(previous Blogger post, September 23, 2006, Saturday)

A lot of these I’ve heeded, though I still slip on some items. These all came from people I respect – my high school English teachers, college professors, my Editor-in-Chief at my first job, and Philippine literary luminaries (not that I know them personally, I just read their columns).

1. Write everyday – a page, a paragraph, a sentence. Just write.
2. Keep a blog for your thoughts.
3. Read, read, read!!! – I think this is the one I’ve heeded the most, and this is also the advice I’ve given the most. I once met a person who asked if I’ve always been interested in writing and what makes me write better. That person was just starting to learn to be a writer. I replied that I just read everything, even product labels of patis, suka, toyo, etc. (yes, everything on it, not just the interesting portions). You never know what will turn out to be useful someday.
4. Edit yourself, but don’t overdo it. You might “over-polish” your work.
5. Use simple words.
6. Avoid the passive voice.
7. Write about the things that you are passionate about.
8. Writing is, above all, a form of expression. – From this, I got my technique of writing down all thoughts first and editing later. Sometimes though, it gets difficult to achieve coherence. Try harder, I guess.

Now, if asked for advice – and something of my own, not something passed on to me, it would be this: There is such a thing as poetic license, and there is room for it in any kind of writing, except probably in academic papers. However, as in all licenses, do not abuse it. This advice is good for people like me who do not like rules very much, hehe!

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