Friday, October 14, 2016

Unlimbering the Typewriter
Fun With Quotes

So how, exactly does one have fun with quotes?
Glad you asked! If you’re like me, you start by exchanging quotes on a daily basis with your Best Bud. But not just any quotes, writing quotes, to give each other inspiration. And then you pick the two best quotes of the week to share with the rest of the world - because ... why not? :-D

Tough choices this week, but it finally came down to: which ones stick in my mind the most? And interestingly enough, although the quotes I picked have only the fact that they’re about writing in common, we sent them to each other on the same day. First, Jamie’s quote of the week:

A writer should concern himself with whatever absorbs his fancy, stirs his heart, and unlimbers his typewriter.
― E.B. White

This advice makes a lot of sense. When you’re writing about something that interests you, when you enjoy what you’re working on - whether it’s a story, an article, or even a poem - it’s going to show. Your interest will make whatever you’re working on more interesting because you can’t help but wax enthusiastic over your topic.

Nothing will limit a new writer more than following the advice to “write what you know.” Better advice would be write what interests you. This is where research comes in handy. Find something that piques your interest, research your topic well, and then write confidently about it. You probably won’t use more than a small fraction of the information you’ve gathered, but the very fact that you’ve researched it so thoroughly means you “know” what you’re talking about.

My own quote of the week is something you probably already know:

There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.
― Ernest Hemingway

There are as many different ways to write as there are writers to try them out. It’s a fact of life - what works for one writer won’t necessarily work for another. Sometimes you have to try out several methods before you find the one that’s right for you.

But even when you find that perfect method it doesn’t guarantee success. Words and ideas are tricky customers. Sometimes they come flowing so fast you can hardly keep up, but sometimes they’ll hide behind a wall, teasing you. Those are the times you need to get your drill and blasting caps and just forge ahead.

Writing what interests you, in whatever fashion you choose, also helps to get the writing flowing. Give it a try.

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