thanks! I’m always here.

  18. Love this. Refreshing to see advice that says something DIFFERENT.

    1. Victoria says:

      Thanks, Paula! I do work hard at saying something different—everyone else has all that same stuff pretty adequately covered.

  19. If these could work, I would be a great writer by now. You just need to have something to say, be lucky and have good connections. BTW, I’m not practicing here the rule #1.

    1. Victoria says:

      Too bad. That was a good one.

  20. Dear Victoria:

    I humbly apologize for the obnoxious comment I posted on this blog yesterday. You see, I realized that I too have published spelling and grammar errors online, despite my self-proclamation as a spelling/grammar guru. I appreciate your patience with me as well as your humor and willingness to share your wisdom with the writing community.

    Best regards,
    Anna Maria

  21. Victoria says:

    You’re going places, Anna Maria!


  22. Carisa Harris says:

    I love this post. Thank you for writing it.

    1. Victoria says:

      You’re very welcome, Carisa. It’s amazing how much a person can change in just a few days if they put their minds to it.

  23. Andrea says:

    We should all do this regardless of whether or not we aspire to write a book. Thank you.

    1. Victoria says:

      It’s true, Andrea. It’s all about living a more vivid life.

  24. Rowan Watson says:

    brilliant. simply brilliant.

    1. Victoria says:

      Thank you so much, Rowan—it’s hard to have a bad day when you’ve been called brilliant! πŸ™‚

  25. Rowan Watson says:

    i’ve added you to stumbleupon, btw πŸ™‚

  26. Ashley says:

    For people who have actually done this, does it work?

    1. Victoria says:

      Yeah, it does. It opens you up in a lot of unexpected ways, and it teaches you hard work. And that’s what it takes.

  27. 52faces says:

    Holy. Cow.

    This blew the brains right out of my head and I’m left stunned and thrilled.

    Ashley – I’m going to try this as soon as I can and I’ll report back my findings. Victoria, I’ve been considering hiring you as an editor once I can justify (and make enough to afford) your rates, and this just notched up the need! This was amazing.

    1. Victoria says:

      You know I’m here whenever you need me.

  28. Robert Bateman says:

    Time to give #1 a try…

    This list is utterly preposterous. The idea that any of these things could give any person the gift of the muse that was not born with it goes against the very nature of “talent”. Pathetic “self-help” approaches to literature such as this the reason why our shelves these days bulge with appallingly written pulp; it is why the vast majority of the general public are currently more inclined to read whatever pornographic tripe has been cinematised lately, or the biography of whichever illiterate moron has recently won the latest trashy reality television show.

    This new-age hack suggests that we “Spend one day watching children”, as if hanging around gawking at your local primary school for a day is going to get you anything other than an entry on the Sex Offenders’ Register. “Spend one day laughing at things no-one thinks are funny but you”. Is standing about giggling insolently at mundane or unpleasant things really supposed to inspire literary inspiration?

    Literary talent is an innate gift bestowed upon only the most fortunate of us. The misguided notion that “anyone can write” has taken up a lot of untalented people’s time over the years. Time that would have been better spent preparing meals for or cleaning the homes of those of us that can actually put a coherent sentence to paper. The number of trees that are being wasted on the barbaric drivel that currently occupies our best sellers’ lists could be greatly reduced if people would stop heeding moronic advice such as this. You’ve either got it, or you ain’t.

    1. glitter says:

      How utterly pretentious and rude that comment was!
      Barbaric drivel, really?
      You probably walk around with your nose in the air and a stick up your ass.
      In all honestly I feel sorry for you.

      That’s besides the point…

      I enjoyed the above inspirational writing exercises; found it thought provoking. πŸ™‚

      1. Victoria says:

        Thanks, glitter!

        Robert was practicing his trolling. His apology below is short & succinct, the epitome of good writing.

    2. Just a small addition says:

      Not to mention using “ain’t” after sounding so intelligent is a little ridiculous.

  29. Robert Bateman says:

    (Just for the record I don’t really think that. The list is great.)

  30. Robert Bateman says:

    Great, tried number 1, apparently it won’t pass moderation though. Obviously you don’t want us to practice that if it involves trolling *you*. I put some real effort into that as well!

  31. Victoria says:

    Sorry about the delay, Robert! I was on vacation and just got back to deal with moderation this morning. Heck of a great trolling!

  32. Kop says:

    I feel like this list could apply to any creative craft, and not just writing. Wonderfully thought-provoking list, thank you.

    1. Victoria says:

      Yes, it could, Kop. Or living in general. Reach out to your life—it’s all out there, just waiting for you.

  33. Robert Bateman says:

    Sorry for being presumptuous, Victoria.

  34. Victoria says:

    I’ll let it go this time, Robert. πŸ™‚

  35. Robert DuBois says:

    Congratulations to you, Robert Bateman, on a superb trolling! Your fairly adequate prose engagingly, enthrallingly encapsulates (a better word than ‘encapsulates’ might be ‘synthesizes’) several potentialities that Victoria seems to espouse. Indeed, I suppose that as much of her elucidation as you have received, you have reflected – only my casual reading preventing more complete cognition of your exposition.

    And congratulations too, to Michelle, the misspeller, for her naming of passion! So few words – nail on the head.

    And congratulations, shot though with gratitude, to Victoria for the evocotive, provocotive, stimulating original post.

    1. Victoria says:

      Thank you, Robert! Those are lovely adjectives to have applied to one’s work.

      And, for the record, one of my closest friends is named Rob Dubois. It’s a heck of an excellent name.

  36. Does this actually work? I think its more fun sticking to the 1st part which is being a troll.

  37. Victoria says:

    Yes, it does work. But trolling by itself does not. The only valuable part of the trolling is the apologizing. Otherwise you’re simply reinforcing the illusion in your mind that people are stuck with you—which is about as far from the truth as writing gets.

  38. Tyler says:

    I agree with Victoria. An isolated imagination has its limits.

    1. Victoria says:

      Very well-said, Tyler.

  39. Adam says:

    Watching children sounds a bit risky, though. I’ll do everything else.

    1. Victoria says:

      Watch them with their families. Don’t go sit at a playground looking creepy. Good heavens. Families can be found in public all over the place: restaurants, airports, grocery stores, public events, parks and beaches. You’re not just sitting there staring with your mouth hanging open—you’re taking notes on interpersonal dynamics.

  40. Susan says:

    GREAT STUFF! It’s ESPECIALLY good since I have already done everything on that list except spending a day with the lyrics of my favorite songs.

    Only one day crying? Heck, I’ve spent days crying about all the crap that has happened to me. One time I started crying at Kroger when I found Blackjack gum! I haven’t seen that since I was twelve! People were asking me “Are you all right sweetie?” I just shook my head, yes, with tears streaming down my face, pointing to the gum. They looked at me then the gum and departed quickly.

    I was a research legal secretary to litigators so I have the research and arguing thing down to a science. I once worked for two attorneys at different times in my life that were very angry. It was difficult at first but I noticed if I stayed silent, it was rather funny watching them get so angry over……..nothing! I typed a trust incorrectly? I told him I didn’t know how before he hired me!

    My sisters and brothers have always felt sorry for me since they think I’m a bit crazy. They said this so many times I decided to get it checked out. My therapist said “No, you are not crazy.” “Actually, after discussing your case with other doctors here, we are surprised that you continue to be sane! So, there!

    1. Victoria says:


      That’s hilarious that your therapist’s colleagues all agreed your sanity is on the level of a minor miracle, Susan. See, I think that about myself all the time.

  41. munk says:

    You’re list is stupid and your stupid. So stupid, in fact, I can’t believe how stupid. The idea that you could improve my writing skills when your so stupid is really, really, really stupid.

    1. Victoria says:

      Okay, this one made me laugh.

  42. munk says:


    I’m going to go cry now–all day.
    I hope I don’t freak out the other engineers in the office.

    (excellent post BTW… I’ll have to read it again after work, I am sure there is more good stuff in there that I can’t quite reach under these fluorescent tubes.)

    1. Victoria says:


      Yes, we must be careful not to freak out the engineers. They’re the only ones who know where the replacement tubes are.

  43. AnnaMay Fox says:

    Thanks for the tips… the last eleven days have been a completely bizarre and wonderful experience. I have only one niggle, though it’s partially my fault – step 8 lasted two days (please don’t judge). During that time I not only punched a tree, but I punched a lot of other things too… breaking two fingers on my writing hand in the process. Ah, the irony. I wrote ten pages (in shaky left handed squiggles) about just that little incident… currently working on editing it into a decent short story, so I suppose it’s a bittersweet niggle.


  44. Alaisdair says:

    this is amazing! I feel so challenged already and I havent started! I have a feeling this will change the way i write and view the world. Thanks for the advice Victoria! you have a new fan πŸ™‚

    1. Victoria says:

      Fabulous, Alaisdair! Challenging yourself is what it’s all about.

  45. Lizette says:

    I am a horrible writer, probably why I procrastinate to write anything for my classes because I am intimidated by it. But this sounds like a good plan to get me started and pass up this fear of mine.

    I think I will give it a shot.

    1. Victoria says:

      Let us know how it goes, Lizette! Everyone’s born a horrible writer.

  46. Alaska R. Agulera says:

    This is absolutely terrible advice. Garbage. This “To do” list is irrational and completely stupid, first off this list has been done many times before, scratching off all originality that comes with the natural talent of writing. Plus, natural writing talent is a gift. Anyone who thinks they can master or improve it is an absolute idiot.
    #6.- I spend all day doing this. Researching and writing essays in class about things that have no use whatsoever. Believe me, it cannot improve anything (Unless you want to increase the rate at which your mind is rotting from clearly useless information)
    #8.- Is rather ironic. Crying will not help anything, at all. It does not teach courage or improve your writing. More so, I believe courage is finding the will NOT to cry. Plus you probably have nothing to cry about, seriously people? Just because your job sucks, your parents got divorced and your roommate likes to dance to Justin Beiber doesn’t mean you get to cry and whine about it. There are kids with no way of getting money for food or clothing, kids who don’t know who their parents and probably never have had a sturdy roof above their heads. Suck it up and stop crying.
    #4.- Most lyrics to songs these days are pretty stupid and do not have any hidden meaning or subtext. There goes that “great” idea.
    Anyway what ever, you people can go waste 10 days on something completely foolish.

    1. Victoria says:

      Wow, some people really know how to troll! I kind of feel like you ought to get an award for this.

      Although I do still kind of have a soft spot for the ‘stupid stupid stupid’ one.

      1. Alaska R. Agulera says:

        Heheheh, thanks (i think). Now I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean all that. Seriously, it took me like 45 minutes to think up all this stuff lol. Anyway, I really love this list and I’m already starting it, as you can tell. πŸ™‚

        1. Victoria says:

          Forty-five minutes! You really should get an award! I don’t think it took me forty-five minutes to write the thing.

          You’ve certainly primed yourself to deal with the vagaries of the industry, that’s for sure.

  47. dale chatwin says:

    Heya very good list, especially the trolling part but I think my approach is going to have to be talking to 3 people I’ve deeply hurt and letting them have my guts for garters then that will leave me crying so I would have already killed two birds with one stone πŸ˜‰

    I have always wanted to be a writer, since the age of 3 I knew my one main ambition in life was to be a writer of fiction and now that ambition is coming to fruition, I now write poetry and perform it on YouTube and I am writing short stories and a novel.
    I will take on your advice Victoria, thank you πŸ™‚

    1. Victoria says:

      Yeah, I tend to go for the people I’ve hurt whenever I need a shot of humility, Dale. As it happens, life has a way of providing those people to me when I need them.

  48. Autumn says:

    Oh my…I have never seen any advice like this before!! It definitely seems a challenge. I’ll attempt it though…

    I would benefit from a post on writer’s stamina. It is exhausting just to think of writing an entire novel, keeping all of the facts straight, staying true to characters, not buying out to cliches or predictability…
    I was never frightened of white space (“it’s your friend!” my butt!) until I arrogantly sat down one day and decided I was going to construct an entirely flawless epic from the shining plans I had just laid out. I have since laughed and debased myself into a much needed state of humility.

    I’m 18 and I’ve just graduated high school, and I adore writing. I would love to make it a life’s work, but thank goodness I’m not naive enough to think it is something I can just leap into. My writing tends to be “flowery,” as some of my superiors have phrased it, but I’m trying hard to machete* out some of the thicker parts. I can think of so many different ways to describe things that I have trouble picking just one to include!

    *I also have this odd habit of using nouns and sometimes adjectives as verbs. A product of my generation, I do think. Unfortunate…

    1. Victoria says:

      Congratulations, Autumn, on choosing the most frustrating, exhausting, debilitation, fascinating craft for your own. We’re all here with you!

      I have a couple of pieces for young writers on my advice column: Keeping Your Novel on Track Over the Long Haul and Surfing Your Writing Rhythm.

      Good luck! It’s a fabulous life.

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