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How to Be a Writer: 10 Tips from Rebecca Solnit

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How to Be a Writer: 10 Tips from Rebecca Solnit
1) Write. There is no substitute. Write what you most passionately want to write, not blogs, posts, tweets or all the disposable bubblewrap in which modern life is cushioned. But start small: write a good sentence, then a good paragraph, and don't be dreaming about writing the great American novel or what you'll wear at the awards ceremony because that's not what writing's about or how you get there from here.

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Write

There is no substitute for writing. 
Start small. Write a good sentence, then a good paragraph. Write a lot. You might not be great from the start, but it is the road to good writing...

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Writing is not typing

Writing is not typing

Writing is about thinking, researching, contemplating, outlining, composing, then maybe some typing with revisions as you go, deletions, additions, reflections, setting aside and returning afres...

125 SAVES


Read

Read good writing—Dickens or Baldwin or evolutionary biology textbooks or the Old Testament, whatever holds your attention.

Don't read something just because it is popular at the m...

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Listen

Feedback is great, but there are times when you know exactly what you're doing. Listen to what makes you move or stops you in your tracks.
Listen to your own feedback and realize that you...

93 SAVES


Find a vocation

Talent is overrated. You need passion, vocation, vision, and dedication to get you through the rough spots in your style.

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Time

Writing takes time. It means you will need to find that time. 

You probably have to do something else for a living in the beginning, but don't develop expensive habits or consu...

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Facts

Always get your facts right. Don't misrepresent

Regardless of what you're writing about, you have an obligation to get it right. Your credibility rests on your accuracy.

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Joy

Writing is facing your deepest fears and failures, hoping that your worst version is revised so that posterity will never know how awful it was.

In there, your work has to bring you s...

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Success

Success is very nice, but it is not love. It is at best the result of love of the work, but not of you.

Producing art is the process of becoming a person with independent thought, a prod...

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It’s up to you

It's up to you to become a good writer and you probably already know everything else you need to know, somewhere underneath the noise and the anxiety and the outside instructions.

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‘Writing’ is the formal processes that turns nebulous ideas into a concrete proposal that can be assessed without the author's intervention. 

‘Writing’ is the formal processes that turns nebulous ideas into a concrete proposal that can be assessed without the author's intervention. 

The Writing Process

  • Step 1: Messy, Informal, Scribbly ... Write down anything that jumps from your research or any crazy thought. 
  • Step 2: Creating a Skeleton for the paper. Come up with sections, subheadings.
  • Step 3: Crystallise core arguments. Use stickies to make it more visual.
  • Step 4: Add the words. This is where most people start with, but it succeeds only because of the previous steps.