Monday, May 27, 2013

Writing Tips - 10 Good Writing Habits

From Gotham Writers' Workshop Inc. comes 10 Good Writing Habits by Zadie Smith.

From Wikipedia: "Zadie Smith is a British novelist, essayist and short story writer.
As of 2012, she has published four novels, all of which have received substantial critical praise. In 2003, she was included on Granta's list of 20 best young authors, and was also included in the 2013 list. She joined New York University's Creative Writing Program as a tenured professor on September 1, 2010. Smith has won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2006 and her novel White Teeth was included in Time magazine's TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005 list."
In her late twenties, Zadie Smith wrote her novel, White Teeth. This novel is a look into various lives in contemporary multicultural London. She wrote subsequent novels, The Autograph Man and On Beauty.

Zadie Smith is considered one of the freshest and most ambitious voices of her generation.

Quotes by Zadie Smith:

“When I write I am trying to express my way of being in the world. This is primarily a process of elimination: once you have removed all the dead language, the second-hand dogma, the truths that are not your own but other people's, the mottos, the slogans, the out-and-out lies of your nation, the myths of your historical moment - once you have removed all that warps experience into a shape you do not recognise and do not believe in - what you are left with is something approximating the truth of your own conception.”
― Zadie Smith

“The very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life.” 
― Zadie Smith

“The past is always tense, the future perfect.” 
― Zadie Smith

10 Good Writing Habits by Zadie Smith

1. When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.

2. When an adult, try to read your own work a a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.

3. Don't romanticize your "vocation". You can either write good sentences or you can't. There is no "writer's lifestyle." All the matters is what you leave on the page.

4. Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can't do aren't worth doing. Don't mask self doubt with contempt.

5. Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.

6. Avoid cliques, gangs, group. The presence of a crowd won't make your writing any better that it is.

7. Work on a computer that is disconnected from the Internet.

8. Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.

9. Don't confuse honours with achievement.

10. Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand - but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied.

-- This list came from an article in The Guardian.

There you have it. Wisdom from Zadie Smith.

1 comment:

  1. {Melinda} Great list! I especially think #7 is key. When we don't have distractions, it forces us to push harder and beyond what we think we can.


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