There Is No ‘One Right Way’ To Write

“You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.” Henry Ford

Ever since I remember I have been reading authors’ biographies, listening to interviews and noting down any advice that I think will help me to become a better writer. Some have quite different and contradictory opinions, which goes to say that there is no “one right way”. But all of these writers agree on the one thing, the first thing you have to do as a writer. You must write. Here are some that I cherish and turn to when the writing doesn’t go that well.

“Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” Barbara Kingsolver

“My old football coach, Bob Biggerstaff, used to say, “Saturday, read your press clippings. Sunday, believe them. But Monday, show up to get ready for the game as if nobody knows your name and you have one game to make a reputation.” Robert Jordan

“Show, don’t tell. Writing and reading are acts of discovery. “Telling” robs a story of the feel of discovery.” Rick Bass

“Pay attention in both structure and rhythm to the dictates of the “inner ear.”” Josephine Hart

““Write what you know.” I partly write to discover, and to discover what I don’t know I already know.” Steven Bach

““Write what you know.” If I’d followed that old saw, I’d never have sold a thing.” John Saul

““Write fiction in your spare time.” There is no spare time when writing fiction. You are writing it every waking hour, even when walking in the park.” William Heffernan

“Don’t be afraid to discard work that you know isn’t up to standard. Don’t try to save junk just because it took you a long time to write it.” David Eddings

“Write what you care about and understand. Writers should never try to outguess the marketplace in search of a saleable idea; the simple truth is that all good books will eventually find a publisher if the writer tries hard enough, and a central secret to writing a good book is to write one that people like you will enjoy.” Richard North Patterson

“We don’t choose our subjects, they choose us.” Gustav Flaubert

“Writing is hard, hard work. But tremendously enjoyable hard work, and completely satisfying- even though one is never completely satisfied with one’s writing.” Colleen McCullough

“Only write from your own passion, your own truth. That’s the only thing you really know about, and anything else leads you away from the pulse- yours or anyone else’s.” Marianne Williams

“You must believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself and in your ability to succeed, then you can’t expect others to believe in you.” Joan Lowery Nixon


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3 Responses to There Is No ‘One Right Way’ To Write

  1. There are some great quotes, here, especially “You must believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself and in your ability to succeed, then you can’t expect others to believe in you.”! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Motivation and the Writing Life (Part 4 of 8) | David C. Hughes, Writer

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