Sherman Alexie’s Top 10 Tips for Writers

Sherman Alexie Writing Tips

Sherman Alexie is the author of 24 books including Reservation Blues which received an American Book Award in 1996. His first young adult fiction novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, has sold over one million copies.  

In the September 2010 issue of Writer’s Digest magazine Alexie shared the following advice for writers.

1. Don’t Google search yourself.

2. When you’ve finished Google searching yourself, don’t do it again.

3. Every word on your blog is a word not in your book.

4. Don’t have any writing ceremonies. They’re just a way to stop you from writing.

5. Turn your readings into events. Perform and write with equal passion.

6. Read 1,000 pages for every one you try to write.

7. In fiction, research is overrated. But that means readers will write you correcting all of your minor biographical, geographical and historical errors. If you like, make those corrections in the paperback, but don’t sweat it too much.

8. Don’t lose the sense of awe you feel whenever you meet one of your favorite writers. However, don’t confuse any writer’s talent with his or her worth as a human being. Those two qualities are not necessarily related.

9.  Subscribe to as many literary journals as you can afford.

10. When you read a piece of writing that you admire, send a note of thanks to the author. Be effusive with your praise. Writing is a lonely business. Do your best to make it a little less lonely.

Read more writing tips from Paulo Coelho, Meg Rosoff, Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman.