15 tips to make the writing process less hellish

Even among the people who love writing the most, sometimes the process can be a whole lot like pulling teeth. Here are some ways to ease the pain.

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Not everyone who writes for a living always enjoys writing.

Writing can be a tedious and frustrating task: Staring at a blank screen, knowing what you want to write but being unable to call up the proper words.

Canadian author Ann-Marie MacDonald says, “Writing is a hellish task, best snuck up on, whacked on the head, robbed, and left for dead.”

What follows is some of the best advice I’ve received to make the writing process less hellish:

1. When you’re stuck, don’t keep staring at the screen. Take a break, and come back to it.

2. Write first; edit later.

3. Don’t bristle when another writer or editor corrects your work. Put your ego aside, analyze the feedback, and use it to improve your writing.

4. Read your work aloud.

5. Stop thinking in terms of how to draw people in. Today, your primary concern with your writing is not to drive people away.

6. “Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.” —Elmore Leonard

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