Writer to Writer: Advice and Encouragement from Fellow Authors and Writers

Writing is not an easy process. It’s hard, feels impossible at times, and is far too easy to call it quits. When those hard days, weeks, months, or years strike, and you feel like you should give up writing or scrap your project, or if you just need some encouragement when the words aren’t coming, here are several writerly wisdoms of advice and encouragement from fellow authors and writers who’ve been in the same predicaments.

Many thanks to the wonderful authors and writers who contributed. Your insight is invaluable.

A couple of tips that I have found helpful are to never, ever give up. You have a message and it needs to be read. Secondly, connect with other writers and people in the industry. With social media, it’s easier than ever these days.

Penny Zeller, Author

My advice is to remember why you write. As Christians we write for God first. Keep that in mind. That will solve a lot of self-doubts right there. Then remember the message and why it’s important to you. And remember who you want to reach. Just remember.

Rayna Lynn, Author

Don’t be afraid to write a first draft that you may never use. It’s all practice, and it’s not wasted.

– Mary, Writer

Know your first draft will need work. And that. is. o. k. You will have to rewrite. And that is perfectly normal. It will probably take you a lot of time to make anything really good. And that’s totally fine. Lots of the great writers produced their masterpieces when more advanced in age. On the flip side… you can’t be perfect. Don’t strive for perfection. Strive for your best. You’ll never be perfect, and that’s fine. No one, not even the experts, are perfectly satisfied with their writing. You don’t need perfect. You just need your best. And that’s good enough

Two last things: It’s okay if your voice is different from others. And rules are in place for a good reason and you should consider them carefully, but when you seriously think that breaking a rule is better, then do it. You know your style and your story.

Katja H. Labonté , Author

The biggest lesson I’ve learned in writing, is that there is no ‘right way’ when it comes to writing. We’re all so unique with our backgrounds and strengths and personalities, it makes sense how we write is also individual. Learning to embrace that, to listen to ideas and leave what doesn’t work…that’s been huge. And that we’re all a work in progress, and giving each other grace is the best gift we can give .

MaryAnna Rose, Author

The biggest help I’ve found is to turn off my internal editor for the first draft. I will try to do writing sprints for 20-25 minutes to focus just on producing, without worrying about looking up some detail and getting distracted. If I get it on the page, I have something to work with and edit. I can’t work with a blank sheet.

Jason Joyner, Author

My advice would be to keep trying different things until you find out what works best for you. For example, if you start out writing by pantsing, give plotting a try if you’re finding out your stories have plot holes or if you’re having trouble finding the ending. Or the flip side would be, if plotting sucks the joy out of writing, try pantsing and see if that brings excitement back to your writing.

Jen Rose, Writer

Be passionate about the story you’re writing! That’s the best – and, in fact, the only – way to write something that will change readers’ lives and draw them closer to Christ. I’ve learned that if there’s a story that’s always on you’re heart, that you’re always thinking about (even in your subconscious), that you’re always feeling an urge to pray about – well, that’s the story God is calling you to write. And if we write to honor God, we’ll want to write what He wants us to write. We’ll have all the fun that way, too!

Joy C. Woodbury, Writer

Some writerly wisdom I’ve learned is to not push yourself. Pushing yourself and forcing your story to be written can be bad. But, I’ve also learned that people are different; so pushing yourself may be exactly what you need. I think my biggest piece of advice would be to figure out what best suits you and go for that.

– Kenzie, Writer

Don’t let yourself be swayed by the criticism of readers who are NOT your target audience! If you are confused or hurt by negative feedback, go to the people who DO like your writing style and ask their opinion. Not everyone likes every writing style, and it’s more important to really nail the preferences of your target audience than to try to please everyone.

Chelsea Burden, Author

The first draft isn’t going to be great. It’s just not. But you have to start somewhere. And feedback is a GOOD thing. It helps your writing be better. And it’s not a condemnation of you as a person. You have worth and value regardless of how poorly or well you write. You could never write another word and still have no less value in God’s sight.

– Nathan Peterson, Author

My advice would be completely surrender your book to God. His will for the book is so much better than we can imagine! It might not mean it’ll be a bestseller, but it means God will be with you as you write your story, and even if your story doesn’t work out, you can get to know God better while working on the story if you give it all to Him.

Also, don’t have unrealistic expectations, and be willing to take a break and muse on your story from time to time.

– Charis, Author

3) Write a lot. Practice writing whenever you can, whether you feel like your work is a masterpiece or garbage. The more you write, the more your skills improve. (2) Read a lot. Read books both in and outside of your genre by authors you want to emulate. Notice everything. You’ll learn so much about writing by reading quality books. (1) Pray and meditate on God’s Word day and night. Let God write the book through you. As you seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, all these things shall be added unto you.

Erika Matthews, Author

Write consistently. Writing on a consistent basis—whether that’s daily, weekly, or monthly is much easier (at least for me) than sporadic writing. When I’m writing consistently, I find the story flows much better, I have more fun, and I actually remember details from the book I’m working on. Because when I’m not writing on a regular basis, I lose momentum in my project (and forget what the story’s about).

Kristina Hall, Author

Two things I can think of right off. First was a piece of advice I heard from a speaker at a Christian writers’ conference: A writer has to be willing to walk down the street naked (not literally); in other words, a writer must be completely vulnerable. Second, I kind of disagree with the old advice, “Write what you know about.” I would add to that, “Don’t limit ‘what you know’ to your 5 senses.” I write about spiritual warfare and allegories, because I “know about” these things from my personal experience. Similarly, we are so blessed in this day and age with information about ANYTHING at our fingertips! Don’t let anyone tell you there is anything you’re not allowed to write about because of your lack of “experience”. Finally, I recently read a quote from C. S. Lewis that I love: Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else.

Sarah Earlene Shere, Author

You can’t please everyone, so stop trying to. Write what God has given you, no matter who doesn’t like it (including yourself).Yes, you need thick skin in this business. But don’t pretend the rejections are painless. Even if they’re not technically, they’re going to feel personal. It’s ok. It’s ok to hurt. JUST DON’T STAY THERE!

Erudessa Goodman, Author

Which pieces of advice helped you? I know all of them reminded or taught me something. What is a piece of advice or encouragement someone has blessed you with regarding your writing?

Write with courage, write with confidence, write with conviction. And, above all else, remember Who you write for.


11 thoughts on “Writer to Writer: Advice and Encouragement from Fellow Authors and Writers

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