Browsing category writing tips

why i write. orwell.

In 1946 George Orwell outlined his four great motives for writing in the essay “Why I Write”. He believed these motives exist, in different degrees, in every writer. I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t right. For me, it’s mostly about Aesthetic Enthusiasm. It’s also about a kind of peace that comes over me

my own bones

“There seems something more speakingly incomprehensible in the powers, the failures, the inequalities of memory, than in any other of our intelligences.” – Jane Austen, Mansfield Park —————— Iaeger, West Virginia. Nineteen seventy nine. The old bus terminal that use to sit somewhere along the river bank. Maybe next to Sears & Roebuck? Maybe not.

writing down the bones

Open up your mind to the possibility that 1+1 can equal 48, a Mercedes-Benz, an apple pie, a blue horse. Don’t tell your autobiography with facts, such as “I am in sixth grade. I am a boy. I live in Owatonna. I have a mother and father.” Tell me who you really are: “I am


“Each day is like an enormous rock that I’m trying to push up this hill. I get it up a fair distance, it rolls back a little bit, and I keep pushing it, hoping I’ll get it to the top of the hill and that it will go on its own momentum…I’ve never given up.

murder your darlings

British novelist Arthur Quiller-Couch (pen name “Q”) published a series of lectures titled On the Art of Writing (1916) while serving as a professor of English at Cambridge University. Here he warns of purple prose… “To begin with, let me plead that you have been told of one or two things which Style is not;


If you want to be a writer, you have to write every day. The consistency, the monotony, the certainty, all vagaries and passions are covered by this daily reoccurrence…Sleep comes to you each day, and so does the muse. So says Walter Mosley. A few months ago I was watching John Grisham on one of

writers write

“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly: sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” – Ernest Hemingway

shock proof

“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof b.s. detector. This is the writer’s radar and all good writers have it.” –Ernest Hemingway

the facts of life

“I can’t stress enough how different it is to write about the real and the unreal. When I started writing my memoir my whole metabolism changed. I’d just turned 50 and I assumed it was just age, but I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning and I had the most delicious