Writing is something everyone should do on some level. No matter what makes you put pen to paper, these three tips from Jennifer Egan will help as you continue your own writer’s journey.
Photo by David Shankbone.
- Read at the level at which you want to write. Reading is the nourishment that feeds the kind of writing you want to do. If what you really love to read is y, it might be hard for you to write x.
- Exercising is a good analogy for writing. If you're not used to exercising you want to avoid it forever. If you're used to it, it feels uncomfortable and strange not to. No matter where you are in your writing career, the same is true for writing. Even fifteen minutes a day will keep you in the habit.
- You can only write regularly if you're willing to write badly. You can't write regularly and well. One should accept bad writing as a way of priming the pump, a warm-up exercise that allows you to write well.
Egan's advice, while simple, is clear and straightforward. Immerse yourself in the work you want to do yourself and learn from it, make it so going a day without doing any writing feels strange, and let yourself be a bad writer. Like with most skills worth pursuing, you have to be a bad before you can be good.