Blog by Toby Welch

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Writers Advice to Their Newbie Writing Self

Shenaaz Nanji holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College. She has written seven books for children that have won several awards. Her novel, Child of Dandelions, was nominated for the Governor General Award in Children’s Literature. Here is a copy of the letter she would write to her starting-out writer self:

“My Dear Girl:

1.   You don’t have to begin at the beginning. Begin writing any scene you are excited about then write scene two then scene three. When you finish ten great scenes, presto you will know how to begin.

2.   Try to write a few articles for free. You will gain credibility and confidence.

3.   Write about what you care. Write for the people you care and the words will flow. Don’t do it for money. You will never get your money’s worth. Do it only for the love of it.

4.   Share your writing, shut up, and listen. Suck up the criticism. The best part is you can rewrite.

5.   Rethink, Revise, Rewrite. Great writers did not sit down and write one brilliant word after another all at once.”

It's so much fun reading thoughts like this from writers!