Good Advice I Sometimes Take

Happy new year to you! May 2023 be filled with peace, joy, and great writing!

I’ve been (mostly) enjoying working on my middle grade novel in progress since I implemented the good advice of various prolific writers.

  1. Stephen King, “Write in a room with a door that closes.” 

My husband made me a tiny desk that fits in my bedroom. I use my old iMac, with the internet disconnected.

  • Stephen King, “Your first draft is just for you. Don’t show it to others too soon.”

Don’t let well intended advice derail you. The beginning will probably change by the time you finish anyway. 

  • Jessica Brody, “Write first thing in the morning, before checking your phone, email, or social media.”

For me, this means sitting down to write after drinking tea, stretching, and having a light breakfast. Even looking at my phone derails me. 

Mystery writer Elizabeth George reports that she reads in her preferred genre before writing. The trick is to find what works for you. 

  • Jessica Brody, “Save a new copy of your work-in-progress every day.”

There are multiple reasons to do this: Freedom from worrying about deleting something you might need later or losing your work because of sudden power outages. And there’s no downside, (assuming you can figure out which is your latest version). Unless you have images in your files, they don’t take much room, and seeing them accumulating in your “old versions” file validates all the effort you put in. My folder is called “zee old versions” so that it will appear at the bottom of my alphabetized list of folders.

What’s your best writing hack?

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