18 May 2016
An excellent writer herself, Maria Popova, founder and sole writer of brainpickings.org released a periodical compilation of advises from great writers of old. In it, we find, Marilynne Robinson talking about the lessons writers can learn from science, Stephen King talking about the art of writing and ‘creative sleep’, Kurt Vonnegut’s eight rules of many and a lot more.
The list totals a hundred and nine tips, so you’re allowed to take your time on this one.
- Marilynne Robinson: “Beauty,” Writing, What Storytelling Can Learn from Science, and the Splendors of Uncertainty
“We are part of a mystery, a splendid mystery within which we must attempt to orient ourselves if we are to have a sense of our own nature.”
- Stephen King: Writing and the Art of “Creative Sleep”:
“In both writing and sleeping, we learn to be physically still at the same time we are encouraging our minds to unlock from the humdrum rational thinking of our daytime lives.”
- Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing
“If it sounds like writing … rewrite it.”
- Michael Lewis: Writing, Money, and the Necessary Self-Delusion of Creativity
“When you’re trying to create a career as a writer, a little delusional thinking goes a long way.”
- Annie Dillard on Writing
“At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace. It is handed to you, but only if you look for it. You search, you break your heart, your back, your brain, and then — and only then — it is handed to you.”
- Susan Sontag on Writing
“There is a great deal that either has to be given up or be taken away from you if you are going to succeed in writing a body of work.”
- Ray Bradbury: How List-Making Can Boost Your Creativity
How to feel your way toward something honest, hidden under the trapdoor on the top of your skull.
- Anne Lamott: Writing and Why Perfectionism Kills Creativity
“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life.”
- Italo Calvino on Writing: Insights from 40+ Years of His Letters
“To write well about the elegant world you have to know it and experience it to the depths of your being… what matters is not whether you love it or hate it, but only to be quite clear about your position regarding it.”
- Ernest Hemingway : Writing, Knowledge, and the Danger of Ego
“All bad writers are in love with the epic.”
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