Seven DON’Ts for Aspiring Writers

putting out firesThere are so many things I’m supposed to do as a writer. Blog, use social media, go to conferences, query, network, join a critique group–oh, and write. But as I’ve traveled this writing road I’ve learned that there are several things I should not do as well. Here’s a sampling:

  • Don’t try to cook and write at the same time. Do NOT put something on the stove and think, “Oh, I’ll just finish this scene.” Unless you like things charred and have a fire extinguisher handy.
  • Don’t set a daily writing goal and then skip a day thinking you’ll catch up tomorrow. You won’t.
  • Don’t get down on yourself because you get a rejection or two–or twenty. Rejections are the seasoning that make you appreciate acceptance.
  • Don’t try to carry on a conversation with a significant other while writing. Unless you want them to become an insignificant other.
  • Don’t wait for inspiration–just write. On those days when you’re not in the mood, so many things can be more inspiring. Like flossing. And dusting.
  • Don’t get peanut butter on the keyboard. Just don’t.
  • And the most important thing you should NOT do if you want to be a writer is . . . give up. The surest way to guarantee your work is never published is to quit.

I hope you can benefit from some of the lessons I’ve learned. What don’ts would you recommend to writers?

12 thoughts on “Seven DON’Ts for Aspiring Writers

  1. I’d suggest not reading too much in your genre. It’s a quick way to formulaic writing, and loss of voice. I go to the extreme of reading almost no fiction while I have a WIP.

    Also, when your 70-lb Pit Bull comes and sits in your lap when you’re trying to write, it’s time to take a break. Dogs understand incipient frustration, and will gently try to help you avoid it.

    Yeah, and inspiration is for amateurs. Wannabes have a muse. Professionals have calluses on their fingertips.

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