“What advice would you give to a writer just starting out?”

By Greg Pak
A couple of nights ago, Twitter user @JohnEton asked me “what advice would you give to a writer just starting out?” Since that’s a question that comes up pretty often, I’m re-posting my tweets below for easy reference. Enjoy!

Huge question! Let’s see… first, read read and read.
Read everything, not just comics, not just fiction. History, biography, natural science. Everything can feed your storytelling.
Train yourself to listen to the rhythms of language around you, the nuances of dialogue. The way people don’t say what they mean.
Make it a habit to write every day. Could be note-taking, recording ideas or scraps of dialogue. Eventually should be stories.
Write and write and rewrite. Get feedback, rewrite some more. It’s a long haul – for years, most of us are terrible.
Study the specific genre/format you’re interested in. For screenwriting and comics, read books about the art of dramatic writing.
Yes, write about what you know. But also, write about what you care about. Passion for your story will keep you going.
Finally, listen to the little voice inside. If it’s telling you something needs work, it needs work. Never stop making it better.
And once you have collaborators/editors, listen to them. No matter how successful you are, you still have huge amounts to learn.
I’m learning/striving to be a better writer every single day, and my editors are incredibly valuable guides.