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How to Be a Writer: 10 Tips from Rebecca Solnit

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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How to Be a Writer: 10 Tips from Rebecca Solnit

How to Be a Writer: 10 Tips from Rebecca Solnit

https://lithub.com/how-to-be-a-writer-10-tips-from-rebecca-solnit/

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Key Ideas

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.

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 afresh.
Typing is what you do in the middle of the two vast thoughtful processes.

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 moment; otherwise, you will be like everyone else and will not be able to make a meaningful contribution.

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 move forward through mistakes and flawed but aspiring work. Write for other people, but don't take their feedback to seriously.

Find a vocation

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

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 consume hobbies that will prevent you from writing.

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.

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 some kind of joy, including the joy of hard truths, told honestly. Find pleasure and joy. How you feel is something that you cannot take too seriously. Doing something is a means of not being stuck in how you feel.

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 producer of meaning, not a consumer of meanings that may be at odds with your inner person.

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Bounds

Keep in mind this question: How much are you supposed to enjoy what you do? If you underestimate your answer, you'll tend to stop searching too early.

Liking your work does not mean doing what makes you happiest in this second, but what will make you most satisfied over a more extended period, like a week or a month. Your work should be your favorite thing to do. It should be something you admire.

What you should not do
  • Don't worry about the opinion of anyone beyond your friends.
  • Don't worry about prestige. Prestige is the opinion of the rest of the world. If you do anything well enough, you'll make it prestigious.
  • Don't be led astray by money, especially when money is combined with prestige.

A test of whether you love what you do is if you would do it even if you weren't paid for it. (Even if you had to work at another job to make a living.)

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10 Tips on Writing
  1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. 
  2. Write the way you talk. Naturally.
  3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs.
  4. Never...
5 Steps to become a Better Person

Be Better, as a person, with these five simple steps:

  • Give more to others
  • Be Polite
  • Embrace Change
  • Clear your mind
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Give more to others
  • The secret of receiving is in giving.
  • Success isn't just measured in how much money you have, but how much you've given or helped others.
  • Focus on helping people.
Be Polite to others
“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” 

– Albert Einstein


Kindness, gratitude and even saying thank you makes you a better person instantly.

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