11 Pieces of Advice From Writers



1.  “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” – Anton Chekhov

2.  “Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.” — Zadie Smith

3.  “Write drunk; edit sober.” – Ernest Hemingway

4.  “It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.” – Ernest Hemingway

5.  “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” – Mark Twain 

6a.  “Say it once, say it well, and move on.” – To be honest, I’m not sure.  I might have made this one up.  If you know who said this please let me know in the comments.

6b.  “Don’t explain.” – Billie Holiday

6c.  “End with an image and don’t explain.” – Stanley Kunitz

7.  “Don’t write to become famous or to make a lot of money.  Write because you love it. Write because not writing for more than a few days feels like you have abandoned a puppy in a mineshaft.  Save the puppy.”  – Joe Beernink

8.  “Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you.” ― Neil Gaiman

9.  “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time — or the tools — to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King

10.  “The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying ‘Faire et se taire’ (Flaubert), which I translate for myself as ‘Shut up and get on with it.’” — Helen Simpson

11.  “Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously.” – Lev Grossman

Plus one for good luck:

39 comments on “11 Pieces of Advice From Writers”

  1. Reblogged this on kinginascent and commented:
    Some inspiration for you before you sit down to write. Me, I use experimental compounds with hallucinogenic properties. Sure I can crank out a few thousand words but have you tried to chase a giant snake out of your living room? 😉 For those of you who don’t want to face ancient gods reborn then let these gentle words ease you onto the waterbed of inspiration and gently tease stories from your tender brainflesh.

  2. You’ve included some of the favorite quotes on writing. I believe my favorite on is still, “One day I will find the right words and they will be simple.” ~ Jack Kerouac.

  3. I just read a book called Nice Guys Finish Seventh, which is all about how famous people didn’t really say the things that everyone thinks they said. I’m sure all your quotes are accurate though. If they aren’t, they should be! Especially Mr. Hemingway’s. Thanks for a great post!

  4. “Write because not writing for more than a few days feels like you have abandoned a puppy in a mineshaft.” That’s a good way to put it. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and good luck with your writing!

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