Good advice from writers to start the new year

Welcome back. Now that we’ve all finally escaped from 2008, I wanted to start 2009 with some good advice from interesting and talented writers.

In September 2008, Nicola Griffith posted on her blog her list of “twelve daily deeds of delight for health and happiness.” Here are a few highlights:

  • eat a piece of fruit (I mean fruit, a whole something you could pick from a tree or vine: an apple, a nectarine, a pear; not juice; not sorbet; not a disgusting frozen pie; a plump ripe luscious piece of mouth-watering fruit grown without herbicides or pesticides)
  • have a conversation (I don’t mean an information exchange about who’s cooking dinner tonight; I don’t mean a shouting match or politely modulated torment about politics; I don’t mean an angsty confession about childhood trauma, or a monologue about javascript; I mean a relaxed, lively, back-and-forth exploration of what gives each of you joy; maybe combined with eating vegetables and drinking wine)
  • get out in the fresh air (walking from the office to the car doesn’t count; I’m talking about the park, the beach, the city at one o’clock in the morning: breathe deep of cool, living air)
  • look at something with attention–a bird or a beetle, the back of your hand or a glass of water, a shoe or a pencil–until you see something new (newness is all around us; trust me, this one puts a sparkle around your day for hours, and it’s a must for beginning artists)

For those of you who like to make New Year’s resolutions, I suggest that you read her original blog post and either incorporate her list into your daily life or make your own list to live by.

Kelley Eskridge posted on her blog an excellent essay for aspiring pro writers.

Justine Larbalestier has been writing an entertaining series of blog posts with her advice on writing.

In February 2008, John Scalzi wrote a fantastic blog post titled “Unasked-For Advice to New Writers About Money.” This should be required reading for every writer, artist, freelancer, or self-employed person.

This year you’ll get more advice from me on research and related subjects, and tips for aspiring writers from my husband, Matt Ruff.

2 responses to “Good advice from writers to start the new year

  1. Scalzi’s money advice really is excellent. Every writer should read it.

    Happy New Year to you both.

  2. Pingback: Too bad you never knew Ace Hanna » Blog Archive » Some interesting bits from last week