Jays Writing PointsBefore I start talking about my writing points, let me first show to you some of the advice I gotfrom some of the worlds most successful writers.1) Alexander McCall Smith – The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, The Kalahari Typing Schoolfor Men, The Full Cupboard of Life, many othersDear Mr Jaboneta,It was a very great pleasure to receive your kind and courteous e-mail. Thank you so much forwriting to me. I am very pleased indeed that you are enjoying my books and I do hope that you willalso enjoy those that are published in the future.I was most interested to hear that you are hoping to become a writer and that you wish to use theexperience of your personal quest for truth in this. You asked me for advice on how to become awriter. Really, I think the only advice that one can give someone is to encourage them to practiceand practice. I think that is the way in which writers become better at their work - practice andthen more practice again! So I suggest that you start writing perhaps short stories and then showthem to friends and colleagues for their comments. But the important thing is to practice asmuch as possible - so once you have finished one story or novel, always move on to the next one.When you feel that the time has come to show your work to publishers, then I think you shouldlook at the local market in your area - even newspapers and magazines that may publish stories,and then send your work to the editors. I wish you all the best with your writing.Warmest wishes,Alexander McCall Smith2) Salle Redfield – The Celestine Meditations, and Meditations for the Tenth Insight; TheExecutive producer of The Celestine Prophecy Movie.Hi Jay,Thank you for your kind note, and thank you for the compliments on Jamess books.Believe it or not, one of the best books I have ever read on writing is written by Stephen King-- thesame Stephen King who writes horror novels. The book is called Stephen King on Writing.Hopefully this will help. Take care and good luck.My best,Salle Redfield2) Sam Deep – ACT ON IT! (with Lyle Sussman)Jay~Grace to you and Peace.I feel blessed by your comments. I am so glad that you have received such value from Act On It!My journey in writing has been from hating it to enjoying it. That may be the secret. If you loveanything youll find ways to do it well.That said, I attribute my current, and only moderately effective writing skills, first and foremost tothe Lord. His help has come in the form of a number of blessings. These are but a few:1. A college English professor--Pete Jones--who taught me much2. A publishing house editor--John Bell--who taught me much
3. A university professor/mentor/researcher who encouraged me to write by being my championin a number of ways.4. The book "The Elements of Style" by Strunk & White.5. The gift from God to be able to read my own writing as a reader would encounter it and thenrewrite it to make it more readable.I dont consider myself capable of teaching writing skills, so sharing these thoughts with you is thebest I can do.Best regards,~Sam Deep4) William Poundstone – How Would You Move Mount Fuji?Jay,Thanks for the note and the kind words. Its always tough to give writing advice to others. Here area couple of tips that come to mind. Theyve helped me.• Narrow the topic. Find the most interesting part of your topic and focus on that. With luck, themost interesting part will have broad implications. Its better to write the definitive article or bookon a narrow-opic-with-broad-implications than to write just another treatment of a moreconventional theme.• Cut out words. You can often say the same in 7 words as 20. The shorter version saves paperand time and is usually more fun to read.I hope this helps. Best of luck with your project.William PoundstoneProbably the best advice I got came from Alexander McCall Smith, practice really makes perfect. Iam not saying my writing is perfect but it has improved a lot. Writing is as much a passion as allthe other “jobs” out there. The challenge is that we sometimes neglect this because wereexpected to know how to write. But writing is an art. We need to keep doing it to be really goodat it. All the great writers started from scratch. The really good stuff comes from years and yearsof writing.So thats it, my writing points is actually just a writing point – PRACTICE!To master something, as Malcolm Gladwell found in his research for the book “Outliers,” you needto be doing it for about 10,000 hours, give or take. Thats how Michael Jordan did it. Thats howBill Gates did it. And thats how Steve Jobs did it. Even Shakespeare.10,000 hours is almost 4 years if you do it 8 hours everyday. Realistically, it takes more than thatbecause we cant guarantee well do it 8 hours everyday. So start writing. Or doing whateveryoure passionate about with.Thanks for reading.P.S.One more thing, to be really good at writing, you need to read a lot too. Thats how you caninternalize how good writers write.