This is a sequel of sorts to a post I wrote a while back collecting words of wit and wisdom about writing, curated by me, a person deeply suspicious of One-Size-Fits-All writing advice. Nevertheless, occasionally a few choice observations manage to penetrate my thick carapace of scepticism to earn the AKA seal of approval. It’s no coincidence that all of the quotations below come from writers I admire. Here are some of my recent favourites:
"Write like everyone you know is dead. You can't please everyone, so don't try."
Joe R. Lansdale
(2) Actually sit and write, treating it as a craft. FaceBook fighting is not writing.
(3) Take criticism as a criticism of your work and not you, despite how it feels. You are not perfect, everything can be improved. It will take someone other than yourself to usually find where you need to improve on that.
(4) Operate with realism not convenience, since the latter is detectable bullshit.
(5) Be aware of patterns in your writing.
Alex De Campi from this interview at 3quarksdaily. Also: Buy Her Comics! They're great.
Alan Moore from The Honest Alan Moore Interview - Part 3: On Comics, How to Break Into Comics, and Modern Culture
One day you might read over what you've done and think about it. You pick up the pencil or turn on the computer, but no new words come. That's fine. Sometimes you can't go further. Correct a misspelling, reread a perplexing paragraph, and then let it go. You have re-entered the dream of the work, and that's enough to keep the story alive for another 24 hours.
The next day you might write for hours; there's no way to tell. The goal is not a number of words or hours spent writing. All you need to do is to keep your heart and mind open to the work.
Warren Ellis from his excellent blogpost The Manfred Macx Media Diet