Oh me! Oh my! Dr. Seuss’s 3 writing tips to help you get by.May 25th, 2017 by Jonathan Merritt
Your writing feels lifeless,
Your writing feels dead.
How will you ever, ever, ever get ahead?
Theodor Geisel authored 29 books beginning in 1939. He wrote with unsurpassed flare under the pen name Dr. Seuss, and his work is a veritable college course in creative writing. Among the lessons writers can learn from his work:
- The rhythm of your writing matters. Always read it aloud before publishing.
- Your writing should be fun and enjoyable to read.
- Nothing substitutes for strong style.
- Sometimes shorter is better. After all, most of Dr. Seuss’s books are a handful of pages long.
But some of the best lessons on writing comes not from the structure and syntax, but Dr. Seuss’s prose itself.
Here are 3 writing tips from Dr. Seuss’ most famous books:
1. People matter more than you assume.
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.”
–Horton Hears a Who!
Many of the writers I coach are selfish in their craft. They write as if no one is listening, and then they wonder why no one is listening. The Write Brilliant philosophy, which we teach in our online course, is built on the premise that people matter.
That means that you matter, so you should write with style. But your readers matter too, so you should write with your audience in mind.
2. If you stop learning, you should stop writing.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
–Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
Writing is the act of giving. You’re giving words, time, ideas, advice, stories, and the essence of who you are. No matter how deep the cistern, it will run dry if not refilled. You must keep learning, reading, growing, and going.
But for now, remember: If you stop filling the well, you can’t quench your readers’ thirst.
3. You already have what it takes.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”
–Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
I’ve coached more writers than I can remember. They’ve gone on to become bestselling authors, power bloggers, editors, and some are coaches themselves now. But you know? Each person already had the necessary elements to become a writer.
Are you ready to work your tushy off?
Are you committed to learning the rules of writing and then learning when to break them?
Are you brave enough to place the message you’ve been given on paper?
Then you already have what it takes. You only need the right training and some practice to get there. The future is up to you.
Share this article with your friends, and make sure you bookmark it. The next time you get discouraged, come back and review these simple tips from one of the best writers of all time. Or, to phrase it a bit more like Theodor Geisel:
If your face has turned red
Or three shades of chartreuse,
Take the deepest of deep breaths,
Then heed the great Dr. Seuss.