Posts tagged writing

As a writer, you have to believe you’re one of the best writers in the world. To sit down every day at the typewriter filled with self-doubt is not a good idea.
Jo Nesbo, author of Police.
"Does the writer know what that sentence actually says? The answer is routinely no."—Verlyn Klinkenborg, author of Several Short Sentences About Writing, on sloppy sentences.

"Does the writer know what that sentence actually says? The answer is routinely no."—Verlyn Klinkenborg, author of Several Short Sentences About Writing, on sloppy sentences.

My favorite quote from Nathan Englander’s live chat on our Facebook page, one of several insightful comments he shared. Read the transcript.

My favorite quote from Nathan Englander’s live chat on our Facebook page, one of several insightful comments he shared. Read the transcript.

Nathan Englander, the award-winning short story writer, novelist, playwright, and creative writing instructor will be participating in a live chat on our Facebook page this Wednesday at 3pm EDT. Got a question about his work or writing in general? You’ll have your chance in 48 hours! Not familiar with his stories? Read some now:
"Free Fruit for Young Widows" from What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank
"For the Relief of Unbearable Urges" from the collection of the same name

Nathan Englander, the award-winning short story writer, novelist, playwright, and creative writing instructor will be participating in a live chat on our Facebook page this Wednesday at 3pm EDT. Got a question about his work or writing in general? You’ll have your chance in 48 hours! Not familiar with his stories? Read some now:

9 Things I’ve Learned About Writing by Teaching Freshmen to Write

by Jeff O’Neal

Care

To write the best version of whatever it is you are working on, you’ve got to find some way to care about it. For some folks, this is a grade or a paycheck. For others, it will be the idea or issue itself. In my experience, caring about a grade or a paycheck does not produce the same quality of work that caring about the project itself does.

If you are writing for yourself, this is easier to do. If you are writing for an assignment, you have to figure out what in the parameters of that assignment you can care about enough to spur your best thinking and effort. Writing about what you care about is almost always a better tactic than writing about what you think a professor or boss cares about. The first question you should ask yourself when starting a new project is ‘What about this do I care about the most?” If you can identify and focus on that, you are off to a damn fine start.

Use Your Moods

There is no ideal time to write, but there is an ideal time for every stage of the writing process. In general, brainstorm and draft when you are well-rested, well-fed, and generally feeling good. Your creative and associative mind works best during these times. Most people who like to write in the mornings do so because they have slept, eaten, and caffeinated.

When you are tired and lower-energy, edit, proof, and revise. When you are somewhat fatigued, your creative mind abates and your critical, analytical mind is more active. You are more likely to identify logical mistakes and see the faults with what you’ve done. As strange as it sounds, only working on  your project when you are feeling your best doesn’t necessarily produce the best work.

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“Ben Marcus is the rarest kind of writer: a necessary one.  It’s become impossible to imagine the literary world - the world itself - without his daring, mind-bending and heartbreaking writing.”
—Jonathan Safran Foer

Ben Marcus, author of the upcoming The Flame Alphabet (1/17), shares some writing advice for our Writers on Writing series. Join us on Facebook.com/FirstLit for a chance to be one of the first people to read this exciting new novel!