Writing Tips from Famous Authors

March 29, 2024

Every writer, no matter their level of experience, can benefit from the wisdom shared by those who have made big waves in the literary industry. In this blog post, we’ll explore ten INVALUABLE writing tips from renowned authors, each offering a unique perspective on the craft of storytelling. Here’s some wisdom from the masters!


  1. “Write Every Day” – Ernest Hemingway:

The prolific Ernest Hemingway believed in the power of consistency, so maybe we should too. He famously said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” Embrace a daily writing habit, even if it’s just a few sentences! The cumulative effect of regular writing is transformative.


  1. “Kill Your Darlings” – William Faulkner:

It takes skill and bravery to be ruthless while editing your own work but, as William Faulkner says, it’s necessary! “In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” This means being willing to part with beloved phrases or scenes if they don’t serve the greater purpose of the story. It’s okay to cry while you do it. Editing is an essential part of the writing process, but it can hurt.


  1. “Read, Read, Read” – Stephen King:

Stephen King, a famous author with a vast body of work, emphasizes the importance of reading. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write,” he advises. Reading exposes you to different styles, expands your vocabulary, and provides a wealth of inspiration. Let me know if you need some book recommendations!


  1. “Write the Book You Want to Read” – Toni Morrison:

Have you ever craved reading a book with a particular genre or trope? Nobel laureate Toni Morrison encourages writers to create the stories they wish to read. “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it,” she declared. Trust your unique voice and bring forth narratives that resonate with your passions and interests.


  1. “Find Your Own Voice” – J.K. Rowling:

J.K. Rowling, the wizard behind the Harry Potter series, emphasizes the significance of authenticity. “You have a unique voice within you, and you should find it,” she suggests. Don’t try to emulate others; embrace your distinctive perspective and let your voice shine through.


  1. “Write to Please Yourself” – Agatha Christie:

The Queen of Mystery, Agatha Christie, advises writers to prioritize their own satisfaction. “The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” Write for yourself first, and chances are your passion will resonate with readers! You’re your own target audience.


  1. “Start Writing, No Matter What” – Louis L’Amour:

Louis L’Amour, known for his Western novels, advocates for taking that first step. “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” Don’t let fear or self-doubt hinder your progress; just begin. In my experience, it’s often the hardest part.


  1. “Revise, Revise, Revise” – Margaret Atwood:

Margaret Atwood, celebrated for her speculative fiction, emphasizes the importance of revision. “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word,” she notes. Understand that writing is a process, and refining your work is an integral part of the journey. This also takes the pressure off when you’re writing your first draft!


  1. “Write with the Door Closed, Edit with the Door Open” – Stephen King:

Another gem from Stephen King: distinguish between the creative and critical phases. “Write with the door closed; rewrite with the door open,” he suggests. In the initial drafting stage, immerse yourself in your story. When editing, be receptive to external feedback. I have a blog post on rebuilding your confidence after receiving negative feedback. Click HERE to check it out!


  1. “The First Draft is Just You Telling Yourself the Story” – Terry Pratchett:

The late Terry Pratchett, known for his satirical fantasy, reassures writers about the nature of the first draft. “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story,” he remarks. Allow yourself the freedom to explore and discover your narrative during this initial phase. It doesn’t have to be perfect right away!


Incorporating these tips from literary legends into your writing practice can provide valuable insights and guidance on your journey to becoming a better writer. Remember, each writer’s path is unique, so embrace these tips while staying true to your own creative process. Happy writing!


Alee AndersonI’m Alee Anderson–a successful writer, obsessive community builder, dedicated athlete, and lover of all things zombie. I’ve worked hard to become a six-figure-earning ghostwriter whose clients have been published by HarperCollins, BenBella Books, Simon & Schuster, Thomas Nelson Publishers, and more. Now, I’m here to support you on your journey to becoming an explosively successful professional writer, whether for yourself or for deserving clients who need your valuable skills to help them better express themselves.