Whether it’s writing novels, articles or poetry, there are common struggles we face trying to succeed in this competitive and saturated field. How to synthesize creative ideas to write about. How to gain a following. How to get through writer’s block. These challenges and more can ignite hair-pulling stress and mental strife.
Because these challenges are so common, many writers have gone through them. Standing on the other side, they can look back and offer guidance to greenhorn creatives who are now facing the same struggles. Advice from successful writers has lifted me when I’ve been down — granted courage when all seems hopeless — and shone a light in the darkness of my journey.
There is an excessive amount of advice for writers rolling around in the world. In this article, I’m going to share what has been the most inspiring, useful and illuminating advice that I’ve come across.
Choose to Write — Neil Gaiman’s Advice
If you’re unfamiliar with Neil Gaiman, he’s a prolific writer of many fantastic stories. He wrote American Gods, Coraline, Stardust, The Sandman graphic novels, and many more. By loose estimate, Neil Gaiman has sold over 45 million books. But like any writer, new and old, he faces the same common struggles — writer’s block, motivation, and more.
Through his time as a writer, Neil Gaiman learned how to eliminate distractions and become more productive. His advice is simple.
You can sit here and write or you can sit here and do nothing but you can’t do anything else. — Neil Gaiman.
This is Neil Gaiman’s rule for himself when it comes to writing, even to this day. What it does for him is it gives him the freedom to write or not to write. He finds that after a while, writing is more interesting than doing nothing.
The next time you find yourself distracted from writing, try out Neil’s advice — sit down and write or sit down and do absolutely nothing.
Turn Pro — Steven Pressfield’s Advice
Steven Pressfield’s writing journey has been one of long labour and elusive success. It wasn’t until he was 52 years old when he…