February 6, 2014

There is Only One Writing Advice

Dear M,

You may read books, articles and blogs on writing, and spend hours and years trying to fathom other authors' writing styles. Actually there is so much you can do to understand writing. You can get into discussions, listen, contribute, argue, debate, learn. There is no end to the homework you can do on writing. (As in everything else, of course.)

But it all boils down to one thing, really.
Don't stop writing, even for a day.

If you do, you stop being a writer. And if you are not a writer, then nothing else you learn makes sense.
Show, not tell.
Metaphor, simile, oxymoron,...
Hemingway, Proust, Kafka, Neruda...
Writers must read everything they can get their hands on.
Write about what you believe in; write about what you know; write about what interests you,...
Write like this, don't write like that...

If you aren't writing, what should any of this matter? And if you do not have experience of your own, you cannot even preach to others.
Write. All rules come afterwards.


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