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10 lessons to turn into a great writer in 10 minutes

    1. Write One Story Every Day

    This is the most important thing. If you write one story every day, you will be a great writer in ten years.

    2. Read Great Writers

    Study Hemingway, Fitzgerald, O'Connor, Carver, etc. to see how they do it.

    3. Write Bad Stories First

    Like when I wrote "The Last Time I Saw Michael Jackson" which is now part of my novel. I wrote that story first and then worked backwards to make a novel out of it.

    4. But also write good stories even if they are not part of some bigger vision for your writing career.

    Even if you never publish them or even show them to anyone (see #1 about showing your stuff to people) just write good stories for the sake of writing good stories and you will improve as a writer.

    5. Figure Out Your Voice Early On

    Find what makes your stories unique and special and use it in everything you write. Don't try to imitate other writers or genres or styles or forms but find what makes your voice different from all others and use it in everything you do. This takes time but will help with #1 since eventually you won't have to think so hard about every word choice since your voice will be more consistent across all your work.

    6. Write What You Love And Love What You Write

    If you are writing something because someone else wants you to write it or because it's the thing that seems like it will make money then don't bother (this doesn't apply if someone pays YOU money to do something that YOU love). Genres change over time so sometimes what's popular now won't be popular later so this is a tough one but...if you don't love what you are writing then no one else will either.

    7. Don't worry about genre boundaries unless...you love them!

    I love horror and sci-fi so I often try new genres by putting horror/sci-fi elements into them since those genres have been around long enough that they have their own tropes and rules that can be bent (or broken) in interesting ways within other genres without losing the core identity of each genre involved (e.g., sci-fi + comedy = Hitchhiker's Guide). This is probably more important than #6 but both are important so put them together!

    8. Figure out why things move us emotionally and then learn how to use those tools on purpose when writing a story or a scene within a story or even an individual sentence within a story

    Note that this doesn't mean "write sad things" but rather figure out WHY certain things move us emotionally so we can understand HOW they do this so we can use those same tools on purpose when telling our own stories instead of hoping some emotion randomly appears within our stories like magic wands waving at us from nowhere while we sit at our keyboards tapping away at random letters hoping for something wonderful to appear before our eyes like genies emerging from bottles after rubbing them with wishes written on pieces of paper stuffed inside their bodies for thousands of years waiting for some idiot human who might rub their bottle with his wish written on paper stuffed inside his body for thousands of years hoping he might get lucky enough for the genie magic dust sprinkled upon him from the magical flying carpet hovering just above his head while he sits there rubbing his bottle wishing he could fly off into the sky like Aladdin riding his magical flying carpet off into the sunset while holding hands with Princess Jasmine whose face magically appears right there before him as she says


    "Yes!"



    but wait
    That was fiction
    I digress


    learning how emotions work can help us become better writers because we'll know how emotions work
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