J.D. Salinger once wrote (in his novella, Seymour: An Introduction), “Do you know what I was smiling at? You wrote down that you were a writer by profession. It sounded to me like the loveliest euphemism I had ever heard. When was writing ever your profession? It’s never been anything but your religion. Never. I’m a little over-excited now. Since it is your religion, do you know what you will be asked when you die? But let me tell you first what you won’t be asked. You won’t be asked if you were working on a wonderful, moving piece of writing when you died. You won’t be asked if it was long or short, sad or funny, published or unpublished. You won’t be asked if you were in good or bad form while you were working on it. You won’t even be asked if it was the one piece of writing you would have been working on if you had known your time would be up when it was finished [...] I’m so sure you’ll get asked only two questions.’ Were most of your stars out? Were you busy writing your heart out? If only you knew how easy it would be for you to say yes to both questions. If only you’d remember before ever you sit down to write that you’ve been a reader long before you were ever a writer. You simply fix that fact in your mind, then sit very still and ask yourself, as a reader, what piece of writing in all the world Buddy Glass would most want to read if he had his heart’s choice. The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly believe it as I write it. You just sit down shamelessly and write the thing yourself. I won’t even underline that. It’s too important to be underlined.”
Overall, I believe this is some of the best writing advice ever written. But I’d like to analyze the hell out of this paragraph, and tell you what I think about writing being either a profession or a religion. Continue reading
You know what’s the one thing I find to be fascinating and terrifying at the same time?
A blank page. Just empty. No words, nothing.
It’s the scariest thing… because that page doesn’t care who you are or what you wrote, doesn’t care how many people are waiting to read your words… it just stays empty until you write something.
It’s also a reminder that there’s always room for a fresh start. You can create and invent. You’re free. Maybe sometimes I see poetry when there’s nothing there, but to me a blank page always means that I get to try to achieve more. I can try to be better, and I can simply forget everything I wrote before. Because it doesn’t matter.
Funny thing that you’re the only one who can fill a blank page with the words you want. Arrange them how you want or feel. It’s your blank page, your canvas, your world. And it’s never going to write itself.
You’re the only one who can write your stories into existence, and, God, how great it feels to know that.
I’m twenty three years old. And I write. What’s funny is that I’m not a patient man. Patience is one of those things you acquire in time. I want to write great things and I want to write them now.
For a young, inexperienced writer like myself the world seems to spin twice as fast. I don’t have time to stop, to ponder, to throw away pages of literature. I want to inspire in people what my favorite stories inspired in me. Continue reading
Sometimes when I tell people I’m a writer they ask me about my process – how do I write. I find it to be a pretty funny question, and I often tell them that all I do is sit at my computer and type. Like I’m doing just now.
It might sound like me being arrogant, but it’s not. I don’t outline, I don’t make plans. I just write.
It all starts with a vision… can I call it that? An image, a sound, a conversation. A whisper. And that becomes a scene, and I replay it in my head, over and over again, always adding more, until I have something. It’s just a glimpse of something or a glimpse of nothing… only time will tell. Continue reading
In my humble opinion, there are two main rules to becoming a writer: read a lot and write a lot. You can’t do one without the other, no matter how much you try. Fiction writing is different than any other kind of writing, and there’s a point in knowing the conventions of the genre before you can break them.
But today’s post is about writing. A lot. Continue reading
In Greek Mythology there were nine goddesses who were considered to be the source of inspiration for arts, science, and stuff like that.
Nowadays the term kind of describes a person who inspires an artist. Kind of.
We artists find inspiration in the most unlikely of places (or situations.) It’s not just other works of art that inspire us to create art, but also places, events, people.
But I’ve always considered a muse to be more than all that. Continue reading
In an essay about Kafka, David Foster Wallace wrote the following words, “the horrific struggle to establish a human self results in a self whose humanity is inseparable from that horrific struggle. [...] our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home.”
Now, he was talking about Kafka’s works, but I think that phrase pretty much sums up what life is all about. Continue reading
Most people like to believe talent, hard work, and luck are among the determining factors of success. For a long time I thought you only need two of them.
But, actually, if you want to be successful, and it doesn’t matter if all you want is to become a great dancer or actor or writer, or whether you want to pick up pretty girls in bars, you just have to be willing to make a fool out of yourself. Continue reading
Whenever I tell someone I’m a writer, and they show genuine interest towards my “profession,” I end up telling them about all the cool e-mails I get from people. Or about the reviews my books get. Or this or that comment.
You know, there are good days and bad days. There are days when you don’t feel like writing, or days that you simply don’t want to write. But your readers are what’s most important, what keeps you going, what makes you feel like a writer even during those bad days. Continue reading
When asked, ‘How do you write?’ I invariably answer, ‘one word at a time.’ - Stephen King
Sometimes I catch a glimpse of the future. Whether is just a scene from a chapter I have yet to write, or the ending line, or just a few lines of dialogue. That’s magic. That’s power. I know something that no one else knows, and it’s entirely up to me to bring it to life. Continue reading