8. Live with passion.Wait. What does this have to do with writing well? If I run off to join the Libyan revolt and have a passionate affair with a Berber woman I meet on the front lines, will that really make my prose better? Help me finish my novel about 14th-century England? Not that I have anything against passion, but why is it on this list, with avoiding the passive voice? You can't say it has been a characteristic of most great writers; for every Ernest Hemingway who sought out excitement, there has been a Marcel Proust who never did much of anything.
What my writing needs at this point of my career is not more passion, but persistent effort. I'm afraid running off to Libya won't help me there.