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On Writing

by habituallychic

03 . 26 . 12

I’m busy finishing up the text portion of my book so it can go to print soon and feeling a bit too frazzled to write a proper post today.  I came across this Zadie Smith On Writing post on tumblr and it seemed like a perfect fit for today.  It actually came from an article Ten Rules for Writing Fiction from The Guardian but the rules really apply to any writing. I’m going to try to work on #7 and get back to work. Later skaters!

Zadie Smith – On Writing
1 When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.
When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.
3 Don’t romanticise your “vocation”. You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no “writer’s lifestyle”. All that matters is what you leave on the page.
4 Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can’t do aren’t worth doing. Don’t mask self-doubt with contempt.
Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.
6 Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.
Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.
8 Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.
Don’t confuse honours with achievement.
10 Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand – but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.

Photo by Arthur Elgort

Comments Closed

  1. Tish March 26, 2012 | 5:35 pm

    I love Zadie and that book 🙂

  2. Karena March 26, 2012 | 6:11 pm

    Wow Heather what great advice and the image is wonderful!

    Art by Karena
    The 2012 Artist Series

  3. Simple Good Beautiful March 27, 2012 | 12:10 am

    I completely agree with # 7. Except I would further define it as a computer with no wireless connectivity whatsoever! It makes it so tempting to wander around even while one is just sitting in a chair.

  4. Anastasia March 27, 2012 | 8:12 am

    Good luck. That would be a difficult one. Look forward to your book!

    Anastasia at decor is like butter

  5. pve design March 27, 2012 | 10:03 am

    Wishing you much success and creativity with your writing. I think no.10 says it all.

  6. Inner-Outer Beauty March 27, 2012 | 1:30 pm

    Lovely post!

  7. Lisa Mende March 27, 2012 | 1:54 pm

    What great advice. As a somewhat inexperience blogger, I feel that my writing is what I need to work on most. These are great tips!

  8. MJH Design Arts March 27, 2012 | 4:58 pm

    Thanks–great post…. Also the photo: this is how I work and write, one cat at my feet and one cat on the desk, plus Jones beside me. Have an amazingly productive day. Finish it, already!! Mary

  9. Tabitha March 27, 2012 | 5:58 pm

    Yes to number 7, hubs always writes in the garden shed! Good luck!

  10. Brillante Interiors March 28, 2012 | 9:45 pm

    Loved every word.

  11. Brillante Interiors March 28, 2012 | 9:46 pm

    Loved every word.