Ideas on writing

Some good advice from Ernest Hemingway on writing. It's comforting to know masters of every art form face the same struggles in their creativity. I have tried to adopt some of these ideas into writing music and even, at times, practicing my instrument. These quotes are all from Hemingway's memoir, A Moveable Feast.

Sometimes when I was starting a new story and could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, "Do not worry. You have always written before and will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know." So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written.

The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day when you are writing a novel you will never be stuck.

The best way is to read it all every day from the start, correcting as you go along, then go on from where you stopped the day before. That's how you make it all one piece.

Robert LanzettiComment