Friday, April 29, 2005

Notes to Self

In "Notes for Young Writers" Annie Dillard creates a scattered list of writerly advice. I've started my own list. "Notes to Self:"

  • Forget everything you learned in rhetoric class. Keep those thoughts hidden until you need to work them out.
  • Write daily… if you’re going to call yourself a writer, make sure you are writing on a regular basis.
  • Don’t make excuses for not having time to write.
  • Keep a blindfolded critic on your left shoulder and an optimistic muse on the other.
  • Write about what interests you. Research what you don’t know about a subject you enjoy.
  • Experience writing before you sit down to write. The world is a large place. Find your niche.
  • Don’t make writing a chore.
  • Write in a variety of genres and modes. Give yourself goals and objectives. Produce assignments for yourself.
  • Learn the rules. Then take risks. Evaluate those risks.
  • Give informal readings for people you care about. Get your voice heard. Practice reading all your work aloud. Listen to your writing. Critique the mind’s ear.
  • Read as much as you write.
  • Step away from your work before revision. Give yourself time and space from the subject.
  • Go to readings. Listening to other people read their work is inspiring (and should only be that). Do not compare your writing with others; simply listen and enjoy the words that create meaning in our lives… whoever they come from.
  • Find other outlets than writing. Get your hands dirty.
  • Realize you will never make a living off writing…
  • Find a good reader.
  • Revisit old journals and piece of work. Revision them to your current perspective.
  • Study.
  • Create words.
  • Blend genres and technology. Write images.
  • Surround yourself with people who enjoy art, practice art, live art.