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Timeless Writing Advice: #1

Norma Shainin on Surprising Yourself, Eavesdropping, and Safe Sailing

"Squelch the censor in your head, the one that's telling you what you think other people want to read; that way you'll surprise yourself and keep at it long after common sense tells you to attend to more profitable pursuits. Be nosy. Eavesdrop. Write about what and whom you know, but well disguised, the better to dumbfound family and friends. Go into the garden as long as weather and your knees permit. Don't swim or sail alone."

Norma Shainin was born in New York City and now resides in rural Western Washington State. She has always loved books and worked for a publisher, bookseller and print shop before becoming a writer. Early on, one of her short stories was chosen for the PEN Syndicated Fiction Project. Less solitary (but requiring more muscle) was her job as prop master and set decorator on the independent film, "Apart From That."

Shainin won 1st place in the NMW 29th Awards Contest for her Flash Fiction story, "The Famous Writer."

The final deadline for the 42nd Writing Awards Contest is July 31, 2016. It's time to submit!

You can also grab a copy of the 24th anthology or join NMW's email list.

Read NMW's 40th Flash Fiction Award Winner.

Explore more writing advice.

Excerpt from New Millennium Writings: Issue 20 (2011)

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