Writing Tips

Natalie Goldberg’s 7 Rules of Writing

…and how you can use them to improve your writing practice.

Frank Tarczynski
Sep 12, 2020 · 9 min read
Photo by Bekir Dönmez on Unsplash

RULE #1: Keep your hand moving

“If you keep your creator hand moving, the editor can’t catch up with it and lock it.”

RULE #2: Lose control

“Say what you want to say. Don’t worry if it’s correct, polite, appropriate. Just let it rip.”

RULE #3: Be specific

“Don’t chastise yourself as you are writing…Don’t give room for the hard grip of the editor.”

RULE #4: Don’t think

“We usually live in the realm of second or third thoughts, thoughts on thoughts, rather than in the realm of first thoughts, the real way we flash on something.”

RULE #5: Don’t worry about punctuation, spelling, and grammar

“It’s better to figure out what you want to say in the actual act of writing.”

RULE #6: You are free to write the worst junk in America

“You can be more specific, if you like: the worst junk in Santa Fe; New York; Kalamazoo, Michigan; your city block; your pasture; your neighborhood restaurant; your family.”

RULE #7: Go for the jugular

“If something scary comes up, go for it. That’s where the energy is. Otherwise, you’ll spend all your time writing around whatever makes you nervous.”

FINAL THOUGHTS

WRITER’S WORKSHOP

Suggested Reading

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Frank Tarczynski

Written by

Chicago-born writer and educator living in Los Angeles. Publishes stories and essays at ImFrank.blog and Prizm (a Medium publication).

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +792K followers.

Frank Tarczynski

Written by

Chicago-born writer and educator living in Los Angeles. Publishes stories and essays at ImFrank.blog and Prizm (a Medium publication).

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +792K followers.

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