15 Writers - The Best Writing Advice They Received
- Alice Kahn: The best writing advice I’ve ever heard: Don’t write like you went to college.
- Andrei Codrescu: Best advice I ever got was from the Romanian poet Nichita Stanescu, who told me in Bucharest, before I emigrated: ‘Learn English. French is dead.’
- Christopher Buckley: The best advice on writing I’ve ever received was from William Zinsser: ‘Be grateful for every word you can cut.’
- Cynthia Ozick: The best advice on writing I’ve ever received is: Write with authority.
- David Guterson: The best advice on writing I’ve ever received is to take it seriously, because to do it well is all-consuming.
- George Plimpton: I think the best advice on writing I’ve received was from John Steinbeck, who suggested that one way to get around writer’s block (which I was suffering hideously at the time) was to pretend to be writing to an aunt, or a girlfriend. I did this, writing to an actress friend I knew, Jean Seberg. The editors of Harpers forgot to take off the salutation and that’s how the article begins in the magazine: Dear Jean….
- James Atlas: The best advice on writing I’ve ever received was from Dwight Macdonald: ‘Everything about the same subject in the same place.’
- Margaret Carlson: Best writing advice I’ve ever received: Sell everything three times.
- Nick Tosches: The best advice on writing I’ve ever received was given to me, like so much else, by Hubert Selby, Jr.: to learn and to know that writing is not an act of the self, except perhaps as exorcism; that, in writing what is worth being written, one serves, as vessel and voice, a power greater than vessel and voice.
- Patsy Garlan: The best advice on writing I’ve ever received is: Don’t answer the phone.
- Peter Mayle: Best advice on writing I’ve ever received: Finish.
- Richard Ford: The best advice on writing I’ve ever received: ‘Don’t have children.’ I gave it to myself.
- Robert Lipsyte: The best advice on writing I’ve ever received was, ‘Rewrite it!’ A lot of editors said that. They were all right. Writing is really rewriting—making the story better, clearer, truer.
- Russell Banks: The best advice on writing I’ve ever received was probably something Ted Solotaroff told me years ago when he was my editor. Going over a manuscript line by line again and again he kept reminding me, ‘Remember, this is your book, not my book. You’re the one who’s going to have to live with it the rest of your life. I might publish 30 or 40 books this year, you’re only going to publish one, and probably the only one you’re going to publish in two or three years.’
- Whitney Balliett: The best advice on writing I’ve ever received is, ‘Knock ‘em dead with that lead sentence.’
From Writers Write
men who pass around/publicize naked photos sent to them by someone who trusted them are shitty people. & if you shame the girl for sending those photos which they thought were going to be kept private, instead of blaming the guy for being an asshole and betraying his partner, you suck too.
I don’t believe in the golden rule. ‘Do onto others as you would have them do onto you.’ I don’t want the same things as the person next to me. I believe in what I call the platinum rule. ‘Do onto other as they would have you do onto them.’ How do you do that? Well, you ask the person what they want, you listen to them, and then you do what they tell you.Jane Elliott (quote is inexact but generally correct)
At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe that there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. and what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events may in fact be the first steps of a journey.Lemony Snicket (via siderainfinitus)
You will be stupid. You will worry your parents. You will question your own choices, your relationships, your jobs, your friends, where you live, what you studied in college, that you went to college at all… If that happens, you’re doing it right.Ira Glass (via wide-eyedsilence)