Writing tips: from writers for writers

Asher Jay’s top ten writing tips for writers

In a series of posts, we here at Nothing in the Rulebook have been asking writers to share their top tips and advice on writing. Today, it is our pleasure to bring you the top writing tips from Asher Jay – artist, writer, National Geographic Explorer and creative conservationist.

Whether you enjoy writing simply for the pleasure it gives you, or if you are looking to develop and improve, these great little pieces of advice will set you on your way!

  1. Write what you know, but more importantly know how you feel about what you know.
  2. Own your words. Own you.
  3. Don’t be afraid to speak up.
  4. Don’t doubt.
  5. Have someone else proof your work. (Ideally an editor.)
  6. Accept counter perspectives and criticisms gracefully.
  7. Assimilate the other. Don’t fracture yourself or the collective with your words.
  8. Cast a light not shadows with your content.
  9. Don’t sensationalize just to sell your story.
  10. Treat ignorance with compassion not condescension.

So there you have it, writers! Some excellent tips to mull over and help you through any unfortunate bouts of creative block – and send you on your way to publication. For further inspiration, we recommend visiting Asher’s website!


    1. It’s so important to stand up and speak up for what you believe in. Think of Kurt Vonnegut – After hearing that his book was not only banned, but burned in a school’s furnace, Vonnegut wrote a personalized letter to the head of the school board, stating, “If you were to bother to read my books, to behave as educated persons would, you would learn that they are not sexy, and do not argue in favor of wildness of any kind. They beg that people be kinder and more responsible than they often are. It is true that some of the characters speak coarsely. That is because people speak coarsely in real life.” This sort of assertiveness was characteristic of Vonnegut – but it’s useful too, I think, for all writers. It’s easy to face the barrage of inevitable rejection letters you receive when submitting short stories/poems or novel manuscripts and start to believe what you’re writing is flawed. But the likelihood is that it is not! Rather, it’s important to stand up for your story; stand up for what makes it important to you; what does it mean to you and why? Be assertive. Write back. Don’t think less of yourself.

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