Thursday, February 17, 2005


In the introduction to a small but fat block-shaped book called, fittingly, The Writer's Block by Jason Rakulak, the authors talks about all the contradictory advice he offers in the book, and I quite like that, and agree.

It's so easy to get stuck in the rules or the way that it is. And it's comforting to know that there's pretty much not just one way to write or to be a writer.

He says, "Frederick Forsyth says, 'Write about what you know,' and Ken Kesey says, 'Write about what you don't know.' Isak Dinesen let her characters run wild and 'take over' the story. Vladimir Nabokov refers to his characters as 'galley slaves.' Ernest Hemingway says talent is a necessity; Gordeon Lish says talent is irrelevant. The contradictions go on and on and on and on."

Don't they, though?

Some writers get up and write first thing, others grab minutes here and there during the day, and yet others write at night.

Some of us do first drafts on computers, others are addicted to--ahem--Moleskines and longhand.

And some need a room of their own while others can write amidst distraction and mayhem.

For all of you starting out, or straying along the way, feel comforted to know there are so many different routes to the same destination.

The main thing--and I must have said this already a zillion times in my lifetime--is to do it. Get the words down.

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