David Thomas shares top 10 tips for writers in Lewis speaker series kickoff
Best-selling author and former Fort Worth Star-Telegram writer David Thomas shared his keys to developing and maintaining a successful writing career in the inaugural installment of the Marjorie Herrera Lewis Endowed Speaker Series Honoring the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Tuesday, March 31.
ESPN broadcaster Brooke Williamson emceed the event, held in Martin Hall and attended by Texas Wesleyan students, faculty and staff, as well as community members and friends of the university.
Thomas offered a top 10 list of invaluable tips for writers of all levels:
1. Set Realistic Expectations
If you don't set realistic goals, you will set yourself up for disappointment. A good example of this is someone who tries out for American Idol thinking they will be the next Carrie Underwood.
2. Understand That Writing is Hard
Good writers write, rewrite, rewrite and rewrite again.
3. Write and Keep Writing
Writing skills are like the muscles in your body. You have to train them if you want to develop them.
Write even if you're the only audience.
4. Read … A Lot
Don't just read the good stuff, either — exposing yourself to bad writing helps you recognize when yours isn't up to standards.
5. Understand a Writer's Responsibility
Words are powerful, and you need to handle that power responsibly.
6. Develop Thick Skin
Writing is one of the leading causes of criticism. Learn to evaluate and understand how you can improve your work.
7. Write About What You Enjoy
If you write about what you enjoy, it will show in your writing. It may not reflect in your paycheck right away, but it will down the road as you learn money isn't everything.
8. Writing is not Math
There is no correct answer in writing — it can always be better. The best writers are the ones who never stop trying to improve.
9. Remember Why You Write
We are wired as human beings to have a purpose. Ask yourself why you write, then physically write it somewhere so you can reference it on days when you can't remember why you love it.
10. Find a Marjorie and Be a Marjorie
The value of a mentor as a young writer can't be measured. The opportunities, skill development and guidance you get can shape your entire career.
Seek a mentor, and when you "arrive" in your career, pay it forward by investing your time in developing people.
Thomas was a student of Lewis' when she taught a sports writing class at the University of Texas at Arlington.