There are many reasons folks don’t write. Lack of talent isn’t one of them. Being smart is. Following are three smart-writer mistakes:
1. Explaining what you know.
Being told isn’t fun. Discovery is fun. You will know you are explaining when you are getting bored with your own writing. Here’s a tip: Choose some great verb hiding inside your idea, something with oomph like “embrace” or “obliterate” and fill in around it. If it doesn’t flow, choose another verb with oom-pah-pah. Discover.
2. Knowing too much.
Everything you know IS important but not all at once. You will know you are making everything important if you start skimming and skipping as you write. (They married, had a child, built a house, moved twice, got mad at each other, reconciled) Here’s a tip: Choose a tiny detail, something lame like “the driveway is asphalt-covered” and make that important, very important. Learn.
3. Pretending to know.
Not knowing never stops folks from talking, at least it never stops me. But, you will know you don’t know enough if you start backing off or summarizing what you’re writing. Here’s a tip: This is going to happen when you don’t expect it, when you think you understand orphanages or stock trades or hair dye. Learn more. Likely there’s a writer whose work will teach you. Study.