Monday, 1 April 2013

A is for Advice (from the greats)

Image courtesy of Simon Howden / freedigitalphotos.net
To kick of the A-Z Blogging Challenge here are a few of my favourite pieces of writing advice from the greats.

"Don't just plan to write - write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style." P.D. James
"Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable." Francis Bacon
 "Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." William Wordsmith
"Don't say you were a bit confused and sort of tired and a little depressed and somewhat annoyed. Be confused. Be annoyed. Don't hedge your prose with little timidities. Good writing is lean and confident." William Zinsser
"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things." Ray Bradbury 
 "The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it note on the wall in front of my desk saying 'Faire et se taire' (Flaubert), which I translate for myself as 'Shut up and get on with it'." Helen Simpson
"Keep writing. Keep doing it and doing it. Even in the moments when it's so hurtful to think about writing." Heather Armstrong
"You can fix anything but a blank page." Nora Roberts
"The first draft of anything is shit." Ernest Hemingway
"It takes a lot of bad writing to get to a little good writing." Truman Capote

Do you have any favourite snippets of writing advice? If so, please share them in the comments below.

As his name fits with today's letter I would also like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Arlee Bird for creating such a fantastic challenge and helping to connect so many fellow bloggers.


16 comments:

  1. I love these. Just recently I was reading a bunch of quotes from Ray Bradbury. The biggest thing I notice is that although these are quotes from the greats they struggle with the same things I do.

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    1. You're right Cindy, it's that knowledge that keeps me going on bad writing days, especially the Hemingway and Capote ones!

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  2. Thank you for your lovely comment Alana. I look forward to following you and our A-Z Challenge. Nice to meet you BTW!

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    1. Thanks Rhondi, great to meet you too.

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  3. Truman has so many great quotes, but this one rings so true for me. Great post.

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    1. Thanks Sydney. It's the same for me, it's always good to know that someone so successful had to write a lot of bad words too.

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  4. Great quotes--thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. Thank you Lara, the hardest part was choosing only ten, I have a whole notebook full of great quotes that I have collected!

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  5. Love the quotes!
    My personal one is "Writing keeps me sane". :-)

    A to Z Challenge: http://www.shellygoodmanwright.com/apps/blog/

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    1. Thanks Shelly, that's a great one too, and so true for many of us. I know I'm certainly a much happier person when I have done my days writing.

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  6. I've been keeping a collection of quotes like these. I print them out on an index card and place it on my desk for motivation. Thank you for allowing me to add some to my list!

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    1. You're welcome Lucy. If I had a desk to work at one of the first things I would do is put up some of the best quotes, until then I have to make do with my notebook. I will be posting some motivational quotes for the letter M if you want to come by and collect some more, or share some of your own :)

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  7. Hi Alana - I'm stopping by from the A to Z Challenge. Great post! Looking forward to more.

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    1. Thanks Martha, so far so good. Good luck with the challenge, I'll stop by later to check it out :)

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  8. Hi Alana - Just dropping in from the A to Z Challenge. I'm a sucker for good quotes so enjoyed this post. Thanks!

    Kimberly
    www.thesavvycopywriter.com

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    1. You're welcome Kimberley, I'll be posting more under the letter M if you want to come back. Good luck with the challenge, I'll stop by your blog later :)

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