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Week 31 – Writing Advice for Non-Writers

My cousin Ben called me a few days ago. “Joe,” he said, “I’ve read everything you’ve written about writing on your website. What you’re really doing is writing for writers. Why don’t you write something for us non-writers. You know, sometimes we want to write down our ideas but hold back because we didn’t go to college or because we don’t know grammar or how to spell. What kind of advice can you give us non-writers?”

If what I’m about to say makes any sense to non-writers, or even writers, then try these “Seven Pieces of Writing Advice” that my cousin Ben inspired me to put together:

(1) If you write with a pen or pencil, buy yourself an 8 1/2” x 11” spiral notebook. If you prefer to write on a computer, open up a New Folder on your desktop and call it “My Journal.”

(2) Use your spiral notebook or “My Journal” folder to write down your thoughts, feelings, stories, poems, ideas or anything else you can think of.

(3) Write down the day and date before each entry. Now, start writing—anything. If you know what to write, great. If you don’t know what to write, write whatever comes to mind.

(4) Write for at least ten minutes without stopping. Don’t look back to see what you’ve written until the ten minutes or more are up.

(5) If your spelling, grammar or punctuation is all jumbled, that’s all right. The important thing is, you’ve written something rather than nothing. Remember, you can always go back and revise.

(6) For the first week, write for at least ten minutes every day.

(7) For the second, third and fourth weeks, write for at least fifteen minutes every day. After a month you will have written a great deal and gotten the writing bug.

Keep writing and good luck!