The Masters of Adages: Writers Writing About Writers Writing
Show don’t tell, that’s the first one. Oh, and write honestly. But to write honestly about something you know nothing about, you push the envelope. But that’s not it either. Because that’s not honest writing. Honest writing is writing that doesn’t take dishonest shortcuts.
Listen to music. DON’T LISTEN TO MUSIC! The pithiest recommend pure calm. Drums and bass only. Need some steady ambience. ASMR might put you to sleep, but you need sleep to achieve the working memory of a great writer.
Fuck, another caveat: The input-to-influence cannot be the same unless you wish to be the same writer. And don’t use “to be” as a verb — it’s weak. Unless it’s appropriate, and then, and only then, break the rule like the renegade you are. But do not break them the way they’ve already been broken. Because that’s a rule now.
Concept is king, so is content. But story is queen regent until the king is mature enough to tell a good one. Promise of the premise. Execute it. Live and Let Die. Eat, Pray, Love. There’s room for rumination, but not until you’re an established ruminator. Don’t ask for permission ever again.
Don’t be jealous of peer-victory and endure peer-review with an iron chin. But keep a chip on your shoulder, otherwise it’s uninspired. What’s your motivation for doing this? No, I’m talking about your character. Boring is stagnation and stagnation is death. Compel the audience. Two plus two will get them to four but only if you withhold half of it.
There are rules for every stage of writer, not-so-subtly belied, where experience and pedantry are intensely and inversely correlated. But it gets better. And more difficult. Every tier is farther apart.
But if you want it and love it and give a shit, there’s room for you. The room is crowded but always expanding. Writers have been writing about writing since writing was. Cite your sources and NEVER end a sentence on a preposition.