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Nikki Giovanni’s writing advice

Last weekend, Nikki Giovanni opened up about writing at the Antioch Writers’ Workshop in Yellow Springs, Ohio. It was the 30th anniversary of the Writers’ Workshop, and Giovanni held the floor for the keynote and a session on the “craft of writing.” It’s clear she’s a woman who says what she thinks and lives how she wants to live. I captured audio from her speeches and turned some of it into a short video:

Here are more of my favorite quotes:

The answer to everything is yes. Whenever anyone has an idea or a suggestion, you always say yes. Then, you figure out how you’re going to do it and make it grow.

Every journey you go on, every task you undertake creates a new and different version of yourself.

When you’re writing, look at each sentence and ask ‘What else happened here?’

Don’t be afraid to think of something ridiculous. All I’m doing is trying to get you to trust yourself.

It’s imporant to do something different and let it wash over you. You begin to see your story through someone else’s eyes.

Don’t say you need to get something published. You’re doing it for you.

Writing is not about the words. It’s about what’s in your heart when you start. You have every right and obligation to enjoy your work.

I don’t pick on myself. Relax and enjoy and tell your story. Don’t let it burden you.

It’s important to be positive. I’m not a fan of mistakes. A “mistake” is something you learn from. How can that be a mistake?

Fredrick Marion

Fredrick Marion

I like books that refuse to let you sleep at night. I like coffee, talking animals and hearing from readers. Sign up for my email newsletter, and I’ll send my latest blog posts to your inbox!

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