Secret to Writing

There’s no real secret to writing. There’s no trick that will make it easier, or that will make you a famous writer. I get asked about the secrets and tricks often, and when I respond that the only real secret I know is hard work the requester becomes silent and wanders off to the next writer.

Discipline is the most important “trick” I know. It’s the thing that has allowed me to produce two books, and to have written several more, as well as several short stories and magazine articles. But I know new writers want to know what works and what doesn’t work, so below are a few “tricks” or “secrets” to writing:

  1. Discipline – Finish what you start. Write as often as you can. Don’t give up. Don’t stop.
  2. Read – You’ll hear this one over and over. Very few writers become good writers if they don’t read. Read books that are out of your genre. Read books by people from different cultures, races, from another sex. You can’t write about people if you don’t understand them. Read books on writing too. They don’t have any secrets, but if you get something useful from each book on writing you read, soon you’ll have a mental library of tools.
  3. Keep a notebook – Sometimes I email myself ideas when I don’t have a notebook nearby, but I always have a notebook for every project. I come up with the best ideas when I’m away from the keyboard.
  4. Be Tough – Those who produce little are the ones who love to trash those of us who do. You’ll have to have a strong backbone to endure criticism. Find a way to ignore criticism from those who simply are jealous, and learn to listen to criticism that will help you as a writer. You’ll never be perfect. No writer was ever perfect. Find the best authors in history and you’ll see that at least 10% of reviewers trash them on Amazon.
  5. Write – I mentioned this under discipline, but it’s important enough to mention again. Write something every day. Even something like this blog post.

Now that I’ve shared a few tips, I suggest going out and learning what works for you.

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