100 followers = 100 WRITING TIPS!

As of February 6, I officially have 100 followers here on WordPress. That’s not counting people who benefit from the blog through Facebook/Twitter. Too me, that means that there are a hundred people who read something I wrote (writing advice, complaining about Ninja Car, or extolling the value of language). Not only that, but those hundred people thought that they might like to hear something else I had to say.

Well, as a reaction to my surprising level of excitement, I’ve decided to toss out 100 writing tips. Take a deep breath! And, go! (There’s also a video version of this list, complete with props and a nerf gun!)

  1. Drink coffee.
  2. Make your coffee more exciting.
  3. Drink water so you don’t dehydrate on all that caffeine.
  4. Plan a reward for when you reach a goal.
  5. Know you’re apostrophes.
  6. Try outlining at least once.
  7. Be as organized as you can be!
  8. Try NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)!
  9. Write at least a little every single day.
  10. Give yourself permission to suck.
  11. Be OK with a sucky first draft.
  12. Don’t forget to read!
  13. If you have good advice, share it.
  14. Don’t be superstitious.
  15. Have a healthy ego.
  16. Know how to be self-critical.
  17. Know who to go to for encouragement.
  18. Encourage other writers!
  19. Seek out beta readers.
  20. Do your research!
  21. Do more research.
  22. Keep researching.
  23. Don’t let research keep you from writing.
  24. Figure out what your crutches are.
  25. Color code your revisions/edits.
  26. Try out different word processing programs.
  27. Find a good writing area.
  28. Try out a variety of writing areas.
  29. Expose yourself to new places.
  30. Don’t write in bed late at night under the covers with the heater on.
  31. Don’t fall asleep.
  32. Don’t end a chapter in a spot where you’d feel comfortable ending.
  33. Read your writing out loud.
  34. Don’t depend on spell-checkers.
  35. Get something from what you’re writing: emotional catharsis, learning from research, scratching an itch.
  36. Keep track of important small details.
  37. Don’t forget about characters.
  38. Back up your work!
  39. Archive your work.
  40. Expose yourself to visual stimuli!
  41. Draw maps, pictures, flowcharts, and doodles.
  42. Talk to other writers.
  43. Try different forms of writing (dictation, handwriting, typing).
  44. Try different styles of writing (poetry, stories, memoir).
  45. Read critically.
  46. Find what inspires you.
  47. Observe the people around you.
  48. Observe the world around you.
  49. Track your word count.
  50. If you can’t find the time to do what you love, make the time.
  51. Listen to music.
  52. Write in the company of natural light.
  53. Be fearless, but thoughtful.
  54. Be determined to improve.
  55. Know how to format dialogue.
  56. Don’t forget about other things like… other human beings and food and stuff.
  57. Be comfortable while you write.
  58. Don’t be afraid if your writing makes you uncomfortable.
  59. Read the types of books you want to write.
  60. Know what the cliches are.
  61. Know how to appropriately subvert cliches.
  62. Feel what you’re writing (emotionally).
  63. Feel what you’re writing (physically: print it off to get a different view on it).
  64. Talk it out when you’re stuck.
  65. Rant from tabletops!
  66. Jump in without any idea.
  67. If you get stuck preparing, then you’ll never make it off the first page.
  68. Don’t fall into the cyclonic pit of editing when you should be write write WRITING.
  69. If you burn out, it’s okay to take a break.
  70. Keep your life balanced.
  71. Let yourself fall down the rabbit hole, but make sure you know how to climb back out.
  72. Take a look at paragraph length and chapter length.
  73. Find a balance of exposition and narrative.
  74. Find a balance of summary and scene.
  75. Know the limitations of different POVs.
  76. Avoid taking the easy solutions
  77. Surprise yourself.
  78. Keep your audience in mind.
  79. Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.
  80. Be empathetic.
  81. Explore new and different psychologies.
  82. Never resist the flow of new ideas.
  83. Don’t be afraid to multi-task.
  84. Find people who will encourage you to do what you love.
  85. Love what you do.
  86. Ask yourself: who is the last person I expect to see come through that door?
  87. Know your own repetitive styles and tricks, styles and tricks.
  88. Always learn.
  89. Keep trying to invent.
  90. If you start to stagnate, it’s your responsibility to get yourself unstuck.
  91. Incorporate your other interests into your writing.
  92. Experience things passionately.
  93. Take a break before delving into revision.
  94. Write a list of questions that you don’t have the answer to.
  95. As you write, find the answer to those questions.
  96. Revise multiple times.
  97. Proofreading is not revision.
  98. Writing is hard work, and it can be a huge pain.
  99. Writing should always be fun.
  100. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. Or it’s a Thursday. Or it’s a Sunday. Or you’re revising.

And, breathe again!

There’s no reason this list can’t grow! If you have any of your favorite writing tips, leave them in comments!

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2 thoughts on “100 followers = 100 WRITING TIPS!

  1. Pingback: 100 Writing Tips in 5 Minutes (video!) | words — and other things

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