Top 9 Tuesday: Writers on Writing, Pt. I

Writing Advice from the Masters

Reading time: 1 1/2 minutes —

9My computer was on the Disabled List last week, so I missed Tuesday’s Top 9. I enjoyed missing it so much, I might make it a habit. But on to this week! These quotes come from writers about the craft, and for one reason or another, they resonate with me. You may have your own, and feel free to suggest any in the comments. I’m always open to new ideas.

This is Part I because nine slots isn’t enough. We’ll add Part II some time later.

What I rank as #1 here would not have even entered my Top 9 a year ago. After writing 225,000 words for my 84,000-word manuscript , I finally understand what it means.

9. “Beware of advice – even this.” Carl Sandburg

8. “There is only one plot – things are not what they seem.” Jim Thompson

7. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” Richard Bach

6. “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.” Anne Lamott

5. “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is … the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” Mark Twain

4. “Be ruthless about protecting writing days. Don’t cave in to endless requests to have ‘essential’ and ‘long overdue’ meetings on those days.” JK Rowling

3. “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.” Elmore Leonard

2. “Every writer I know has trouble writing.” Joseph Heller

1. “Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.” Stephen King


9 thoughts on “Top 9 Tuesday: Writers on Writing, Pt. I

    1. Great luck with your new project, Elise. You sound like you’re on such an incredible roll. I’m at the outlining stage and if my writing goes HALF as good as yours sounds I’m gonna be happy.


    1. That was on the cusp of my Top 9, and there’s a time in the past when it woulda been IN the Top 9. But not anymore. I no longer subscribe to the theory of alcohol and drugs enhancing one’s writing. In fact, I’ve reversed course like so many other things in life and now I firmly believe alcohol and drugs have a negative impact on one’s writing.

      That said, the overriding message Hemingway delivers still resonates. Write with abandon, but edit with precision.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I talk a good game…

        Drunk for me is one beer, see. And…. it’s not really drunk, per se, but more of a loosey goosey, man, my brain is connecting the dots and wow did I just write that? That’s really good. More, more more writing and then the next day? Delete, delete, delete. I like to live up to Hemingway’s expectations. I have written some good stuff after a beer. By no means am I taking to it like Mr. King. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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