Home > Freelance Writing > 3 Writing Tips From Diana Gabaldon – How to Be a Writer

3 Writing Tips From Diana Gabaldon – How to Be a Writer

These writing tips from Diana Gabaldon, a bestselling author, will show you how to be a writer – especially when you’re discouraged and tired! Successful writers put their feelings aside and treat writing like it is: their work.

Why? Because it’s a job. For instance, when emergency room doctors are discouraged, they can’t lie down for a snooze. When garbage men are tired, they don’t sit on the sidewalk and count the red minivans that drive by. When law firm partners feel discombobulated, they can’t put down the brief and stare off into space (for very long, anyway).

So, successful writers can’t just say “I don’t feel creative, or inspired, or motivated. I don’t wanna write today.”


Well, they could say that but then they wouldn’t be that successful!

Diana Gabaldon is bestselling author who knows how to be a writer. Here are her three writing tips, from Susan Perry’s Writing in Flow: Keys to Enhanced Creativity.

Diana Gabaldon’s Tips on How to Be a Writer

1) Read lots so you’ll learn to tell the difference between good and bad writing, and why things work or don’t work. To improve your writing skills, read 7 Tips for Writing for Publication.

2) Write. The only thing that matters is getting words on paper, and it’s the only way you’ll discover what works for you. It doesn’t matter if you write the book in a straight line, backward, if you use an outline, or if you write it in little pieces and glue them together.

3) Don’t stop. The only way you can fail at writing is to give up.

An additional tip: write even when you feel bad, discouraged, or hopeless! Successful writers have to write when they’re discouraged, uninspired, bored, or tired. I’ve read – and I know from personal experience – that what you write when you don’t feel like writing is as good as what you write when “the writing muse” has joined you.

I further bet that if you looked at your past writing, you wouldn’t be able to tell when you felt inspired and when you felt drained. You may remember how you felt, but you may not see your fatigue or discouragement in your writing.

If you really don’t feel like writing, go somewhere pretty and read. If you notice what works and what doesn’t in the book you’re reading, then you’ll still be adhering to Diana Gabaldon’s tips for writing.

And you’ll be a successful writer! One of my writing tips is to keep trying, keep pitching, keep sending out book proposals and manuscripts and article pitches….because sooner or later, you will get published.

For more writing tips, read I Want to Be a Writer! Where Do I Start My Writing Career?


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If you have any thoughts on Gabaldon’s tips for successful writers, I welcome your comments below.

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2 thoughts on “3 Writing Tips From Diana Gabaldon – How to Be a Writer”

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thanks Kristin…I’m always so impressed with writers who write in English and become successful writers! It’s hard enough when you speak English well, much less writing when English is a struggle.

    Keep writing, my friend!

  2. Great article, then it seems to be hope for me as well, I have a goal to write a book about my life one day. Just now I have my own blog and I struggle with every article because this is so new to me. I need every good advice I can get. As my native language is not English I struggle with that as well but I learn a lot all the time. It was a new advice to write when you don’t feel like it – I often feel it hard to write when I am not inspired but I will try that advice and see how it works. Thanks,

    Be yourself and be happy, never stop dreaming!

    Kristin