Seven tips for writing:

1. Don’t plagiarize.
Earlier today, when I was stuck for writing inspiration and worrying about handing in a piece for Rookie, my best friend asked me if i wanted to just use some of her work. Our conversation went as follows:

Her: If you want to use anything I write, you’re more than welcome. I really don’t mind.
Me: Becca, noooo. That’s very sweet but also wrong. I may not have many morals, but when it comes to writing…
Her: …
Me: I have at least seven.
Her: Specifically seven?!
Me: Well…I just made that up, but sure, let me think.

And here we have the first rule, don’t plagiarize, even your best friend’s work, especially your best friend’s work.

2. Don’t apologize for writing.
This is something we do all the time, especially young femmes, girls, and women. We apologize for our words because that’s how we’ve been conditioned. “It’s not very good,” “It’s a bit too long,” “I’ve done better,” are all ways to excuse ourselves from what we’ve written. We don’t need to do that, we apologize enough in our lives, don’t be sorry for writing.

3. All hard work is good work, but not all good work is hard work.
This one might need a bit of explaining. What it means is if you work hard, that’s enough. I don’t care who says it isn’t, if you’re trying your best then your work is good enough. Saying that, sometimes inspiration just appears and writing becomes effortless, easy; this doesn’t mean your work is not good enough, it just means you had a good day.

4. To be inspired is amazing, to inspire is bloody brilliant.
This “rule” is one Becca gave me after I told her that she inspired me. I can’t disagree. It’s an amazing feeling to be inspired, to be able to understand things and create or have new ideas. Knowing that you inspire others is on another level, because that feeling is something you’re giving to others—to people like you.

5. It has probably been written before, but it’s never been written by you.
This doesn’t sound that motivational, but it’s really hard to find new ground. You, however, are unique, and by extension, so is your art. You may not be the only teenager writing about a zombie apocalypse, but nobody is writing about your zombie apocalypse. Don’t be scared that your idea has been written about already; if it’s from you it’s a totally different piece.

6. Just write SOMETHING.
It doesn’t matter what, just anything. It might be utter garbage, it might also be your next masterpiece. That’s the best thing to do when you have a block, write anyway. Eventually you’ll reach a eureka moment, things will click into place.

7. Someone cares.
This one is important: You could be writing for an audience of thousands, for your best friend or just for yourself. It doesn’t matter, because the point is someone cares. You might not even know it, they might not even know it. But someone out there appreciates what you do. And there’s always a possibility that more people will, too. ♦