January 11, 2008

ROAR Awards: My Rules for Writing

Ah, sweet awards. A humble nod to the lovely duo of Jill and Kathy over at the DHX who tagged me for a ROAR award. The rules for being A Roar for Powerful Words recipient are that I share three writing tips and pass the award on to three more bloggers worthy of recognition and esteem. Yeah right. Like I could stop at three rules. I've got a million rules just so I can pick and choose which ones to break on any given day. Here are my favorite:

1. Don't be shy, say what you want to say. What people read between the lines of your polite camouflage may not be what you wanted them to get at all. Cultivate your ego. If you don't think you're worth reading, why would anyone else?

2. Have a point.

3. No foreplay. Cut to the good stuff. I hate intros and explanations. Be confident that your material can stand alone without it.

4. People have other things to do. Each sentence needs to re-grab their attention. Word choice is a matter of life and death for readership.

5. Please everyone and no one. I have no idea what this means, but I live by it. I write for everyone but I'm not accountable to any of them for my true thoughts.

6. Most importantly, please yourself. Writing is divine. If you don't know that, you may as well just stop writing and let those of us who live for it rule over the blogosphere.

7. Is it you? What are you motives for writing something? Be honest. A lie is easy to spot and embarrassing to explain.

8. Has it been written before? Trite bites. Every sentence is the chance to be an original. Take the opportunity to create something memorable. (I realize, of course, that this post is about as trite as it gets. Break a rule or two when you can.)

9. Expose yourself. Humiliate yourself. Be real. Create a bridge to your readers. We all stink at times. Anyone who has the gall to judge you for it can be laughed off.

10. In looking over my previous nine rules, they all seem to say the same thing. Write honest. Be honest. The best thing you have going for yourself is your unique personality and experiences. It may seem boring to you because you've been yourself your whole life, but trust me, you're the only one who has. It's all new to us. If you don't exploit your uniqueness, you've got nothing.

I'm going to tag Tracy M at Dandelion Mama, Lindsay at Adventures with Lindsay and Catherine M over at The Morphis Clan to share their tips. These three bloggers are in my opinion, some of the best writers out there. Of course, anyone else who wants to share their knowledge should feel free to do so on their own blog or in the comments section. There's far too little unsolicited advice out there on the web. Let's do something about it.


Lindsay said...

I am absolutely flattered, Sarah. Considering the fact that I actually consider YOU one of the best writers out there, this is quite the complement. So thank you! I'll start thinking about my writing rules and will post soon.

Marie said...

Excellent rules. I saw the author of White Oleander (her name escapes me) interviewed once, she was asked what she felt the key to good writing was. She said it was to say everything in a way it's never been said before. That if it's ever been said at all, it's a cliche. Words to live by!

Angie said...

I appriciate your advice. I find myself unable to stop my verbal diarrhea. No matter how many bananas I eat. Help ME!

Jill Davis Doughtie said...

I loved reading these. Thanks!

tracy m said...

Oh no, you YOU YOU are the best writer. I insist. Really!

Thanks Hollywood. I needed an ego boost tonight. Life's a bucket of rocks right now- and I'll take what I can get.

I make my husband sit down and watch the Flake Fliks- and we laugh until we cry. Of course, we're crying a lot these days...

Aw, #$%& what do I know. It's late, my husband lost his job two days ago, we bought a house a few months ago, and I've been chewing Trader Joes ginger candy all night and my mouth is burning. It ought to make some good bloggin!

I accept your challenge.

(and meekly say: thank you for liking me...)

Catherine M. said...

sheesh girl, I never knew you though I could write. I never even knew I thought I could write. Thanks for giving me the burden of awareness. I'll try to honor your request sometime within the week.

Marilee said...

I sent some of my aspiring writer friends to this post.

Ina said...

I'm one of Marilee's aspiring writer friends. I should be able to do this. I'm very good at humiliating myself.

I've bookmarked you to read more, later. I have to get ready to go buy more shoes, now. That's the most important thing in the world.

Anonymous said...

Yet another of Marilee's aspiring writer friends. These are great rules. I spend too much time worrying what other people think and taking their unsolicited advice to heart too much. I'm going to clip these!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU -- I'm still a fairly beginning blogger, and I think this is very helpful.