This quote from William Zinsser [On Writing Well is his best-known work.] takes an opposite tack to yesterday’s Writing With No Direction post.
Writing is linear and sequential; Sentence B must follow Sentence A, and Sentence C must follow Sentence B, and eventually you get to Sentence Z. The hard part of writing isn’t the writing; it’s the thinking. You can solve most of your writing problems if you stop after every sentence and ask: What does the reader need to know next?
Curated from my daily email from Jon Winokur’s https://advicetowriters.com/
“The only thing I’ve got better at as the years have gone by is I’ve grown more resigned to the fact that it comes hard. You realize that hesitation and frustration and waiting are part of the process, and you don’t panic. I get a lot better at not panicking. I get up every morning early if it’s a writing day and I will do nothing else but write that day. But the secret is not to panic if it doesn’t come.”
I appreciated Mary Gaitskill’s wisdom in this item I gleaned from advicetowriters.com
Here’s an excerpt from the excerpt:
“When you’re writing on the computer, you don’t cross it out, you just delete it. But now, if I’m not sure, I don’t delete it. Instead of making the revision, I just put it in a bracket and write my second idea, and I can look back and see which I think was better, because sometimes the first thing is actually better.“
So you’ve shrugged off criticism.
And writer’s guilt? Gone for now!
But someone approaches you with a profitable offer and, freed of fear and doubt, you say, “Yes.”
Here are a few tips on tackling a big writing job…[Note: this is geared toward academia, but the guidelines still apply.]
On the fiction side, try some prewriting strategies.
You have to decide which ones are worth listening to.
A few gems from those who have lived with criticism throughout their entire writing life…
“If critics say your work stinks it’s because they want it to stink and they can make it stink by scaring you into conformity with their comfortable little standards. Standards so low that they can no longer be considered “dangerous” but set in place in their compartmental understandings.” — Jack Kerouac
“The thing people don’t realize, God bless them, is that my books are supposed to suck.”
— Stephanie Meyer
“I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works.” — Samuel Johnson
“Critics in New York are made by their dislikes, not by their enthusiasms.” — Irwin Shaw