Advice for would-be writers

READ

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  1. Good advice: Read and write.

    The Coincidence Room: I just started reading Conrad's _Nostromo_ yesterday. It's a re-read, so I'm looking forward to it, not with the excitement of something new but with the familiarity of meeting an old friend, one I haven't seen in years.

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  2. It's good advice, but I'd take it one step beyond: Read far outside your comfort zone. Many young, aspiring writers believe they'll find all the tools they'll ever need within a narrow humanities education, but exciting things happen in their minds when they encounter science, math, computer programming, business, etc., even if those encounters are frustrating and unsuccessful. Good writing, I think, is a whole-brain activity.

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