Sunday, 22 March 2015

Writing tips

Of course. Not every clown can be in a circus. However, if you are the kind of clown who can, there are lots of tips coming your way. Writing tips. Some are useless. Some are less so.

Some of them are too abstract. Like: always think of yourself as a writer. Don’t flinch. If someone asks what you do for a living, tell them you are a writer. Sitting at your desk, sweating over a new sentence, keep telling yourself you are a writer.

As if that could help. Spoken words don’t make it. Only written words do.

Some of them are too practical. Like: arrange your writing desk in the right way. Some suggest surrounding yourself with familiar objects. Objects you love. Some (Stephen King) suggest getting rid of any distractions.

Bullshit. Now I also like to have it my way. I like a certain font in my Microsoft Word, I like to have certain books on my desk, I like to hear Arvo Pรคrt in the background. But let’s be honest. If you absolutely have to write, you will do that hanging upside down, with a blunt pencil, on a crumpled piece of paper.

So. While I agree with Oscar Wilde that advice is a useless commodity, these are the three greatest writing tips I know. Hang on to them.

1. Never start two paragraphs in a row with the same word. Unless that’s the idea.

2. Never write a sentence that absolutely anyone can write.

3. Never spend a day without writing anything. If you do, you are out. 

These three things. Everything else comes down to talent.