2. Sometimes you need to simplify. Even if, in real life, a conflict can be malaise or not knowing what exactly they want ... that doesn't cut it in books.
3. Everything has to be cohesive.
4. If you spend four hours at a restaurant table, you better tip well or feel really guilty.
5. Listening to music can help shape your story structure.
6. Read. Read. Read. ... Read.
7. Sometimes you have to wait all day for a problem to get worked out. And then you might spend all night writing it.
8. If you haven't worked out a main character's motivation, it doesn't matter how great the rest of the book is.
9. There will always be someone better than you.
10. There will always be someone worse than you.
11. It's not a competition.
12. No one is going to read your story like you want them to. Set aside your purposes for writing it.
13. Watch out how much food you consume. Entire jars of cookies can disappear during a writing binge.
14. You may have to cut the part you love the most.
15. You shouldn't give up the heart and soul of your story.
16. Physical descriptions can make or break a character. Too much, and it becomes laughable. Too little, and they're a floating vapor.
17. Spouses don't like to be kept up by bedroom lights while you try to read until three in the morning. Invest in a book clip light.
18. Buy from independent bookstores.
19. Read each others' work.
20. Don't congratulate yourself too much.
21. Don't get down on yourself too much.
22. The first time you write something, it won't be gold. That's okay.
23. Short stories are a great place to try new things, instead of trying to jam it into your already in-progress novel.
24. Novels take a long time to write.
25. Short stories take a long time to write.
26. Everything takes a long time to write. Have patience.
27. Bring music into your car/commute. You can think while you do Muggle things like driving.
28. You still need to do Muggle things, like going out in the sun and calling your parents.
29. Your parents will probably not understand what it is you're trying to do with your life.
30. That's okay.
31. Exercising makes your brain clearer, and it makes you write more.
32. Query letters suck.
33. Synopses and summaries suck.
34. Writing sucks.
35. But sometimes, you write a really cool scene, and you remember why you're going to all the trouble.
36. Finally, if enough stress and deadline pressure is applied, I can in fact guzzle an entire 2-Liter of Coke Zero in one setting.