Some great advice from the Writer’s Digest Conference, via writers Anna Leahy and Douglas Dechow:
1. There is no book in your mind.
Acclaimed novelist Aimee Bender said this during her keynote talk at the Writer's Digest Conference West. It's among the best wisdom we've heard in a long time.
"Thinking and writing are different," Bender said. You may have great ideas in your mind, but "the only book that exists is the one on the page." The process of writing is not one of translating your thoughts onto the page. No, it's the other way around. "Writing gives us access to our own minds."
Many writers--from Flannery O'Connor to E. M. Forster to Joan Didion--have talked about how they don't know what they think until they've written it down. Writers must work from the page, not from their intentions, if they hope to finish writing a book.
Read the rest of the excellent tips they picked up.