I talk a lot about writing. As a writer, yes, but also as a literary agent and speaker at writers conferences. And, yes, sometimes, as the guy at church potlucks who is inept at small talk and sometimes starts sentences with, “Ever wonder what the first person to use the word moist was thinking?”
Okay, so now you know a little too much about me. But in my strange mind and varied roles, I do often say the same things about writing, over and over. Such as, “Don’t use ‘over and over’; just say, ‘repeatedly.’
So, for your enjoyment and profit, here are some of the things I say most often about writing (a complete list would be far too long):
Writing for publication is (to adapt a phrase from Nietszche) “a long obedience in an uphill direction.”
Prayer is an important—indispensable, even—part of the writing life and publishing journey. Don’t neglect it, or you’ll regret it.
An apostrophe never makes a word plural.
Define “the takeaway” first.
Nail the hook, nail the book.
Editors are your friends.
It’s part of the writer’s job to make an editor’s job easier.
Pick a lane.
The cynic says about publishing, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” I say, “Publishing, like all of life, is about relationships.”
In response to the question “What are you looking for?”: Irresistible hooks and irresistible writing.
I know, I know, you want more information for some of those. But that’s why I get paid tens of dollars to speak at writers conferences around the country. You wouldn’t want to spoil my cash flow, would you? So how about this? If you have a question (or wish to add your own “things I say most often about writing”), mention it in the comments; and I bet the readers of this blog will be happy to opine (and even rhyme).