Curation Corner: Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments of Writing

HENRY MILLER Word CloudHenry Miller’s 11 Commandments of Writing

Thanks to Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings for this excellent page that includes Miller’s ‘daily program’.

My favorites: 

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  3. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.

 

Curation Corner: On sticking to your story, a daily 15 minutes, and chipping away

ALDERMAN McCANN CHANDLER WRITERS WORD CLOUD
Don’t ever write anything you don’t like yourself and if you do like it, don’t take anyone else’s advice about changing it. They just don’t know.

RAYMOND CHANDLER

***

Write for fifteen minutes every day. Set a time in advance, set a timer. Try to write at the same time every day. Your subconscious will get used to the idea and will start to work like a reliable water spout.

NAOMI ALDERMAN

***

The terror of the white page never goes away, no matter how much you publish. Do you know how terrified I was this morning, as I woke up and walked into my latest novel? And it doesn’t get any better. Every time I finish a piece of work, I am completely terrified that I’m going to be found out, that I’m a charlatan, that I have nothing left anymore. That I can’t do it anymore. It’s no good; I’ve lost touch. Through all of that, you find another block of stone. You just continue to carve and chip away.

COLUM McCANN

***

Thanks to Jon Winokur–via his Twitter feed– and his Advice to Writers for these first three quotes.

Curation Corner: Bradbury, Goldberg, and Faulkner quotes

From the ‘Do as I share, not as I do’ department:

writers quotes wisdom Bradbury 2

When you write – explode – fly apart – disintegrate! Then give time enough to think, cut, rework, and rewrite.

RAY BRADBURY

From the ‘Cripes, I hate it when people make me feel responsible for my own life’ department…
Sometimes people say to me, “I want to write, but I have five kids, a full-time job, a wife who beats me, a tremendous debt to my parents,” and so on.

I say to them, “There is no excuse. If you want to write, write. This is your life. You are responsible for it. You will not live forever. Don’t wait. Make the time now, even if it is ten minutes once a week.’

NATALIE GOLDBERG

From the ‘Benefits of setting the bar low’ department: 

Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.

WILLIAM FAULKNER

 

 

Some good writing quotes…

word cloud with keywords quotes, writing Atwood Trillin Rosenfeld

While I’m sure these first two quotes exist elsewhere, I found them courtesy of Jon Winokur. By the way, one of my favorite books? W.O.W. [Writers on Writing] by Jon Winokur.


As far as I’m concerned, “whom” is a word that was invented to make everyone sound like a butler.

Calvin Trillin


You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there’s no free lunch. Writing is work. It’s also gambling. You don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but essentially you’re on your own. Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine.

Margaret Atwood


No matter how grand or ordinary your idea, you must take it through an alchemical process that transforms it into a story.

Jordan Rosenfeld