One Piece of Indispensable Writing Advice

Every week, hundreds of people email me with questions about writing. They want advice on how to get published or what to do to stay motivated. They’re struggling, looking for a solution.

Writing Advice Photo
Photo credit: Kanu Hawaii (Creative Commons)

In so many words, I tell them all the same thing. I wish I could say it to every writer. It’s the one piece of advice you know is true, but don’t want to hear.

Just keep writing.

(That’s it.)

This works anywhere at anytime

When you feel discouraged and want to quit, just keep writing. When your words are misunderstood and people criticize you, just keep writing. When you’re not sure if your work is good or will ever get better, just keep writing.

There is one, and only one, magic-bullet solution to breaking through to the next level. To becoming the writer you long to be. And it is this: You must write.

The words will come

So many people struggle with lack of inspiration and unclear purpose in their writing. They don’t know where to start or how to end. They get stuck. And end up doing the absolutely worst thing a writer can do:

They stop.

When you’re feeling blocked, just keep writing. When your story sucks and words fail you, just keep writing. When life seems designed to fluster and frustrate, just keep writing.

Don’t stop. Keep going. Breakthrough is near. Closer than you think. You just need to do one and only one thing: Keep writing.

What real writers do

Whether you’re a naive fledgling or a jaded veteran, the experts know something you don’t: The secret to great writing is to “keep on keepin’ on.” Don’t stop. Persevere. This is what separates the pros from the amateurs.

If you are scared of success, just keep writing. If you feel like a wannabe or a misfit, just keep writing. If you are waiting for your “big break,”  and it feels like you’ve been waiting forever, just keep writing.

Write. And write some more. Then when you’re finished, start writing again. Write, write, write. There is no other way to get good with words. No means to a writer’s a success but this: Just keep writing.

Stop talking about it and just do it. Quit complaining and whining. Enough with the self-loathing and cynical remarks. It’s time to act like a professional. Time to master one very simple, but very hard, discipline. Time to do what every writer hates doing.

It’s time to write.

What’s your best piece of writing advice? Share in the comments.