My Best Writing Advice: Let it suck

Chris Ryan was my creative writing teacher my sophomore year of high school and has since become my extra set of eyes, my mentor, my number one fan, and my motivation to keep doing what I’m doing. This is the advice he told my class one day seven years ago. “Make it suck less,” he told us and, while that was probably the most annoying thing we’ve ever heard in that moment, I can honestly say this has been the one piece of writing advice that I’ve carried with me over the years. It’s the one piece of advice I’ll continue to carry with me.

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There seems to be an abundance of writing advice on twitter today, for which I am thankful. To return the favor, I wanted to offer the best writing advice I give my students, but this has proven impossible to do in 140 characters. So I will write a brief blog and offer a link on twitter.

My advice to writers of both fiction and non-fiction is always this:

LET IT SUCK.

Writing that sucks is infinitely easier to improve that a blank screen or empty page. Simple as that.

If you allow yourself to just write not worry about its value, most of the writing will include your usual level of quality. And some of it will suck. The sucky parts are easy to fix. Just ask yourself why the sucky part sucks (without having a meltdown) and you will see that the sentence should actually say this, or theā€¦

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