A while back I came across a blog post entitled Practical Tips on Writing a Book from 23 Brilliant Authors by Steve Silberman. Who can resist practical tips? Although most of these authors write non-fiction, some of the tips struck me as brilliant. Here a few. Check out Steve’s blog for the rest.
-Cory Doctorow Author of With a Little Help, For the Win, Makers, and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom
1. Write even when the mood isn’t right. You can’t tell if what you’re writing is good or bad while you’re writing it.
2. Write when the book sucks and it isn’t going anywhere. Just keep writing. It doesn’t suck. Your conscious is having a panic attack because it doesn’t believe your subconscious knows what it’s doing.
3. Write even when the world is chaotic. You don’t need a cigarette, silence, music, a comfortable chair, or inner peace to write. You just need ten minutes and a writing implement.
-Ben Casnocha Entrepreneur and author of My Start-Up Life
1. Shitty first drafts. Anne Lamott nailed it! But with books, it seems to be more like “shitty 20th drafts.” So shitty, for so long.
2. Develop a very serious plan for dealing with internet distractions. I use an app called Self-Control on my Mac.
3. Develop a very, very, very serious plan for dealing with internet distractions.
Josh Shenk Author of Lincoln’s Melancholy
1. Get through a draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Lincoln’s Melancholy I thought, Oh, shit, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly.