Writing all the time

Some of us ”sweat the night into words,” the poet Bernard Spencer wrote in his poem “Night-Time: Starting to Write.” Morning or night, day time or lunchtime, it really doesn’t matter when you write. A note, a recording, a scribble — we write it down to remember it now and for later. Everything goes in […]

J.K. Rowling revisits her masterpiece

J.K. Rowling reflects on annotating the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. “I wrote the book … in snatched hours, in clattering cafés or in the dead of night … The story of how I wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is written invisibly on every page, legible only to me. […]

The World According to Garp

Below is an excerpt from John Irving’s 1978 novel The World According to Garp: Garp threw away his second novel and began a second novel. Unlike Alice, Garp was a real writer—not because he wrote more beautifully than she wrote but because he knew what every artist should know: as Garp put it, “You only […]

All writing is in the edit

Like photography, all writing is in the edit. When you fall into writer’s block — a myth, by the way — you should move freely between devices, formats, and even different places in order to shake out of it. Here’s one recommended writing approach I encourage you to try:  First, start writing on paper to help […]

Seth Godin on writer’s block

Writer’s block is a myth created by people who are afraid to the do the work. There are various reasons writers let the blank page get the best of their emotions. Trying to be too perfect Procrastinating en route to excuses that usually include the word “But….” Unwilling to fail or write poor sentences first […]

Essential writing advice from Anne Lamott

TED distilled fourteen writing tips from an interview conducted with novelist Anne Lamott. Her 1995 book Bird by Bird (Amazon) has become an essential guide for aspiring artists of all types. My favorite snippet from the interview appears when she’s asked to give her younger self some writing advice: “I’d teach my younger self to stare off […]

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

“Reading is the creative center of a writer’s life. I take a book with me everywhere I go, and find there are all sorts of opportunities to dip in. The trick is to teach yourself to read in small sips as well as in long swallows. Waiting rooms were made for books—of course! But so are […]