writers / writers tips

Writers Tip #72: Don’t Worry About What Others Think

When you read your story, does it sound off, maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it, but you know you’ve done something wrong? Sometimes–maybe even lots of times–there are simple fixes. These writer’s tips will come at you once a week, giving you plenty of time to go through your story and make the adjustments.

When I first heard about Stephen King’s how-to book, On Writing, I didn’t even check it out. I figured a horror writer couldn’t teach me what I needed to know about writing.

I was wrong. Turns out, his book is chock full of common sense, easy-to-understand hints about how to write a great novel, be it literary fiction, historic, horror, or any other genre. King just seems to get it–the twists of plots, the fascination of characters, the uniqueness of settings.

Here are seven of his tips. For more depth on them, visit the Positivity Blog:

  1. Get to the point
  2. Write a draft. Then let it rest
  3. Cut down your text
  4. Be relatable and honest
  5. Don´t care too much what others may think
  6. Read a lot
  7. Write a lot

I had a tough round with my writer’s group last Monday so I’m especially happy to read #5.

Here’s what the UNC’s Writing Center has to say about feedback on your writing. Then check out Emma Lee as she describes how to decide what feedback to accept and what to walk away from.

More on feedback:

10 Tips from Toxic Feedback

What I learned from finishing my novel

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Questions you want answered? Leave a comment and I’ll answer it within the next thirty days.


Jacqui Murray is the author of dozens of books (on technology in education) as well as the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. In her free time, she is  editor of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.

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47 thoughts on “Writers Tip #72: Don’t Worry About What Others Think

  1. Pingback: 7 Reasons For and Three Against Critique Groups | WordDreams...

  2. Pingback: Today's Author | Seven Reasons For and Three Against Critique Groups

  3. I love King’s On Writing. My biggest take away: Just write…don’t let life get in the way. When I read at the end of the book how he was injured in a car wreck and in pain and still writing I realized there is never a “better” day to write. The right time to write is TODAY.


    • Well said. There’s never a good enough excuse not to write. I think a lot of great writers agree. One author I admire–Russell Blake–is one of the few who I’ve read struggles with every book he writes. And he is amazingly prolific!


  4. I stopped writing fiction 14 years ago when my critique group didn’t get ‘anything’ I thought was so brilliant. I think we could bring any great book for critique and most would find something to criticize. Of course, that’s why there are so many different styles of writing…something for everyone to love, too. Now I’m back and love #5 and King’s book!


  5. I’m just afraid that people will dismiss writing as a silly thing to take on, conservative as most of my peers are, I guess :/ I hope I garner enough courage to open up my writing soon though!


  6. Jacqui I am just finishing reading this book. I have read many books on the craft of writing and Kings book is one of the best. He is a talented soul. This book is the kind of book I want to keep reading. He is so down to earth and I laughed a lot. We need to laugh at ourselves attempting this stuff.


  7. I’m not a Stephen King horror fan but I just might become a Stephen King On Writing fan. I appreciate those tips. I struggle with all of them, but especially number five!


  8. I love King. He’s so down-to-earth and yes I’ve read some of his horror and have quite a collection of his books. (Sigh. I hope to read them). Not all of them are the kind of horror you think, sometimes all it takes is something that the character is afraid of. Read his books on writing. He has another one, “Secret Window,” (essays and fiction on the craft of writing). Also good to read.
    I used to belong to a writers’ group and miss our weekly meetings.
    As always, you’ve picked a valuable subject to post. ❤


  9. 5 is the most important one for me! Once I realized I could write the book I wanted to read I felt free to write it without other people’s permission and praise—though praise is always nice 🙂


      • When I realized that very, very few authors in the entire world are ever remembered it made me question what my real motivation was for writing in the first place. Was it for fame and fortune? That was going to be a long shot. What would happen if I never got a big book deal?

        Finally I did it to see if I could and half way through I just fell in love with my characters and realized being a writer was being master of destinies and that I was really good at entertaining myself 🙂 All the rest–is secondary. (of course I still worry sometimes . . .)


      • I like that, Adrienne–entertaining yourself. Truly, when I started writing (with a relentless fervor) and then decided I had no talent and quit–I realized just what you said. Quitting meant I missed out on all that fun of wordsmithing and drawing mental pictures and researching a topic ad infinitum.


    • I don’t either. In fact, I avoided that sort of fiction until quite recently when comments on a post I wrote about horror writing got me thinking. There’s a lot more to it than I gave it credit for.


    • Absolutely, Radhika. I don’t have a lot of courage either. I couldn’t be one of those bloggers who got nasty, confrontational comments based on their posts. I like conversation, sharing ideas, not emotional bludgeoning.


      • Exactly. It’s comforting to know that someone shares my sentiment. My blog is so important to me since it expresses and brings out so many of my efforts put into making it the best representation of myself.


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