21 tips to better writing

Writing tip #1
Do it. Do it every day. Every hour. Every half-hour. Every second,
in your head.

Writing tip #2
Find the right spot. On the john. In the kitchen. On the La-Z-Boy. At Starbucks,
if you must.

Writing tip #3
Drink coffee. Lots of coffee. Don’t drink liquor, and don’t smoke, for Christ’s sake.
Your lungs!

Writing tip #4
Feel something. Anything. Angry. Sad. Whiney. Woozy.

Writing tip #5
Don’t force it. Let it slide out,
like a smooth number two.

Writing tip #6
Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. Don’t just write. Read.
Do your homework.

Writing tip #7
Then forget everything.

Writing tip #8
Be confident, but dream small. Don’t wanna hurt yourself,

Writing tip #9
Get used to rejection.

Writing tip #10
Submit your work only when absolutely, 100% ready. Don’t pull the trigger,
unless you’re prepared to kill.

Writing tip #11
Read your work out loud. Don’t like your voice?
Get over it.

Writing tip #12
If you’re the planning type, plan. If not, well, let ‘er rip.

Writing tip #13 Have faith, but just a little.

Writing tip #14
Be honest. Genuine. Dig under your nasty skin.
Nobody likes a clean freak.

Writing tip #15
Accept the unwritten, unspoken agreement that this thing called
writing is a blood pact,
a firepool.

Writing tip #16
If you hate your work, delete it.
If you love it, dump it like a psychotic lover.

Writing tip #17
Have a thought? Write it down.
Ideas are

Writing tip #18
If you’ve read this far, you need help. You’ve got serious problems.

Writing tip #19
Slice your wrist open with a pen.
Dip pen in blood.
Write in it.
Smear your walls with it.
Bathe in it.
Drink it.

Writing tip #20
Don’t write.
You’re not hungry.

This isn’t for you.

[Writing tip #21 omitted per author’s request]


Alex Z. Salinas lives in San Antonio, Texas. His full-length poetry collection, Warbles, was released by Hekate Publishing in fall 2019. His short fiction has appeared in publications such as Every Day Fiction, Red Fez, Defenestration, Points in Case, Ariel Chart, The Piker Press, and Schlock! Webzine. He is poetry editor of the San Antonio Review.

Judson Evans is a full-time Instructor in the Liberal Arts department at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee where he has taught a range of courses, from a Poetry Workshop on haiku, prose poetry and haibun, to a course on theories of cave art and the role of the cave in ritual and philosophy. In 2007 he was chosen by John Yau as an Emerging Poet for The Academy of American Poets. He was one of the founding members of Off the Park Press, and published work in each of its three anthologies responding to provocative contemporary painters. His most recent work has been published in (print journals) Laurel Review, Folio, Volt; 1913: a journal of forms; and Green Mountains Review, and (online journals) White Whale Review and Amethyst Arsenic. He won The Phillip Booth Poetry Award from Salt Hill Review in 2013. He has collaborated with composers, such Mohammed Fairouz, Mart Epstein, and Rudolf Rojhan, who set several of his poems to music, as well as with choreographers, dancers, musicians and other poets, including Gale Batchelder, and videographers Nate Tucker and Ray Klimek.