10 Writing Tips From the 10 Minute Writer’s Workshop

15th, 2017
Keyhole - Content Marketing - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder
15th, 2017
Keyhole - Content Marketing - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder

Back in 2015, Spotify teamed up with New Hampshire Public Radio to create the 10 Minute Writer’s Workshop, interviewing creatives about what it takes to successfully put pen to paper. From literary authors to catalog writers to comic book illustrators, these creatives talk through themes of persistence, making mistakes, and giving their best advice to aspiring writers.

Below, we pulled out our favorite tricks of the trade from the most recent episodes:

1. When thinking about a topic you’re going to write about, the first thought you have is unoriginal.

Everyone has had that thought. Then you have a second thought about that topic, but quite a lot of clever people have also had that thought. But the third thought you have…that will be yours alone. So challenge yourself to keep thinking until you get to that third thought. That’s when you have the idea that no one else has had and you can really start writing. – Caitlin Moran, author

2. Spend your 20s and 30s experiencing the world, then spend your 40s writing about it.

Caitlin Moran, author

3. Find writers that make you feel good about yourself and make you think: “oh, I could write like that!” and use them as inspiration for your work.

Caitlin Moran, author

4. Write every single day. Don’t count words or pages or paragraphs or minutes...just make contact with the project in a meaningful way every single day.

Jonathan Lethem, author

5. Try writing different things.

Don’t have a rigid, adamant idea of what kind of writer you are going to be. Instead, be playful and versatile. Experience the trajectory of writing a beginning, middle and end of a story more frequently. It’s better to write 12 drafts of different (but full) stories, rather than 12 drafts of the same (incomplete) story. – Jonathan Lethem, author

6. Write the book you want to write, not the book your publishers want you to write.

If you write it with enough passion and skill…maybe other people will want to read it too! – Emma Donoghue, author

7. Don’t follow the advice of “write what you know.”

You may be able to squeeze one novel from our own experiences, but then challenge yourself to write what you dare to research or imagine. – Emma Donoghue, author

8. For copywriters:  pick up some random items (goat cheese, serrated knives, vacuum…the list goes on) and try to figure out what its story would be.

How would you go about selling even the most boring items that you know nothing about? – Jeff Ryan, catalog writer

9. Don’t start the day by answering emails, or you’ll get lost in that quite quickly.

Rather, wake up and start drawing. Start making things. Create something first. – Tom Gauld, cartoonist and illustrator

10. Writing isn’t just about showing up at your desk.

Ninety percent of creating a comic book is about persuading yourself to press on with it. Accept what you’ve done and make more of it. Push through until the end. – Tom Gauld, cartoonist and illustrator.

Next time you go on a run, get ready in the morning, or need a break from writing…pop in your headphones and indulge in the knowledge of these literary geniuses.

Listen to the full series + subscribe to the 10 Minute Writer’s Workshop. (Quick Note:  The content is only available in the Spotify clients for iPhone and Android.)

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