12 Things I’ve Learned About Writing

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

In the past two decades plus, I’ve learned a lot about writing, the publishing industry, social media, marketing, and promotion. Along the way, I’ve made some embarrassing mistakes too. But I’m not diving into those.

Here are 12 things I’ve learned about writing since publishing my first book. Maybe some will help you.

1. Research doesn’t mean a jaunt to the library or flying through online search engines. It means a trip into your characters’ lives.

2. Some critics are like boo birds that sit on their lofty power lines and mess on those beneath them.

3. When I grow up, I will know the difference between lie and lay and sit and set. Until then, my characters will rest and stand.

4. I’m blind to my characters until they crawl into my heart and share their lives with me.

5. True success is a hundred pages without an adverb.

6. Emotional pain knocks at the writer’s heart and bleeds onto the written page.

7. Writers have an obligation to daily increase their knowledge of the craft and the writing industry.

8. A good writer knows all the weirdoes in his family are a compilation of himself.

9. Read, read, and read some more.

10. A writer pens a million words before finding the right one.

11. Cutting the flab in a manuscript adds muscle and reduces the fat.

12. A writer’s tools are his words—add to them daily, memorize their meanings, and learn to spell them like a first-place kid in a spelling bee.

What about you? What have you learned about your chosen career and life that you can pass on to others?