Welcome to Writing Tip Wednesday and Week 2 of the new Writing Advice series! Liz Flaherty, one of my wonderful IRWA friends, is here to offer some great tips on becoming a better writer.
Great to have you here, Liz! Take it away!
I have wracked my brain trying to think of something new or different that you haven’t heard or read before, something that will help make your writing easier, better, shorter or longer, more publishable, more readable, or easier to relate to. I’ve reached the conclusion that there is indeed nothing new under the sun. So let me tinker with the old stuff a little.
My best writing advice is to take a day or a weekend or even a whole week off. Not for vacation, per se, but to do other things. For me, it is sewing—particularly charity sewing. I have friends who knit. Friends who are active in local theatre, who sing in Round Robins on Friday nights, or who cook up a storm.
I suggest this so you will remember that even though you are a writer, that’s not all you are; you are the sum of other experiences and emotions besides the despair and/or euphoria afforded by writing. You have not always made extensive notes about settings when you traveled or tried to figure out how to use the conversation the couple at the next table is having in your next book. Sometimes you have managed to look at another person without thinking that exact hairstyle would look great on your protagonist. Occasionally you have laughed uproariously or cried really hard without thinking what it had to do with your writing career.
Do this again.
In other words, even though they’re not at all new ones, be sure to stop along the writing road and smell the roses. And do it without thinking exactly what color they are, how the sun is striking them, or how you will describe the scent.
And then go back to writing. Refreshed.
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Great advice, Liz! I need to take more time for the other things I enjoy doing. Thanks so much for sharing!
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