Ten commandments of good writing practice


These are my own personal ten writing commandments of good writing practice, or alternatively, ten attributes I think a writer needs to be successful:

  1. Perseverance: Write daily
  2. Trust: Don’t wait for creativity, expect it
  3. Prudence: Have the good sense to know when not to write. Forcing writing when you just can’t get into it will foster resentment and make the next session hard to start
  4. Fairness: Don’t engage in self-flagellation for not writing
  5. Sustainability: Finish the current project before moving on to a new one
  6. Adventurousness: Try different genres, styles of writing etc
  7. Initiative: Don’t wait to be praised and be original
  8. Studiousness: Read daily – a writer is always absorbing and learning
  9. Fastidiousness: Research everything.
  10. Zeal: Do what makes your heart sing.

Yesterday I broke commandments 1, 2, 4 and 8. I didn’t write or expect creativity, I gave myself a hard time about it and I didn’t read. The consequences are that today has been a battle to get back into it.

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About Sharon

Writer, bibliophile, dreamer and student of everything
This entry was posted in ME ON WRITING, Ten commandments and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Ten commandments of good writing practice

  1. Pingback: Oh dear: It’s Monday again « The sunlit desk

  2. vanyieck says:

    I agree with Doug. Finishing a project is my greatest challenge. I have a first draft of a novel sitting in my computer waiting for revision. So far I’ve successfully procrastinated enough to lose my original zeal for the project.

  3. Doug Geivett says:

    Great advice.

    I would gloss (5) a little differently. I find that juggling an abundance of projects works well for me. It helps me in areas (1), (3), (6), and (8) – (10). There are definite risks, and never finishing anything is one of them. But writing to meet externally imposed deadlines is some help in meeting the sustainability requirement.

    You’ve got a wonderful site here! I’m inspired by your transparency.

    • I did consider changing #5 as many people (myself included) work on several projects at once. It’s really just a reminder to myself to focus on what I’m currently working on. I’m a great starter of projects, but a very poor finisher.

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