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Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing. By Maria Popova In the winter of 2010, inspired by Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing published in The New York Times nearly a decade earlier, The Guardian reached out to some of today’s most celebrated authors and asked them to each offer his or her commandments.

Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing

After Zadie Smith’s 10 rules of writing, here come 8 from the one and only Neil Gaiman: WritePut one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.Put it aside. How to Write with Style: Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Keys to the Power of the Written Word – Brain Pickings. Find a Subject You Care About Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about.

How to Write with Style: Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Keys to the Power of the Written Word – Brain Pickings

It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style. I am not urging you to write a novel, by the way — although I would not be sorry if you wrote one, provided you genuinely cared about something. A petition to the mayor about a pothole in front of your house or a love letter to the girl next door will do. Do Not Ramble, Though I won’t ramble on about that.

Anne Lamott’s Timeless Advice on Writing and Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity. By Maria Popova “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people.

Anne Lamott’s Timeless Advice on Writing and Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity

It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.” Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (public library) is among my 10 favorite books on writing — a treasure trove of insight both practical and profound, timelessly revisitable and yielding deeper resonance each time. Masters of Habit: The Wisdom and Writing of Maya Angelou. Sadly, Maya Angelou, the great American author and poet, has passed away.

Masters of Habit: The Wisdom and Writing of Maya Angelou

She was known for her award-winning autobiographies as well as for her numerous plays, scripts, poems, and essays. Her most famous work, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, has sold millions upon millions of copies. It holds the record for the longest-running nonfiction New York Times best-seller (2 years). And in 2011, Time Magazine named it one of the 100 best and most influential books written in English since 1923. Famous Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers.

Journaling

Stories. A Novel Strategy: How to Organize Big Writing Projects. Every November, hundreds of thousands of writers around the world come together in a fun, freewheeling virtual community.

A Novel Strategy: How to Organize Big Writing Projects

In an annual explosion of creativity, these intrepid souls undertake to write a 50,000-word novel in just 30 days. Say hello to National Novel Writing Month (a.k.a. NaNoWriMo). As sponsors of this annual extravaganza, we know that more than a few NaNoWriMo participants turn to Evernote to collect ideas, plan their stories, and even write their drafts. We also know from experience that a project of that size means piling up a lot of notes, from plotting brainstorms to character descriptions to mountains of online research. That mass of notes can become pretty intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. 3 ways to organize your novel’s notes Method 1: Standardize your titles The simplest way to organize a novel-sized writing project (or any big project) is to create a new notebook dedicated to that project.

Dialogue snippetsInspirational photosScene ideas. How to start your day with more creativity, serenity, and insight. Each morning our return to waking life is marked by a unique mental state.

How to start your day with more creativity, serenity, and insight

In those first minutes of our day, our minds are in an estuary between the dream world and 3rd dimensional consciousness. Like an aquatic estuary, it’s ripe with nutrients and lifeforms that you can’t find anywhere else. This in-between state of the mind can be used for greater creativity, serenity, and flow. For many years I squandered these golden minutes. Being overly concerned with productivity had me immediately sprint to my daily to do list. Like an engine, or a muscle group, your mind runs a lot smoother if it’s allowed to gradually warm up.

Inversely, going from sleep to mental sprinting can send the nervous system into Fight or Flight mode. Meditation has become quite popular in the business world for it’s ability to train the mind towards clarity of thought. Hypnotists do their work by getting subjects to enter lower frequency brain waves states. I started doing Morning Pages 292 days ago. Strunk & White: 11 Composition Principles. Writer as Coder: The Iterative Way to Write a Book. By Leo Babauta The traditional way of writing a book is like the old Microsoft model of developing software: you write it in isolation for a year or two, and then put it out as a fully-formed product.

Writer as Coder: The Iterative Way to Write a Book

The problem with that method is that it’s never been tested in the real world. You don’t know if readers (or users) will want it, you don’t know where you’ve made huge mistakes, you don’t know how it will work in the wild. That “Microsoft” model of making programs has been replaced in the last decade or so by iterative programming, where you make a Minimum Viable Product as soon as possible, and let a small group of people (alpha or beta testers) use it and give you feedback and report bugs.

Then a new version is made, more testing and feedback, and so on, making the product better and better each iteration. Unfortunately, we authors are still stuck in the Microsoft model when we’re writing a non-fiction book. What I’ve Learned as a Writer. By Leo Babauta I’ve been a professional writer since I was 17: so nearly 24 years now.

What I’ve Learned as a Writer

I’ve made my living with words, and have written a lot of them — more than 10 million (though many of them were duplicates). That means I’ve made a ton of errors. Lots of typos. 125 Clickass Copywriting Tips.

Books

Templates. 24 Quotes That Will Inspire You To Write More.