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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Writing Advice

Authors Publish has collected a list of 29 authors' writing rules and advice. Here are a few of my favorites:

From Jack Kerouac
19. Accept loss forever 

From Geoff Dyer
6 Have regrets. They are fuel. On the page they flare into desire.

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.

10 Never ride a bike with the brakes on. If something is proving too difficult, give up and do something else. Try to live without resort to per­severance. But writing is all about perseverance. You’ve got to stick at it. In my 30s I used to go to the gym even though I hated it. The purpose of going to the gym was to postpone the day when I would stop going. That’s what writing is to me: a way of postponing the day when I won’t do it any more, the day when I will sink into a depression so profound it will be indistinguishable from perfect bliss.

From Henry Miller
5. When you can't create you can work.

From Hilary Mantel
7.  If you see a habit forming, break it.

From Andrew Motion
2 Think with your senses as well as your brain.
5 Remember there is no such thing as nonsense.

From Annie Proulx
3 Write slowly and by hand only about subjects that interest you.

From Zadie Smith
  1. Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can't do aren't worth doing. Don't mask self-doubt with contempt.
  2. Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.
3 Stay in your mental pajamas all day.
7 If you have to read, to cheer yourself up read biographies of writers who went insane.

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