Tuesday, 23 February 2010


The Feb. 20 Guardian was available here in Viana do Castelo, lucky me.  Among its points of interest is the "10 Rules for Writers" feature.  As you might expect, some writers took the task seriously and came up with nothing but duds.  Others dashed off a disdainful list and came up with some gems.

10 favs:

1. Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don't whine. (M.Atwood)
2. Do give the work a name as quickly as possible.  Own it, and see it. (R.Doyle)
3. Do it every day.  Writing is a way of postponing the day when I won't do it anymore. (G.Dyer)
4. It doesn't matter how "real" your your story is, or how "made up": what matters is its necessity. (A.Enright)
5. Write in the third person unless a really distinctive first-person voice offers itself irresistably. (J.Franzen)
6. Remember: when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right.  When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. (N.Galman)
7. Never complain about being misunderstood.  You can choose to be understood, or you can choose not to. (D.Hare)
8. Defend yourself.  Find out what keeps you happy, motivated and creative. (A.Kennedy)
9. Honour the miraculousness of the ordinary. (A.Motion)
10. Keep a light, hopeful heart.  But expect the worst. (J.C.Oates).
11.Don't give up. (I.Rankin)

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