The Best of. . . Writing Tips for 2009 That Are Really Useful

It’s tempting to start the new year with a writing resolutions blog (write more, procrastinate less) or the evergreen Writing Tips for the New Year.  But even better is not having to write a top tips blog because it’s already been written. John Roach solicited tips from top writers  to compile his 2009 list for Pro Writing Tips.

This list goes beyond the hackneyed (punctuate correctly, use spell check) to provide useful and unique tips that can help novice as well as experienced writers.

One tip that I particularly like is from Lynn Gaertner-Johnston who writes Business Writing Blog:

“When you are struggling over how to craft a message, forget about what you have to say. Instead, write what the reader needs to know. A successful message focuses on the reader.”

After reading John Roach’s list, I wondered who else had useful and unique tips. So I combed the blogosphere (write more, procrastinate less). I like Angela Booth’s Top Ten Writing Tips to Help You Write More.  Among her tips:

“Pay attention to images. Your right brain thinks in images, and when you write, you translate images from your right brain into words. Usually this process happens so quickly that you’re unaware of it. If you can make this process conscious, you can goose up your own creativity. Stephen King calls this process ‘writing with the third eye ‘— the eye of imagination and memory.”

Among the most thought-provoking was Brian Clark’s Ernest Hemingway’s Top 5 Tips for Writing Well.  Clark applies Hemingway’s techniques to business writing.  Here’s one tip:

 “Use short sentences.  Hemingway was famous for a terse minimalist style of writing that dispensed with flowery adjectives and got straight to the point. In short, Hemingway wrote with simple genius. Perhaps his finest demonstration of short sentence prowess was when he was challenged to tell an entire story in only 6 words: For sale: baby shoes, never used.”

Of course, reading all of these tips inspired me to send my top writing tip for 2009 to John Roach. He kindly added it to his list:

Think of all writing as collaboration. Get feedback early and often from readers, reviewers, and good writers.”

With best wishes for happy writing in 2009!

— Marilynne Rudick (guest blogger)

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