Writerly Wednesdays: Advice Offerings?

Gentle Reader, it’s Wednesday, which means I am thinking about writing.


I am always thinking about writing.

Of course, BICHOK (Butt in chair; hands on keyboard) is fantastic advice, but there is more to writing than that.  Research, preparation, lists, planning, and of course WRITING.  Definitely hands on keyboard (or, for the Steampunk members of the audience, hands on typewriter or attached to fountain pen).

I can’t write by hand anymore.  Not just because of the awful awful carpal tunnel (I get my splints on Monday, Friends!  Finally!), but because I type so much faster than I hand-write that it has become part of my writing process.

Also, I can’t write with music.  I need absolute silence when I write any fiction or academic work.

These are all rituals of writing, which I’ve blogged about before.  What I want to think about instead is advice for writers.

The best pieces of advice I ever received about writing are as follows:

1) Write every day, regardless.

2) Know your strengths; declare your weaknesses; kill your darlings.

3) Death to the adverb and the jazzy dialogue tag.

4) Don’t throw anything away, ever.  Create a “dump” file for your discards.

5) Rewrite.  Rewrite.  Rewrite.

The best piece of advice I share with my students is as follows:

1) Hunt down “this,” “that,” “some,” “many,” “ways,” “things,” and any other stray blanket terms and replace them with words that actually mean.

What is your best piece of writing advice, Friend?


Like what you’ve read?  Visit my website at The Life and Times of the Postmodern Bluestocking.


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