10 Rules for Writers to Live By

10 Rules for Writers to Live By

Being a writer is a full time commitment if you think about it. This is because if you were bitten by the writing bug, you always want to put your thoughts to paper. Sadly though there are also cases where people are passionate about writing one day and then lose all interest on it the next day. In many ways this how you separate the truly serious writer from a fair weather writer. To be a serious writer, you must have the strength of will and conviction to follow through your writing goals and see it through to the very end.

Here are ten rules for writing that truly serious writers should live by.

  1. Plan out your story. To plan out your story does not mean to write it linearly. It means you should have an overall framework of the story. From the start you already have a rough draft of how the story will turn out, and then it is all up to you to fill it out. This way you will have a more structured storyline, but at the same time have elbow room to make changes on the story. It is also helps you avoid writers block because the framework is already set and all you need to do is make variations on the story.
  1. Be very meticulous. When you write, you should double check your work. Although you may be a competent writer with a lot of writing experience under your belt, you are still human and as prone to mistakes as anyone. Nothing turns a reader off more than bad grammar, or heaven forbid a misspelled word. Little mistakes like these could ruin your credibility with readers and your chance of getting your worked recognized or published. This why you should always go the extra mile when it comes to writing.
  1. Have professional writers critique your work. Although it may be a bit painful and embarrassing at first, having professional writers critique your work is a must if you want to grow as a writer. It can be likened to a coach and athlete relationship wherein the coach sees potential in the athlete and pushes him to be the best he can be. Try sending your work to a professional writer. Ask him or her to read your work and give their thoughts on it. It is also imperative that you ask them not to sugarcoat their response because what you are looking for is an honest response to your work.
  1. Do an internet cleanse. As difficult as it may seem, your writing will really benefit from an internet cleanse. Have you ever had this happen to you? You get up in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to get to work writing your new novel, then you look at your phone or computer then notice a lot of new notifications and news on the internet. Of course you want to get started on your work, but you think to yourself. A little peek won’t hurt. Then poof you are hooked and waste five hours merely browsing the net and looking through Facebook, losing the best part of the day to get started on your book. The internet is one of the main reasons why people procrastinate, and although it is useful for searching information about certain subjects, should be avoided during writing sessions.
  1. Practice your craft. As a writer you should always endeavor to be the best you can possibly be. This is why you should always set aside a certain part of the day to practice writing. This practice can be anything from writing drills to keeping a journal. Having practice sessions reinforces your mastery of writing and helps correct some of your more glaring weaknesses as a writer.
  1. Make your workplace as comfortable as possible. Writing is a very mentally intensive activity and requires your utmost attention.  This why it is so important that you have a proper work place. It can be your bedroom, a study or even a tree house. The important thing is that it is comfortable and clean. Comfort helps you concentrate while clean surroundings gives you a sense of well-being.
  1. Dig deep within yourself. Consider your mind as a mine and all you have to do is dig deep to find inspiration. The mind is a wellspring of ideas that you can use to create unforgettable literature. All you need to do is look deep within yourself and find it.
  1. Make writing a part of your day to day routine. Writing is a truly immersive thing and needs your full commitment most of the time. This is why you should make it a part of your day to day activities. You can mix it in with your usual routine, such as after your morning jog or later at night when your cores are already done. It all really depends on you and your preferred schedule. The most important thing when it comes to schedules is that you like it and willing to stick with it.
  1. Exercise. Although it may seem out of place, exercise is also quite important when it comes to writing. Having good physical health helps you in your writing endeavors by making you feel better about your physical well-being and also the exercise gives you a chance to sweat out the toxins from your system and making you feel lighter and fresher.
  1. Cultivate a love of writing and literature. You can never love literature too much. If you are truly serious about writing, you should make it a top priority and do your best to cultivate your skills and read good literature at the same time. Good literature will not only inspire you to be a better writer but also give you a richer imagination which you can use to create your own stories. Just remember that writing is a limitless art form that you can use to reach your highest potential.
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3 thoughts on “10 Rules for Writers to Live By

  1. Nikhil Narkhede

    Hi Daniel,
    Great tips for serious writers. I liked the point which you raised about the environment. So a peaceful environment helps you to get more thought-process. Also we get more space in our mind to think more about the story. Exercise is very important too. I get ideas on writing when I am driving, some people may get ideas when they are doing their favourite hobby. Thanks for the valuable tips.

    Reply
  2. Jenean McBrearty

    I would add an 11th “rule” feed your story life with real life everyday: keep up with the news as a source for story ideas, new twists on old language, and finding new characters. In our visual world, pictures stimulate ideas; staring a computer screen or diving into your psyche again for inspiration will burn you out. There’s a world out there—past or present—that can inform your writing.

    For example, I read about the competition between DaVinci and Michelangelo as to who could paint the best mural at the Florence Council Hall (who knew?). Inspired, I used this as a basis for a flash fiction (as a comment on the democratization of art) piece for an anthology that was picked up immediately.

    Reply

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