Thursday, April 18, 2013

Owen Egerton's 30 Writing Tips, Inspiration For Your Muse

Owen Egerton's 30 Writing Tips, Inspiration For Your Muse In the spirit of Jack Kerouac's list of thirty points he called "Belief and Technique for Modern Prose: List of Essentials" here are Owen Egerton's 30 pieces of writing advice.

Owen Egerton's 30 Writing Tips

1. Write. Now. Go.

7. Do not wait for inspiration. Go out and hunt it. Seduce it. Pin it down and dribble spit on its forehead until it cracks your leg bone and renames you.

8. Writing takes time. Don't find the time to write. Make the time. If necessary, abandon sleep, people, television and drink.

9, Treat writing like a hobby and you will receive nothing but the fruits of a hobby. It's a vocation. Honor it as such.

10. Don't say you're trying to be a writer. If you're writing then you are a writer. Publication is nice, but has nothing to do with the definition.

11. Love rejection. In letters, in criticism, in sales. Rejection is evidence you are in the game. If you're striking out, it means you got up to bat.

12. Drink and talk with those that write and create, but never mistake talking about writing for actual writing.

13. Love solitude.

15. A person can only read so many words in a lifetime. Your reader is choosing to read you instead of Shakespeare, Hemingway, Whitman. Humbly honor that and give them the best of your soul.

16. Do not write from answers. Write from questions. Discover more questions. Our work is not to explain the mystery, but to expand it.

17. The craft of the sentence is important. But a perfectly crafted sentence with no passion is a well-dressed corpse. More fun to dance with a beggar than kiss a corpse.

23. In life many of us aim to avoid conflict. In fiction, we force enemies into a room with no doors.

25. If you discover nothing while writing, don't expect your reader to.

29. You are going to die. So are all your readers. Let this inform every story you write.
As you see, I didn't list all thirty of Owen Egerton's points. I encourage you to head over to Type So Hard You Bruise The Screen and read the entire list. (Thanks to The Passive Voice Blog for passing on the link.)

All of Owen's points inspired me, but I think I'm going to put these on my wall:
1. Write. Now. Go.

10. Don't say you're trying to be a writer. If you're writing then you are a writer. Publication is nice, but has nothing to do with the definition.
What was your favorite quote?

Other articles you might like:

- 3 Ways To Create An Antihero Your Readers Identify With
- Publish Your Own Magazine On Flipboard!
- 5 Rules For Writing A Murder Mystery: Keeping the Murderer Secret Until The End

Photo link: "Untitled" by The hills are alive (Taking time off....) under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.

2 comments:

  1. I went and read the entire list. My favorite is #7:

    Do not wait for inspiration. Go out and hunt it. Seduce it. Pin it down and dribble spit on its forehead until it cracks your leg bone and renames you.

    This sentence hit me in the gut in the same fashion as any piece of good art- I'm talking Voice of Fire power here. I am unable to, nor do I want to, analyze and parse his meaning. I will just print it out and leave it as it is, to admire and look at in my office. The serendipity of reading this at the time that I've recently confessed to feeling drained creatively is remarkable.

    A very close second was at the referred website. It's important as hell for me; a great piece of advice:

    For a writer, the Internet is more dangerous than whisky.

    Not as poetic, nor as stimulating as the previous one, but a great piece of advice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, #7 made me chuckle. " Pin it down and dribble spit on its forehead ..."

      Spending time on the internet can be a double-edged sword, no doubt.

      As always, thanks for your comment Desmond! :-)

      Delete

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