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9 Tips and Advice for Other Writers

  1. Read! Read with breadth and depth – Stephen King calls reading “the creative center of a writer’s life”
  2. Write every day, even if it’s just in your personal journal. Daily prose evolves into prolific prose.
  3. Allow your ideas to spring up organically, rather than selecting genres you perceive as popular and trying to force the material to come alive.
  4. Develop the discipline of keeping an observations journal, and unique story hooks will claw for your attention.
  5. Set a daily word count goal and achieve it, looking for reasons to succeed rather than reasons to procrastinate or fail. Remember that “writers’ block” is a fabrication.
  6. After you complete a first draft, get away from it for several days or even a couple of weeks.  Then revise and revise, declaring war on superfluous language, putting every word on trial for its life, aiming to make each sentence, as James Baldwin said, “as clean as a bone.”
  7. Once you’ve produced the best revision you can manage on your own, let others with strengths in proofreading and editing critique your work without holding back.
  8. Find the wisdom in others’ advice and feedback, but do not allow another person’s skepticism or cynicism to derail you from your love of writing and your goals.
  9. Remember the encouragement that Ernest Hemingway often gave himself while living and writing in Paris as a young man: “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

Growing Your Strengths

I’m a Nashville-based writer, talent strategist, and certified executive coach. On this website, I primarily write stories featuring a diverse group of professionals whose examples of applying mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling will help you love your career and enhance your quality of life.

These characters face familiar pain points: nonstop change, accelerating economic and technological disruption, and the collective “noise” that grows louder each day. The impact, for these professionals and for many of us, has been confusion, distraction, and stress.

Until, however, each of these individuals chooses to do something new: practicing mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling habits, and growing them into strengths…strengths that respond to change rather than just react.

Strengths that you can develop as well.

Don’t settle for the confusion, distraction, and stress. You’re stronger than that, and capable of much more.

Choose to do something new. Today. Start with this post, check out my books, and join our learning community to receive free, exclusive content via email each month with timely guidance on applying mindfulness, learning agility, and storytelling.

 

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John M. DeMarco is a writer, strategist, and executive coach based in Nashville, Tennessee.