I Read Reddit’s Best Writing Advice
Reddit is the best and worst of free speech and crowd-sourced intelligence. It has everything from cheery life advice to dark alt-right corners, passing through sexual niches of varying levels of repute.
Basically, everything is there. Yet I had never thought of turning to Reddit for writing advice, until I saw a discussion go viral last week, entitled: “What is the piece of writing advice that has helped you most, personally?” I figured I better procrastinate —something writers need no advice to succeed at — and check it out.
None of it was groundbreaking, and yet all in all it laid out a pretty solid list of rules .
1. Show up
“Now I think of myself as a shopkeeper: It is my job to open up in the morning, sit, and wait for customers. If I get some, it is a blessed morning, if not, well, I’m still doing my job”
2. Just write, and worry later
“My favorite piece of advice is: “It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to exist.” Especially for first drafts, this advice has helped me out a lot with the negative self-talk and overthinking … You got past starting, which is arguably the hardest part. It’s not perfect, and it never will be, but it’s amazing because you made it. And that’s more than enough.”
“Most writing is crap. Stop worrying, have fun and leave it in the hands of fate.”
3. Get to the point
“Just tell the damn story!”
4. Read it out loud
“Read it out loud. If you stumble over what you’re reading, you need to rewrite that part!”
“I like to put my writing into a text-to-speech program and have the computer read it back to me. It will pull no punches and helps me hear when something sounds off. Great for if you don’t have someone else to edit your work, too!”
5. Love it, or no one will
“If something is boring for you to write, it’s going to be boring to read. Skip it and come back later if you really have to.”