What’s your advice to new writers?
Mike Elgan: Originality is the most important thing, which is why you should avoid clichés, idioms and other commonly used words and phrases. Just talk plainly and say what’s true. It’s impossible to be too clear.
Writing is nothing more than organized thinking captured in written language. The thinking is what matters most. When you are thinking about what you’ll write, you’re actually engaged in the craft of writing — you’re doing the most important part of writing. So write in the shower. Write while you’re falling asleep. Write all the time, guard your attention and don’t let anyone steal it while you’re writing, even if you’re not typing.
Emotion creates memory and reader affinity. Humor is emotion and often the most powerful one. Don’t tell jokes. Expose the humor of reality and truth.
Blogging is a powerful learning tool because your readers will teach you to anticipate what they’re going to be confused about, disagree with and what they like and don’t like. You can use that anticipation to write better.
See full interview here: http://www.advicetowriters.com/interviews/2012/5/25/mike-elgan.html