I am often asked what advice I would give to aspiring writers. Originally, I had planned for this to be a single page, but verbosity is a peril of the profession as well as a direct result of passion, so you get a rather extensive list despite my brief intentions. All that having been said, this is still only a distillation of what I feel are the most important traits and habits a writer should have. "Should," my mother often says, "is a moralistic word. It's really the ego talking." And, as I have quite a bit of ego, I have quite a lot to say about what a writer "should" do. However, I will also here proffer Writer's Disclaimer #1: All this is my opinion, based on my own experiences and tendencies. Your results may vary. Check for colorfastness before use.
Some of these suggestions are easy to follow. Some are difficult, awkward and at the least potentially embarrassing. Use common sense as to their execution; avoid following these suggestions when doing so is dangerous, or likely to get you in serious trouble with teachers, parents, friends or the legal system. Many great writers have been arrested or put their lives in danger for their art and beliefs, and maybe someday you will choose to follow in the footsteps of Thoreau and Nellie Bly, but if you ask me, I'm going to tell you to do dull things like finish your education first. So, for now, be sensible and safe when following my advice, which, if you’re still listening, you can navigate via the links in the left margin.
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