Words from the Wise: 10 Pieces of Advice for Struggling Writers

When a blank canvas reflects what’s exactly in your mind – blank – it’s time to panic. But fear not because every writer goes through that mental block phase at least once in their life. Even the most well-known, brilliant authors went through them at one point in creating their literary masterpiece.

There’s still hope for your struggling mind, take the advice of the experts! Here are some words of wisdom from the biggest names in literature. Let their words and stories inspire you to write your own words.

1. Live what you write

Italo Calvino wrote his most prominent story Invisible Cities in the most intimate way possible by experiencing the depth of it firsthand. He concluded that it doesn’t matter how you feel about what you are writing but you have to be clear on where you stand on it. He says, “To write well about the elegant world, you have to know it and experience it to the depths of your being.”

2. Draw inspiration from imperfections

Anne Lammot is well-known for writing with blunt honesty, not sugar-coating her words and highlighting the negative aspects of her story. Lamott doesn’t strive for perfection rather regards it as “the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people.” Take her advice to heart and write about certain issues that matter to you and create a story that would have a bigger impact on readers.

3. Tell the untold

The advice of English author Neil Gaiman to aspiring writers is to “start telling the stories that only you can tell”. There are many brilliant authors in the industry but you can stand out by the telling the story that none of them have ever created. Gaiman’s most famous novels American Gods and Coraline have been recognized for their unique and original storylines.

4. Share your story

Famous comedian and writer Tina Fey is known for her confident persona and strongly encourages fellow artist not to let doubts hinder you from sharing your talent. According to her, in order to grow in your career in writing you must first “let people see what you wrote”.

5. Publish with passion

Award-winning poet and author, Maya Angelou, is an epitome of a brilliant, genuine writer. She encourages fellow writers to write not for the money but for their love of it. “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love,” she says.

6. Remember your reason

Susan Orlean, a veteran journalist, knows the value of quality writing. She’s had her fair share of that inevitable rejections writers have to face. When faced with criticism, she simply reminds herself, “You have to simply love writing, and you have to remind yourself often that you love it.”

7. Dare to tell

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. ― Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison won her literary awards by telling without restraint. Her works have been known for their colorful dialogues and intricate characters. Morrison believes that writers shouldn’t have to conform themselves in their style of writing and should feel free to explore and create stories of unique theme and interest.

8. Be a reader

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. ― Stephen King

Stephen King’s key to become a successful writer is to become an avid reader. You can draw up inspiration and new ideas from the work of genius writers before you. Learn from their writing and develop your own idea and writing by constantly reading books penned by various great authors.

9. Readers do more than read

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader. ― Robert Frost

Your readers reflect on your writing. If you write halfheartedly you’ll produce a bland sounding write-up and it will definitely not satisfy the reader. Write in a way that will move them, make them feel emotions and conflicts as the story progresses. The more genuine you write, the more your readers will enjoy what you’ve written.

10. Paint with words

You can make anything by writing. ― C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis created a whole other world on the other side of a wardrobe in The Chronicles of Narnia series. Create your own writing masterpiece on paper and make your own version of the world.

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