Skip to main content

5 Tips for Fearless Writing

Putting ideas out in the world takes courage, so playing it safe with your writing can be an appealing strategy. Faced with limited writing time and abundant competition, you figure out what works, then follow that tried-and-true trajectory—for years, maybe.

But if your go-to methods are starting to feel stagnant, and your writing lacks verve and daring, it’s probably time to take a new approach. Start by disconnecting your writerly GPS. Learn to navigate by instinct rather than reason, and break a few of your own writing rules. Where will your writing take you when you follow your gut?

Writing coach and author Christina Katz offers these strategies for fearless writing from her book The Writer’s Workout:

  1.  Test-drive the little things your gut tells you to. Not just the big things—listen to your gut better on the fly, too. If you have a hunch, follow it. Turn one direction instead of the way you usually go. Give yourself choices and enjoy every choice you make.
  2. If your gut says write a novel, then take a fiction class or participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month).
  3. If a hunch says go to a writing retreat, then apply for fellowships or concoct your own getaway. Why not?
  4. If you feel gross from watching trash television, stop. If your gut says start watching a little television for a mental break now and then, then start.
  5. What is your gut saying right now? Go to a bookstore and let your gut steer your attention around the store.

Read an excerpt from The Writer's Workout.

Buy the book.

Visit ChristinaKatz.com

From Script

Adapting True Crime and True Stories for Television (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, exclusive interviews with writers and showrunners Robert Siegel and D.V. DeVincentis (“Pam & Tommy”), Patrick Macmanus and Liz Hannah (“The Girl from Plainville”) who both have taken creative liberties in adapting true stories for a limited series.

Chanel Cleeton: On Reader Enthusiasm Conjuring Novel Ideas

Chanel Cleeton: On Reader Enthusiasm Conjuring Novel Ideas

Author Chanel Cleeton discusses how reader curiosity led her to write her new historical fiction novel, Our Last Days in Barcelona.

Writer's Digest Interview | Marlon James Quote

The Writer's Digest Interview: Marlon James

Booker Prize–winning author Marlon James talks about mythology and world-building in his character-driven epic Moon Witch, Spider King, the second book in his Dark Star Trilogy in this interview from the March/April 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: New Podcast Episode, a Chance at Publication, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce our newest podcast episode, your chance to be published, and more!

David Adams Cleveland: On Truth Revealing Itself in Historical Fiction

David Adams Cleveland: On Truth Revealing Itself in Historical Fiction

Award-winning novelist David Adams Cleveland discusses the timeliness of his new novel, Gods of Deception.

Lisa Jewell | Writer's Digest Interview Quote

The WD Interview: Lisa Jewell

The New York Times-bestselling British author discusses creating thrilling plot twists and developing characters in her 19th novel, The Night She Disappeared, in this interview from the Jan/Feb 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

5 Tips for Successfully Pitching Literary Agents in Person (That Worked for Me at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference)

5 Tips for Successfully Pitching Literary Agents in Person (That Worked for Me at the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference)

Author Anat Deracine found her agent at Writer’s Digest Annual Conference. Now she’s sharing what she’s learned to help other writers become authors. Here are her 5 tips for successfully pitching literary agents in person.

Tips for Reading Poetry in Front of an Audience

8 Tips for Reading Your Poetry in Front of an Audience

Poet's Market editor and published poet Robert Lee Brewer shares eight tips for reading your poetry in front of an audience.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Strength Lost

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Strength Lost

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, let a character lose their powers.