Miscellaneous Monday Morning: Paulo Coehlo’s 8 Tips on Writing


Happy Monday dear readers! Oftentimes, I find it hard to get inspired to write on Monday mornings, because it seems like the finish line, much like the upcoming weekend, is too far off to even be able to conceptualize, let alone see. When this happens, it helps me to turn to some of my favorite writers and see if they’ve said any profound words of wisdom or given any enlightening tips to aspiring writers like myself.

One of the writers who routinely inspires me to stop being lazy and get writing is Brazilian author, Paulo Coehlo. Not only does he write absolutely lovely books, but he also has a consistent presence online, fairly regularly posting things on various social media platforms, including his blog, rather appropriately named Paulo Coehlo’s Blog. It is here that he posted an article last year on his 8 Tips on Writing, a short compilation of his comments on various aspects of the writing craft that I think both aspiring and established writers alike can take something away from. Check them out below, and have a fantastic rest of your Monday, dear readers!

On Confidence: You cannot sell your next book by underrating your book that was just published. Be proud of what you have.

On Trust:
 Trust your reader, don’t try to describe things. Give a hint and they will fulfill this hint with their own imagination.

On Expertise: You cannot take something out of nothing. When you write a book, use your experience.

On Critics:
 Some writers want to please their peers, they want to be “recognized”. This shows insecurity and nothing else, please forget about this. You should care to share your soul and not to please other writers.

On Notetaking:
 If you want to capture ideas, you are lost. You are going to be detached from emotions and forget to live your life. You will be an observer and not a human being living his or her life. Forget taking notes, what important remains what is not important goes away.

On Research: 
If you overload your book with a lot of research, you are going to be very boring to yourself and to your reader. Books are not there to show how intelligent you are. Books are there to show your soul.

On Writing: I write the book that wants to be written. Behind the first sentence is a thread that takes you to the last.

On Style: Don’t try to innovate storytelling, tell a good story and it is magical. I see people trying to work so much in style, finding different ways to tell the same thing. It’s like fashion. Style is the dress, but the dress does not dictate what is inside the dress.