Kind of a random topic, but I just had to share. I think it’s great advice for anyone who writes, whether it’s professionally, for a blog, or just in a personal journal.
I’ve been thinking about the subject of writing, writer’s block in particular, ever since Alice of Finslippy brought it up the other day. Then I came across this great post at Love Well, which has an excellent quote from Annie Dillard:
One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes. [read the rest here]
Honestly, I think that might be the best advice on writing I’ve ever heard.
Every time I fall into the mentality of hoarding ideas, thinking along the lines of “this is actually a good idea — unlike most of my other lame ideas — so I’d better save this one for later!”, it dissipates. Indeed, I open my safe and find ashes. Over and over again I’ve found that the more freely I share my thoughts (even when I’m sure that this is my last decent idea and I’ll never have another one again), the less I deal with writer’s block.
Anyone else have any good tips for writers?
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