Writing tips for the next big thing

Sometimes assumptions are laughable. Not so much so when someone invests a lot of time and resources on those that aren’t true.

Writer’s Digest posted a link to this funny video about an aspiring novelist earlier in the week:

Most people believe they have great writing skills. After all, they’ve been practicing all their lives.

Crafting a compelling piece of copy that appeals to a wide audience, though, requires a few more skills than those needed to pen a letter (and even these can be improved immensely with some professional support to influence opinion or land a job).

Honestly, I’ve been approached for ghost writing by more than one want-to-be author so excited about their idea they were willing to tie my entire compensation – millions no doubt – to sales receipts. I wasn’t. Oh, the nerve. There are times you just can’t explain to a passionate person some of life’s harder realities.

Of course, writing tips can be found through free and paid resources, including writing websites such as this one. Reading is a great way to collect writing ideas, improve your writing strategies and learn what makes some work good and some not so much. Listening to seasoned success stories can save time and money too.

Tastes aside, there are certain elements that carry through to make a piece work. Learning this takes time and research. Many enjoy the education and experience so much it’s worth the career choice. For others, pleasure writing can serve as a great hobby to soothe the soul.

14 Responses to Writing tips for the next big thing
  1. Minette
    July 26, 2012 | 12:37 am

    Another fantastic post, Nanette. While we can all come up with good ideas, we can’t all write well. And no matter how well we write, we still need great editors. Ask any famous writer and they will thank their editor!!

    • Nanette Levin
      July 26, 2012 | 12:58 am

      Oh yes – good editors are priceless, Minette! Thanks for mentioning that. In fact, I had three on my first book, and each brought a good eye for catches, great perspectives and some super ideas to enhance the final product.

  2. Amy Putkonen
    July 26, 2012 | 12:50 am

    This is a hilarious video! What is it about the stupid computerized voice that makes me want to laugh? I consider myself a rather new writer, even though I have been writing stuff all my life. I read through my posts and think of better ways to say it so I actually edit my posts sometimes after they are published. I think of my blog as my practice for “bigger writing” – whatever that may end up being! Your blog has some great tips, Nanette. I appreciate your insights!

    • Nanette Levin
      July 26, 2012 | 1:39 am

      I laughed out loud too, Amy. It’s actually sad because I’ve heard all this stuff expressed with conviction (they do say reality is stranger than fiction). I do try to carefully edit my posts prior to publishing, but have to admit going back on several occasions to fix something with an update. I’ve also had others kind enough to note catches that I’ve quickly fixed (wrong word usage). We’re all always learning. I enjoy the early morning dose of Tao that comes from you and your blog. Need to put this book back in my library, but it’s also wonderful to get it in pieces with your interpretation – which gives me some new perspectives on a very old text.

  3. Hannah Roderick
    July 26, 2012 | 12:57 am

    Hilarious video, I particularly like the bit about phoning literary agents… “if you were to make the mistake of calling a literary agent today, I really wouldn’t start with that”… great topic, really difficult challenge – how to be supportive with passionate people and yet realistic enough to get great work. It’s a tough road for any writer and you HAVE to love the learning and the journey or you won’t make it past the first hurdles. Thanks.

    • Nanette Levin
      July 26, 2012 | 1:50 am

      Right – priceless quip, Hannah. I laughed at that too. Of course the incredible portion of this whole dialog is the author (or creative brain) comments. They’re not making this stuff up (or exaggerating). This highlights a pretty typical perspective and attitude heard daily in the industry.

  4. shivie
    July 26, 2012 | 2:00 am

    I love this. It reminds me off the converse side, those who say they can’t write yet have never practiced, if one wants to learn the flute one has to practice, why would people think writing is any different. For me, writing is something I will practice for the rest of my life. Thanks for the tongue in cheek giggle.

    • Nanette Levin
      July 26, 2012 | 2:11 am

      Thanks for stopping in and commenting Shivie. I hear you. I can’t play the guitar. Have one here with a DVD my sister provided me as a super vetted lesson plan still in the shrink wrap. Geez – it’s been here for years and I’m still not not a household name musician. Go figure.

  5. Elizabeth Towns
    July 26, 2012 | 2:03 am

    My throat is starting to close up, too. roflol.

    • Nanette Levin
      July 26, 2012 | 2:13 am

      Wish I could claim credit for this one, Elizabeth. Maybe next time :-). Glad you enjoyed the chuckle.

  6. Debra Jason
    July 26, 2012 | 4:23 am

    LOL Nanette. I’ve actually seen these little characters before in another tongue in cheek video, but can’t remember the topic.

    This video reminds us that it’s great to be passionate about an idea and pursue it. However, there’s also a need to be realistic about what you have to offer and whether or not there’s an audience out there for it.

    Thanks. ~Debra

    • Nanette Levin
      July 26, 2012 | 12:41 pm

      Thanks for stopping in and commenting Debra. Yes – I saw them about a year ago in a video about horse care. Good to see you here.

  7. Cheri
    July 26, 2012 | 10:32 pm

    hahaha. “. . .hunt you down with pitchforks and burn you at the stake.” And I have to have the spelling and grammar down already? Who knew?! But I promise, if I ever try to hire you for ghost writing, I’ll toss a hundred bucks or so your way, you know, just to tide you over until the six figure deal comes through. 😉

    • Nanette Levin
      July 26, 2012 | 10:46 pm

      Thanks for stopping in, Cheri, and taking the time to view and comment. Frankly, I did find the respondents words a bit harsh (but it was done intentionally for impact) but was mostly drawn to the author commentary and laughs that came from that – because I’ve heard much of this so many times. Don’t you mean $100 to carry me over until the seven figure deal comes through :-)?

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