The 12 Best Writing Tips & Tricks, Based On Your Zodiac Sign
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty inconsistent about my belief in the power of the zodiac. I mean, on the one hand, it's total pseudoscience with no basis in any legitimate school of thought. On the other hand, you won't catch me dating a Scorpio to save my life (I made that mistake once already). And if you're a writer, I'm going to go ahead and assume that you're already spending a lot of your daily "writing time" looking up your own horoscope and eating blocks of cheese. So here's a writing tip just for you, based on your zodiac sign, because even the celestial powers-that-be think you should stop playing Candy Crush and get back to work on your manuscript.
Really, any zodiac sign can make for a brilliant writer. But your writing style and strengths probably vary depending on the planets that govern your life. You might be a perfectionist Virgo, agonizing over every comma and em dash. You might be a heartfelt Pisces, writing subversive poetry from your daybed/blanket fort/cabin in the woods. You might be a confident Leo, already 400 pages into your own autobiography. Whatever you write and however you write it, every writer could use a dose of inspirational (or kick-in-the-pants) advice from the cosmos:
Aries: Be bold
Aries, you don't really need me to tell you to be bold. You're already as headstrong and stubborn as they come. You're not a sheep, you're a ram. And writing is one of those few professions where your reckless impulse to dive in head first might actually be an asset.
“People say to write about what you know. I'm here to tell you, no one wants to read that, cos you don't know anything. So write about something you don't know. And don't be scared, ever.” - Toni Morrison
Taurus: Accept Yourself
You may come across as practical and down to earth, Taurus, but deep down you like finer things in life. You like romance, fine wines, and attractive throw pillows. You might be tempted to try and squash all of the romantic notions out of your writing, but what's embarrassing to you will sound beautiful to someone else.
"You know that sickening feeling of inadequacy and over-exposure you feel when you look upon your own empurpled prose? Relax into the awareness that this ghastly sensation will never, ever leave you, no matter how successful and publicly lauded you become. It is intrinsic to the real business of writing and should be cherished." - Will Self
Gemini: Show, Don't Tell
It's an old standby writing tip, but it's a good rule to live by, Gemini. You're one of the most communicative signs, and you love to talk. And that's good, because good writers are often the best storytellers. Just make sure that when you're writing, you're showing the reader what's going on more often than just explaining the story.
"Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." - Anton Chekhov
Cancer: Be Honest
It's OK, Cancer. I know that you've spent your entire life up until this exact moment fighting to bottle up the tumult of emotions inside you, but you can let them out now. Beneath that hard crab shell is your soft, disgusting crab interior, and that's where you have to write from. Be honest, even if it seems like you have more feelings to sort through than everyone else.
“If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.” ― Anne Lamott
Leo: Listen To Your Critics (Up To A Point)
Leos can make great writers, because they're usually confident enough to believe that everyone wants to hear what they have to say (whether or not that's the case). But, Leo, you have to strike a careful balance between trusting your critics and trusting yourself. Let other people read your writing, consider their opinions carefully, and then do what feels right to you.
“Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong." – Neil Gaiman
Virgo: Be Messier
You make a fantastic editor, Virgo. You live for the details, and you like to get things right. But when it comes to sitting down and writing that first draft... you need to loosen up a bit. Stop cleaning the windows, stop searching for the perfect writing music, stop agonizing over the the first lines. Just schedule your writing time (I know you have a planner), and write whatever comes to mind.
“Find your best time of the day for writing and write. Don’t let anything else interfere. Afterwards it won’t matter to you that the kitchen is a mess.” - Esther Freud
Libra: Don't Try To Please Everyone
Libras are one of the most easygoing, popular signs in the night sky. You're a well-balanced Libra, and everyone likes you! Right? Let go of the idea that everyone has to like your writing, because holding out for universal popularity takes a very long time. Instead, find what you want to write and then write that, even if it's not for everybody.
“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” - Kurt Vonnegut
Scorpio: Follow Your Passion
You will never convince a Scorpio to do something they don't want to do (believe me, I've tried). Scorpios are a passionate, intense sign. You can only write what you want to write, Scorpio. So lean into that passion, and write like your life depends on it. Treat your writing like something you have to do to get through the day, something that fuels you, and stick with it.
"Something that irritates you and won’t let you go. That’s the anguish of it. Do this book, or die. You have to go through that. Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.” - James Baldwin
Sagittarius: Don't Give Up
Your great strength, Sagittarius, is how adaptable you are. You're enthusiastic, flexible, thoughtful, fun... but you're not always amazing at committing to things. If you get stuck in the middle of writing something, don't bounce away to your next Sagittarian adventure. Use your adaptability to change things around until you've demolished that roadblock, and then keep on going until you're out of the woods.
“Don’t sit down in the middle of the woods. If you’re lost in the plot or blocked, retrace your steps to where you went wrong. Then take the other road. And/or change the person. Change the tense. Change the opening page.” - Margaret Atwood
Capricorn: Take a Step Back
You're a hard worker, Capricorn. You're ambitious, goal-oriented, and serious about what you do. The only thing I have to add to your admirable work ethic is this: RELAX. Take three huge steps back, Capricorn. No one writes a novel overnight. Even when you finish that first draft, let it ferment for a little while before you declare it done. You're on the right track, don't wear yourself out.
“When you finish your novel, if money is not a desperate priority, if you do not need to sell it at once or be published that very second—put it in a drawer. For as long as you can manage. A year or more is ideal—but even three months will do. Step away from the vehicle.” - Zadie Smith
Aquarius: Start Working, and Inspiration Will Follow
Aquarians are a diverse bunch. Some are quiet and intensely thoughtful, others are out in the streets calling for revolution. All of you tend to live on a slightly different planet from the rest of us. Sometimes that independence can be great for creating art, but other times you just need to be sat down in front of a computer, here on earth. You're a deep thinker who wants to create something big, but start small for now. Read and write as much as you can, and inspiration will follow.
“Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too.” - Isabel Allende
Pisces: Have Fun
You've gotten trapped in your head, Pisces. Yeah yeah, all great writers like to moan about how writing is hard and tragic, but remember that you're writing because you want to write. Have fun with it. You're an imaginative, artistic sign, but sometimes you get discouraged. When then happens, write yourself happy as much as you can.
“Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. ...Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.” - Stephen King