Writing Encouragement

PD James: Don’t just plan to write—write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.

Steven Pressfield: The answer: plunge in.

Anne Enright: Keep putting words on the page.

Joyce Carol Oates: I have forced myself to begin writing when I’ve been utterly exhausted…

Cory Doctorow: Write even when the world is chaotic.

Hilary Mantel: If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be.

Helen Dunmore: Finish the day’s writing when you still want to continue.

Geoff Dyer: Have more than one idea on the go at any one time. If it’s a choice between writing a book and doing nothing I will always choose the latter. It’s only if I have an idea for two books that I choose one rather than the other. I always have to feel that I’m bunking off from something.

Jennifer Egan: [Be] willing to write really badly. It won’t hurt you to do that.

Sarah Waters: Treat writing as a job. Be disciplined.

Joshua Wolf Shenk: Get through a draft as quickly as possible.

Maryn McKenna: Find an organizational scheme for your notes and materials; keep up with it (if you are transcribing sound files or notebooks, don’t let yourself fall behind); and be faithful to it…

Taken from 99%, where there are other pieces of good advice, including how to break up over your writing.

One thought on “Writing Encouragement”

  1. I love Helen Dunmore’s quote, “Finish the day’s writing when you still want to continue.” However, I do need to stop writing at least an hour or two before going to bed, or I just mentally finish what’s still on my mind while trying to fall asleep. That scenario leads to exhaustion!

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