Write with Your Heart, Edit with Your Head

Writing has to flow, like water. Writers thirst.

Imagine, though, if you were dying of thirst (you are, you’re a writer) and the person holding the hose kept shutting it off so they could adjust something. Spurt of water. Shut it off. Adjust. Spurt of water. Shut it off. Adjust.

You’d strangle them. Just give me the water!

… more … “Write with Your Heart, Edit with Your Head”

Write Drunk. Edit Sober. Is That Right?

Apparently Wednesday comes a day late this week. Still sorting this new posting schedule. Glad you’re here.

Papa H famously said, “Write drunk. Edit sober.”

Just to be totally clear that I’m not advocating alcohol abuse, the point is that made by Gustave Flaubert in a letter to Gertrude Tennant (her daughter Dorothy married the explorer Henry Stanley.)

Flaubert wrote Soyez réglé dans votre vie et ordinaire comme un bourgeois, afin d’être violent et original dans vos œuvres.

Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work.

solid old tree in the wild weather

There is a natural balance between order and chaos. You will have a certain amount of each in life, in your personality, in your art. … more … “Write Drunk. Edit Sober. Is That Right?”

The Real Reason I Do This

Here are a few things I believe about being an author in 2013:

  • It’s a great time to be an artist
  • It’s a tough time to sell art
  • Reading is a fundamental human activity; even reading for pleasure
  • Yes, we need more books
  • And more authors
  • And more music and art of all kinds
  • Gatekeepers serve no purpose in the world of art
  • Selling art is still a business
  • We have more tools than we can use, for writing, marketing, reading, sharing
  • Literature is not an endangered species
  • Nor are readers
  • Or writers
  • Or print
  • Money comes second, or third; writing comes first
  • Some people don’t believe that, but I don’t think it’s just my opinion, I think it’s a fact
  • Nobody writes without fear
  • Emotional fears do far more damage than good
  • I hold back far more than you think I do
  • Helping authors is more important to me than money
  • I’d still love to have plenty of money and so would you

That’s the short version of the list.

And none of that is why I do what I do.

… more … “The Real Reason I Do This”