|Another artist expanding her body of work: Sivana Green|
Writing advice is its own genre. When I Google the words "writing advice" I
receive 585 million results. Wow!
I can't tell you what will work for you, but I can tell you what works for me.
The best writing advice I ever received was from writer and editor Mark Mirsky.
Here it is: A writer must expand her body of work.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed by all of the advice-givers out there (bless them,
they mean well) telling me to do more marketing, more showing not telling, more vivid description, more book reading in more genres, meet more authors, be more disciplined, include more of what I know and yes, to include more of what I don't know, I go back to the first piece of advice in the first year of my
life that I immersed myself in writing at university thirteen years ago.
Even reading the common advice "to have more fun" is a non-starter for me. It's never inspired me to do anything besides think: I'm off the hook. More fun means more procrastination. Procrastinating sounds a lot more fun than writing that next chapter.
I can get down about a rejection, a frustrating rewrite, or an unproductive writing session. Sometimes I think: I'm done. I've always wanted to learn gardening, photography, Krav Maga. Why am I still trying to write?
When that happens I go back to, "Hey, Gila, writers must expand their body of work."
I admit that I love that imagery; thinking of my work as a body in progress, a body that is incomplete and only I can complete it, still knowing it
will never be completed.
Somehow, always check your social media page, always attend every writers
event, always edit starting from the last page so you don't miss any errors, always write every day, always….
None of those lines of advice have ever inspired me to move forward with a
novel, a short story, or a flash piece when I want to give up.
A writer must expand her body of work.
This advice worked for me thirteen years ago and works for me every time. Maybe out of the 585 million writing advice articles out there, this one will work
for you. And thanks, Mark. I can't thank you enough.