Read Around the Rainbow | Writing Advice I Take With a Grain of Salt


It’s time for the monthly Read Around the Rainbow post! If you’ve missed it, it’s a post we do on the last Friday of every month where a group of authors write something on the same topic.

This month, we’re talking Writing Advice We Take With a Grain of Salt.

First I struggled. I have a routine I more or less always follow. It includes everything from creating that first blank project in Scrivener, to colour-code my characters’ POV in the binder, so I easily can see which scene is in who’s POV.

I write in order, with no exceptions.

When the first draft is done, I read it from start to end, editing as I go. I tend to not edit while writing the first draft unless it’s something big that changes the entire timeline. But on the second round, I add and delete and reword.

Then I do a junk word check. I have a list of words that I search for and decide if I’m gonna keep or delete. My writing style is pretty simple, I think. For the most part, I’m in George Orwell’s camp: “Never use a long word where a short one will do.”

Then I run it through Grammarly.

And I don’t know if you know this, but I’m dyslexic. So even when I’ve now gone through what I’ve written several times, there are still words missing, misspelt words, and letters in the wrong place that Scrivener hasn’t picked up on. The Grammarly part is a great source of frustration for me and one I dread. In my mind I’m almost done when I’ve reached this part, the reality is that I’m far, far from it.

The next step is that I listen to the story. I listen to everything. By the time, I schedule this post, I will have listened to it two or three times, and if you search, I’m sure you still can find something wrong with it. I wouldn’t have lasted a day without text-to-speech.

I realise this post got out of hand. It was writing advice we take with a grain of salt, not the ones we follow 😆 The reason why I got caught up in my routine, was that I couldn’t come up with any advice I don’t follow.

Don’t get me wrong, I know there are several I don’t follow. I even think there can be a danger in listening to all the advice out there. What works for them won’t always work for you, and your voice is yours, don’t let anyone tell you you’re doing it wrong. This is not me saying don’t listen to your editor, because for the love of all that’s holy, listen to your editor, but don’t try to write as someone other than yourself. Your story isn’t mine, but that doesn’t make it any less important.

But back to the writing advice I don’t follow. I drew a blank, so I googled, and this caught my eye.

“Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.”

-Zadie Smith

I’m not saying she’s wrong, I would love to have a desk without crayons on it. I would love it if my children didn’t draw in my bullet journal, and while I love getting drawings of me and the child and the dog, I’d much appreciate it if they weren’t fastened to the screen.

dog walkSo yes, I would love to keep everybody away from my space, but my reality is different. I’m a mother of four. I can choose to either write with kids around or not at all. And while I wish I could do more, while I wish I wouldn’t be interrupted All. The. Time, I’m doing okay.

I’m not saying I don’t dream about the day when I can have a quiet space, where I can leave things open without fearing they’ll get deleted or drawn on, but we have to work with what we have. We never know how long we’ll walk on this earth, and if write is what you want to do, then write, even if it’s hard to see the desk underneath all the toys and creations. Don’t wait until you can have the perfect space. You might never get there.

Check out what writing advice the others don’t follow!

Addison Albright

Nell Iris

Ally Lester

Amy Spector

Ellie Thomas

K.L. Noone

Ofelia Gränd

12 thoughts on “Read Around the Rainbow | Writing Advice I Take With a Grain of Salt

    1. No, long words stops the flow, especially when you’re dyslexic and has to read them three times because your first two guesses of which word it was were wrong and the sentence didn’t make sense 😁 George is a guru! LOL


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