Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Guardian asked Zadie Smith to contribute her 10 Rules For Writing.  I think they're terrific.  

  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.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

sometimes, on a sunday evening the bedroom is blessedly cool and it seems that life will never be better than it already is.  the sun shone hot that day, like the blazing furnace that it is, but then it sank and the silhouettes of the tree branches against the navy blue sky conjured thoughts of cold winter nights.  there were kisses--all kinds--small triumphs, feats of courage, blasts of creativity, and warm bowls of goodness.  someday the cool sunday evenings may be full of mourning and loneliness, full of illness or pain.  at least, when reminiscing, it won't be a shock to realize how beautiful it all once was.