It’s been a great writing retreat here at the homestead. And by “great” I mean I wrote new stuff and revised old stuff, and I’m taking a liking to sitting stone still even if that means I’ve got one hell of a neck ache and my eyes are paper-fucking-dry. Progress!
In addition to electricity, here are the 3 things that kept me working.
I wish I had something smart and witty to add, but honest to Betsy I’m tapped out. So I leave you with Zadie Smith’s Top 10 Rules for Writing.
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 as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.
3. Don’t romanticise your “vocation.” You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no “writer’s lifestyle.” All that 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, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than 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 minute I am particularly fond of #10.