Friday, May 29, 2015

The ABCs of the Writer's Life—26 Tips to Take Your Writing to the Next Level

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

A is for Abundance. Write out of the overflow. Feed your soul and you'll always have the words you need to sustain your calling.

B is for Bravery. Don't shrink from the hard stuff, whether it's tough topics or just the courage to continue.

C is for Commonplace. Don't overlook the magic and beauty that surrounds you. It's the spaces between that often add depth and meaning to our words.

D is for the Details. Excellence is found in attention to every aspect of our craft.

E is for Encouragement. Use your words to encourage others along the way. Words have great power. Wield yours for good.

F is for Finite. Our time here on earth is limited, don't waste time and energy on what might occur. Work to make your dream come true.

G is for Gratitude. As frustrating as this love of words can be at times, it truly is a gift. Don't ever take it for granted.

H is for Hilarity. Don't forget to take time to see the humor that crops up unexpectedly. Laugh at yourself, at the circumstances, and especially at those who irritate you.

I is for . . . well . . . I. Don't neglect yourself. Take care of your body, your mind, and especially your soul.

J is for Jena se' qua. Which is French for that certain, indefinable quality that makes each of us special. Never doubt how incredibly special you are!

K is for Keeping on. Don't ever quit, no matter what.

L is for Lessons Learned. Sometimes the knowledge we have comes from our own experience, but often times it's gleaned from the experiences of those around us.

M is for Muscles. Writing is hard work. Keep up a regular writing schedule to stay in shape and continue to grow in your craft.

N is for No. Time to write comes only when we make the choice. Saying yes to writing means saying no to something else.

O is for Only. Only you can write from your one-of-a-kind perspective. Yes,we all have shared experiences and circumstances, but those are filtered through each of us, making our voice unique.

P is for Position. Ignore those behind you or you'll grow conceited, don't envy those in front or you'll grow discouraged. Instead look within and see the possibilities.

Q is for Quantity. Learn to write a certain amount every day, whether you find yourself in the mood or not. It's this discipline that will sustain you in the tough times to come.

R is for Respect. Respect yourself for following your dream and being brave enough to say the words, "I am a writer."

S is for Sadness. Embrace the full range of human emotions in your writing. A diet of nothing but sweetness and light cannot sustain anyone for very long.

T is for Talent and Time. Talent will get you nowhere, but time can lead you into forever.

U is for Unless. Unless you answer the call, your story may never be told.

V is for Villain. Never underestimate the power of a good villain to make a hero great—in a story and in life.

W is for What if. Two magical words that lead to an infinite world of possibilities through the pen of a writer. 

X is for, Xylophone. Sometimes you have to hit it with a hammer to make the music heard.

Y is for Yes. Take a chance on success. Make it a habit to say yes to some of the scary opportunities that come your way.

Z is for Zigzag. I've found that as a writer, the most interesting path from point A to point B is rarely in a straight line. Almost all the good stuff is found in the detours.

The ABCs of the Writer's Life - 26 Tips to Take Your #Writing to the Next Level - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Sometimes taking your #writing to the next level means going back to the basics - @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)


  1. Once again, A wonderful post. This has encouraged me.

  2. I love xylophone, Edie! How clever. I'm familiar with the hit-it-with-a-hammer process of writing.

  3. This is great! I just started my own writing post. law Essay

  4. Great encouragement Edie. This would make a good poster.

  5. Wow, Edie! I can't believe how many nuggets of wisdom you've packed into this post. I think I'm going to have to print this one out to keep on hand for when I'm discouraged or feeling stuck. Thank you!

  6. I keep telling myself not to kill more trees--oh, well…"print"

  7. Wonderful, Edie. Gotta share. So blessed to benefit from your knowledge, and call you friend.

  8. I love these! My favorite is R. It's still hard for to refer to myself as a writer. :)