Writers Share Their Words of Wisdom on Writing

writing books chapters

“When you’re trying to create a career as a writer, a little delusional thinking goes a long way.” -Michael Lewis

Writing is an art. It’s a mirror into our deepest selves, into unknown worlds that grow into kingdoms with every passing page. Good writing is something to be admired because when done well, a piece of writing takes you along on a journey which you have the power to create.

So, how can you become a better writer you ask? Well, I can’t call myself a seasoned writer for the simple fact that I am not one. So, I’ve taken the most helpful pieces of advice I’ve come to know from writers who have shared their wisdom on the craft of writing. Here are some of their guiding words that I hope will inspire you, too.

writing book photography

Keep on Keepin’ on

“You have to finish things — that’s what you learn from, you learn by finishing things.”-Neil Gaiman 

Have you ever started a piece of writing, only to throw in the towel halfway? Maybe it wasn’t good enough. Maybe your direction seemed too unclear and hazy. Whatever the reason, it’ll never be a good enough reason to throw your work away. Always keep your writing, even if you hate it and can’t bare to look at it. Stephen King thought Carrie was so bad he threw it in the trash. The trash! Lucky for him his wife fished it out and pressed him to keep going. You might not have that same saving grace, so it’s up to you to carry on.

Don’t Just Sit and Wait

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” -Stephen King

You can spend the rest of your days waiting for inspiration. If you’re lucky, maybe it’ll come. But, it might not. The truth is, inspiration doesn’t just come knocking at your door. It isn’t a message in a bottle that’s washed up on shore, waiting to be discovered. It just doesn’t work that way. It’s your job to find it. It’s out there, in every crook of life if you look closely enough, so what are you waiting for?

lavendar book rupi kaur

You’re Not Here To Please

“If you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”  -Stephen King

When I would write, I’d constantly worry about whether my opinion was offensive, vulgar, or too honest. The more I worried and tried to gloss over these bits of uncertainty, the more dull and predictable my writing became. Writing has to be honest. Your readers will know if you are speaking truthfully. Rather than being politically correct, embrace the grit of being honest, write from the heart and don’t worry about the rest.

writing book lavendar

The Dreadful Adverb

“Never use an adverb to modify the verb ‘said’ . . . he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost any way) is a mortal sin. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange.” -Elmore Leonard

“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one on your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day . . . fifty the day after that . . . and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s — GASP!! — too late”. -Stephen King

I’ve used them, Stephen King has admitted to using them, and you probably have too. Sometimes, we throw in an adverb or two… or ten. They often take away from the writing itself, and create a weaker piece of writing. Have faith that your reader will know how your characters are speaking and what they’re feeling.

writing book waterfall

With Good Writing Comes the Bad

“You can only write regularly if you’re willing to write badly… Accept bad writing as a way of priming the pump, a warm-up exercise that allows you to write well.” -Jennifer Egan

This is a tough one. When you write something, leave it on your desk to set for a few days, and then look it over only to find yourself thinking, “man, this is bad” don’t freak out. It happens to all of us.

Sometimes, you’ll think your work is awful when really, it has a chance. Other times, you might be right. Bad writing plays as big of a part in the process as good writing does. Don’t let it discourage you, and don’t let yourself get caught up in the whirlwind of self-doubt of thinking maybe all of your writing is bad. It’s just a brick in the wall.

What are your favorite writing tips? I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories!

 

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  • So many great tips! I need to put some of them in practice. Thank you for sharing this, it came it great timing 🙂

    http://www.blossomikebana.com

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Paula 🙂

  • Georgina Grace

    I love this post Diana!
    I studied Creative Writing so I’ve always enjoyed reading advice from other writers and how they learnt their craft.
    My favourite writing tip from my tutor was to write economically, and to not be afraid to get rid of anything that doesn’t need to be said. It really does make such a difference! x

    http://www.love-georgie.co.uk

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Georgina! Creative writing must have been such an interesting area to study! I couldn’t agree more, saying just enough is always the best way to write a great piece 🙂 xx

  • Kay (shoesandglitter)

    Some really good tips here, hun! I find it really difficult to get myself in the mood for writing… What I do is usually discipline myself into doing at least 15 minutes every day, and go from there – sometimes that gets me into the mood and I end up writing a lot more, sometimes not. Thanks for sharing, lovely! xoxo

    Kay
    http://shoesandglitter.com

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Kay! I feel the same when it comes to writing stories, the discipline really does help! xx

  • some great advice! I wouldn’t say I’m an aspiring writer or anything but I’d love to be able to write better blog posts at the least. This was a very helpful read, thank you 🙂

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Melanie! xx

  • Oh i love your writing and i couldnt agree more with this post. I found reading ALOT really developed my writing skills.

    http://www.thewhimsicalwildling.com/

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Eloise 🙂

  • I love this, it is such good advice! I definitely need to put this into practice as I have so many half written stories!xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Hannah! I hope you get to finish those stories one day, it’ll be worth it 🙂 xx

  • I loved this post! So helpful and interesting! You blog design is gorgeous and your writing is on point! 🙂

    http://www.letmecrossover.blogspot.com

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Michele xx

  • I absolutely love this blog post. Totally agree with believing in yourself more and less doubting, I do it all the time. The blog post I was worried about was one of my best this year, and the video I didn’t post on YouTube for ages because I cared too much of what people might think of it also recently did really well. Thank you for these great tips. P.s you are a beautiful writer 🙂 xx

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Peta! It can be hard to not worry about what others think. I’m so glad the post that you worried about was one that did so well, that just goes to show that fear should never stop us from expressing our true beliefs xx

  • Beautifully written post! I also really like the name of your blog, isn’t that what we’re all doing? Sharing our lovier days with others while keeping the more bland ones to ourselves? Great find!

    http://www.thegfguide.com

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you so much 🙂

  • Coco Cami

    Great post, thanks for sharing! So many amazing writing tips 🙂

    Camille xo

    http://www.cococami.blogspot.co.uk

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Camille xx

  • These are amazing tips, thank you for sharing! I can very much relate to the last point, I can’t tell you how often I have written a blog post, looked at it again the next day and thought it was a pile of rubbish. It usually only takes a few words to make a difference though and I guess I’m my worst critic when it comes to writing. And I think the third tip is especially important for bloggers, I know so many people – including myself – who started out as a beauty blogger because that seemed to be what people wanted to read. Eventually, I realised beauty blogging wasn’t for me and started publishing posts I really cared about it and stopped measuring my blog’s success through the number of likes or comments. xx

    113thingstosay.com

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you so much Mira! I’ve felt that way countless times, I feel like that’s just part of the creative process for most of us. I love the content you post now Mira, I think you definitely made the right choice! 🙂

  • I love the last one, got to have ups and downs in everything! Just though I’d let you know that your instagram and twitter social media icons aren’t working.
    Aleeha xXx
    http://www.halesaaw.co.uk/

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Hale! I don’t actually have twitter so I’ll remove that but I had no idea about the Instagram so thanks so much for letting me know 🙂

  • I love this post, Diana! These tips are super helpful, and as a writer myself, I TOTALLY relate. Thanks for sharing <3

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Ashton! xx

  • Truly enjoy reading your posts! Your pics are flawless! 🙂

    http://www.alifyalifestyle.com/

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Alifya 🙂

  • Kim

    I never knew that adverbs were bad to use! Now I have to research what the heck an adverb is! (By the way, I never claimed to be a good writer, simply a blogger haha)

    Kim
    simplylovebirds.com

    • Diana Maria

      Haha I was the same myself, I never used to know what grammatical terms were before either! Thanks for reading Kim xx

  • Love these tips! Especially “keep on keeping on.” Sometimes I struggle, but I’m definitely going to come back to this post when I need help! xx

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Joanne

    Gosh, I’m so glad I came across this post. I really enjoyed reading through all of this solid, inspiring advice! The reminders are much needed, especially the ones about seeking inspiration (as opposed to just waiting) and embracing bad writing. Also, the one that really left a mark was your third point, with that quote from Stephen King. As someone who always thinks a bit too much about what other people think/say about me, I feel like writing has to be the one place I need to learn to let go of that and just be as honest as I can. That’s usually where the best writing surfaces from, too!
    Thank you so much for sharing. <3

    Joanne | Life in Blue Skies

    • Diana Maria

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post Joanne! That Stephen King quote was also one of my favorites, it can be difficult to write when you’re afraid of what people’s response will be! Thank you for your lovely comment xx

  • This is such an inspiring post, and all the advice is so true – and can be applied to other creative activities, which I really like. Thanks for sharing x

    alicered.co.uk

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Alice! xx

  • This is such a lovely post and I love seeing advice from others – it’s all so true and creativity really is something which is unique to every person.

    Such a lovely post! Hope you have a great week! 🙂
    Layla xx

    http://www.sprinklesofstyle.co.uk

    • Diana Maria

      Thank you Layla, I’m glad you enjoyed the read! Have a wonderful week too xx