10 Memorable Pieces of Literary Advice from Twitter

Over the years, Twitter has grown from just being a social network to a platform bursting with amazing ideas, brilliant opinions and a source for knowledge and learning. We find new perspectives and insights in tweets and threads and the literary sphere is not absent from all of this. Some of the best pieces of literary advice on writing and for writers this year are contained in tweets and threads.

In no particular order, these are 10 pieces of literary advice from Twitter that we can not forget.

1. Roxanne Gay on how to succeed as a writer and the myth of overnight success:

In this thread, one of the most influential writers of the year, Roxanne Gay, articulates her journey as a writer and how much work has gone into getting to where she is today. She reminds writers that the journey may be difficult, but never impossible.

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You can read the full thread here

2. J.K Rowling on rules of writing:

When a follower asks J.K Rowling, award winning author of the Harry Potter Series, amongst others what the rules of writing are for writers, she brilliantly replies with a truth writers need to hears – the only rule is what works for you. 

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Read the rest of the thread here.

 

3. Akwaeke Emezi on finishing your book manuscript

Starting a book can be relatively easy, but following through to the end is one of the hardest things. Recognising that this is a common struggle for writers, Akwaeke Emezi, author of soon to be released Freshwater (which will be published by Grove Atlantic in the U.S. and Farafina in Nigeria), breaks down her writing process, telling us how she finishes her book manuscripts and completes general goals.

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Read full thread here.

4. Matt Haig on reading

If there’s one thing you also are as a writer, it’s that you’re a reader. Before many of us became writers, we were first readers and being a writer shouldn’t change that. Matt Haig, author of Reasons to Stay Alive and a constant number one best selling author reminds us in one of the most beautiful threads this year on the power of books and the magic in reading.

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Read full thread here.

5. Carmen Maria Machado on advice to her younger self

We really can’t overemphasise the importance of reading for writers and Carmen Maria Machado, fiction writer, critic, and essayist whose work has appeared in the New YorkerGranta and elsewhere hammers on this in her tweet. For her, if she could go back in time and advice herself as a young writer, this is what she would say:

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See tweet here

6. Abubakar A. Ibrahim on advice to aspiring writers

Abubakar Ibrahim, award winning author of Season of Crimson Blossoms, gives sublime advice to aspiring writers in this tweet. If you’re looking to grow and develop as a writer, hold on to these words.

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7. Nnedi Okorafor on reading for pleasure

Still on reading (are you still in doubt of how important it is for you to read as a writer?), Nnedi Okorafor, international award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism, and author of Zahrah the Windseeker reminds writers of the importance of reading for pleasure and the ability to enjoy writing in this thread.

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8. Rae Chang on Filtering

Ever heard of filtering? We too, until we read Rae Chang’s thread on it. She is a young adult political fantasy writer, and editor who breaks down extensively what filtering is and how it affects your writing. If you’re looking to learn a thing or two as a writer or editor, read the full thread here.

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9. Nayyirah Waheed on the value of words.

Nayyirah Waheed, poet and author who has been described as one of the most famous poets on Instagram, reminds us in this tweet that our words, no matter how little can be valuable. So just write.

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10. Christopher Paolini on writing advice

Christopher Paolini, author of The Inheritance Cycle, sums up major advice for writers in this tweet. Figuring out how to go about writing can be confusing, but Christopher reminds writers to plan ahead, understand and move accordingly. The story will fall into place.

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There you have it! Did we miss out anything? What piece literary advice resonated with you this year? What do you wish you learnt earlier as a writer? Let us know.

NNEDI OKORAFOR WINS WORLD FANTASY AWARD

Nnedi Okorafor, author of Zahrah the Windseeker, published by Farafina Books, has won the World Fantasy Award for Best Fantasy Novel for her book, Who Fears Death. Winners in other categories include Joyce Carol Oates in Short Story, Elizabeth Hand in Novella, and John Joseph Adams in Anthology.

In his review of Who Fears Death, Paul Di Filippo says: “…Okorafor exhibits a sure hand with the supernatural, crafting a convincing system of magic and depicting its usage without bombast or silliness. One gets the sense of eavesdropping on timeless rites of cosmic import.”

The book has been optioned for a film by producer Kisha Cameron-Dingle, to be directed by award-winning director, Wanuri Kahiu.

Congratulations, Nnedi!