Last night I had the opportunity to hear Elizabeth Gilbert read the first chapter of her new book Committed: A Septic makes Peace with Marriage at Agnes Scott College.

committedNot surprisingly, she’s very well spoken and did a wonderful job answering audience questions with eloquent and relevant responses (not as easy as it sounds).

One fellow fan asked “What advice do you have for other writers?”  Aside from the usual, obvious, and often overlooked advice to “actually write,” E.G. shared a suggestion her sister (a successful author of young adult novels) once gave her.

That advice, summarized, was this – Whatever you’re writing, from an email to a term paper to an article to a novel, write it like you’re writing to one person – not to the whole world. Decide who that one person is, and write like you’re writing it for them alone.  It will make the project more personal and less intimidating. (Think “How the heck do I follow up a smash hit like Eat, Pray, Love?”)

I thought this was brilliant advice! I left the reading with my signed copy of Committed (got my Eat, Pray, Love signed too!) feeling inspired and excited to read E.G.’s latest insights.

Check out Elizabeth Gilbert’s website for more of her thoughts on writing.