Ten Tips for New Authors: #9

#9 Do something other than writing.

“Wait, you just spent the last month hammering me with write more books. Aren’t you contradicting yourself?”

No. Write more books, but you can’t do so without experiencing more stuff. Writing reflects what we know about life. The more you experience, the richer your stories become. Go square-dancing. Climb a mountain. Walk around your city. Join a knitting club. Do something — anything — on a regular basis that has absolutely nothing to do with the business of writing. And when you’ve learned some of that, pick a different topic and go do THAT for a while. You’ll be amazed at the people you meet and the things you can learn doing something other than writing.

For me over the past six months, I’ve been serving in the community, helping out the homeless and those that don’t have much. I love going to the elderly center and listening to them tell me about their day. Miss Zenobia (yes, that’s her name) and Miss Dani regularly give me lessons in dominoes and Skip-bo. I take the beatings like a champ and smile because I know that each time I go there, I learn something more about humanity itself.

You can’t write about how a person would react to a situation unless you have insight into how people react, in general. Get out there and experience people. Feel the wind on your face so that you can describe it vividly. Touch a mountain top. Swim in the pool and smell the chlorine. Run a marathon to experience true exhaustion. Do something… anything… other than sitting in a chair and writing your books.

Unless you’re selling your books to other authors who want to read about sitting in a chair and writing a book, you need to experience more in life. Go out there and get it.

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