To Write or Write Not

This is a guest post by Ernest Hemingway, although he doesn’t actually know it. It’s his advice on writing. It needs no further comment from a minnow like me:-

  1. There is nothing to writing – all you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed.
  2. Boil it down
  3. Write the tip of the iceberg and leave the rest under the water
  4. Watch what happens today
  5. Listen completely
  6. Write when there is something you know, and not before
  7. Look at words as if seeing them for the first time
  8. Use the most conventional punctuation you can
  9. Tell a story in six words
  10. Write poetry into prose
  11. Read everything so you know what you need to beat
  12. Don’t try to beat Shakespeare
  13. Accept that writing is something you can never do as well as it can be done
  14. Don’t drink when you’re writing
  15. Finish what you start
  16. Don’t worry. You’ve written before and you will write again
  17. Forget posterity. Think only of writing truly
  18. Write as well as you can with no eye on the market
  19. Remember that nobody really knows or understands the secret.

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