writing

1371147.jpg

You have made some notes, read some writing books, a

You have made some notes, read some writing books, and done some research. Mostly what you’ve done is talk about writing a book. An idea for a book is not a book; it is a waste of time. There is no singular thing that makes someone a writer, but there is one thing that makes someone a joke–talking about writing a book without doing any work.

1371147.jpg

We do not like the truth because it is simple, we do

We do not like the truth because it is simple, we do not want the truth because it is hard, and we do not trust the truth because it is free.

Perhaps because many are idealists and publishing is so frustrating, writers are particularly vulnerable to believing in those who offer hope in exchange for cash. Writers know life is tough and we all want to think of an easier way. Maybe for a rare few, there is. If you count on that, you are a chump and somebody is going to take your money and break your heart.

291916.jpg

Writers shouldn’t fear criticism. Instead, they

Writers shouldn’t fear criticism. Instead, they should fear silence. Criticism is healthy. It gets people thinking about your work and, even better, it gets them talking and arguing. But as for silence — it is the greatest killer of writers. So if you hate a book and want to hurt it — don’t talk about it. And if you hate my books — please, for God’s sake, shout it from the hills!

63814.jpg

I hate to be a nag, but you have got to read. Like

I hate to be a nag, but you have got to read. Like most authors, I run creative writing workshops from time to time, and speak, when invited to writers’ circles and at summer schools, and I’m continually amazed at the number of would-be writers who scarcely read. For ideas to germinate and proliferate there has to be fertile ground to sow them in, and for the ground to be fertile it must be mulched with observation, imagination, and other writing.

7214. sy475 .jpg

Writers don’t make any money at all. We make about a

Writers don’t make any money at all. We make about a dollar. It is terrible. But then again we don’t work either. We sit around in our underwear until noon then go downstairs and make coffee, fry some eggs, read the paper, read part of a book, smell the book, wonder if perhaps we ourselves should work on our book, smell the book again, throw the book across the room because we are quite jealous that any other person wrote a book, feel terribly guilty about throwing the schmuck’s book across the room because we secretly wonder if God in heaven noticed our evil jealousy, or worse, our laziness. We then lie across the couch facedown and mumble to God to forgive us because we are secretly afraid He is going to dry up all our words because we envied another man’s stupid words. And for this, as I said, we are paid a dollar. We are worth so much more.

Scroll to Top