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Friday, October 7, 2011

Advice from 25 Writers

Jocelyn K. Glei has assembled tips from 25 writers on writing habits, organizing your projects, feedback, second readers, getting stuck, outlines, etc. at the blog 99% by Behance.

A few that felt relevant to me were:

Haruki Murakami: On building up your ability to concentrate...In private correspondence the great mystery writer Raymond Chandler once confessed that even if he didn’t write anything, he made sure he sat down at his desk every single day and concentrated. I understand the purpose behind his doing this. This is the way Chandler gave himself the physical stamina a professional writer needs, quietly strengthening his willpower. This sort of daily training was indispensable to him.

Geoff Dyer: On the power of multiple projects...Have more than one idea on the go at any one time. If it's a choice between writing a book and doing nothing I will always choose the latter. It's only if I have an idea for two books that I choose one rather than the other. I always have to feel that I'm bunking off from something.

Annie Dillard: On things getting out of control...A work in progress quickly becomes feral. It reverts to a wild state overnight... it is a lion growing in strength. You must visit it every day and reassert your mastery over it. If you skip a day, you are, quite rightly, afraid to open the door to its room. You enter its room with bravura, holding a chair at the thing and shouting, ‘Simba!’

Cory Doctorow: On writing when the going gets tough...Write even when the world is chaotic. You don’t need a cigarette, silence, music, a comfortable chair, or inner peace to write. You just need ten minutes and a writing implement.

Enjoy all the quotes at the link above.

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