Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Don't jinx it


A long, long time ago Vesper wrote 3 writing tips and tagged me to do the same.

1 - Even though it's fun to write about writing (it's an interesting, introspective exercise), refrain from doing it. (Yes, I understand that I'm doing the opposite of what I preach) The truth is talking about writing doesn't give you inspiration to write more nor does it make you a better writer. It's basically a pointless, gloating exercise (yes, I know). Also don't talk about especially creative periods of writing, as you might jinx it (I've told some people I was writing a lot and now I fear for my life).

2 - I believe there is a writing muscle hidden somewhere in our brain. And just like our body muscles it needs to be exercised. The only way you can make the muscle stronger is by using it frequently, so write as much as you can, it doesn't matter what it is - lists, recipes, essays, poetry...

3 - Write to please yourself only. If you're a writer it's because it gives you pleasure and, in this sense, writing should be an activity of pure indulgement. The bottom line is (I can't believe the expressions I use these days) you never know what other people will like to read and you shouldn't be torturing yourself and mining your personal style to please other people. Be selfish. If you write what is true to your spirit, it's more likely that other people will recognize it.

Since I've just advised you not to write about writing, I won't tag anyone to do this, but feel free to break the rules and give your own input to this passionate theme.

13 comments:

missalister said...

For me, it was Amen, Sister! all the way through 2 and 3. Practice, yes! And indeed, writing unaffectedly from the truth of you, from the soul, is what speaks to and touches others. My first reaction to your first tip was to think that a writer should, at various discretionary stages of their lives, evaluate not only their writing as it compares to what kind of writing they enjoy reading, but also to examine the essence of writing—what makes good writing and what’s at the very core of it—and if it helps to write about it, to disclose the results of their evaluations periodically, they should do it. But then I felt I may have missed your point... And also I remembered some of the most helpful words I’ve ever read regarding writing, from novelist Anthony Burgess “To write is to become disinterested. There is a certain renunciation in art.” These words say to me: only when you give up trying to be good at writing will you be good at writing, and when that happens you won’t care! LOL! And this may have been all or part of your drift on #1. I’m sure you’ll let me know if I missed the forest for the trees! ;-)

dharmabum said...

but why should we write about writing? i mean, its always a good thing to reflect on our doings, isn't it?

and how have you been my dear friend?

Devil Mood said...

Missalister: Worry not, my posts confuse myself. You didn't miss my point, I was really slagging off the 'metawriting'. I do understand the importance of evaluating what you write, that's why I said it was an interesting exercise. But good writers don't talk about that between each other. They simple write, like you said, they become desinterested. What I don't like is the amount of posts about writing when people should be writing (but not about writing) - geddit? ;)

Dharmabum: I'm good - you? Yes, reflecting is very positive always.

fb said...

I miss that idea of postcards that as a child you almost invariably sent when you went on holiday. Even though there was a cliche to certain phrases like sports interviews there's an honesty in the choice of picture and a sincerity to the person taking a bit of time to drop you a note.

Am I sentimental or mental?

fb said...

BTW is that your photo?

I likes.

Violet said...

I like the photo too. great colours!
you're totally right about being selfish in writing, it only feels right to read if it was writen selfishly, from your center, your soul and nothing else.
Also, i think what really helps to teach to write is to READ! ALOT! read good stuff. it's very inspiring too.

Devil Mood said...

FB: I have offered to send postcards on my holidays to blogfriends. You, my friend, didn't sign up and I didn't have your e-mail back then. But I still send them, partly because I get bored without a computer ;P
Yes, it's my photo and my room. :)

Violet: You're right. Reading is essential, not only for writing but also for spelling, for talking, for thinking... :)
The sun through the shades always makes a wonderful light.

Niall said...

It always makes me laugh when I here people ask a famous writer how to become a writer themselves...so often I have heard the reply "Just write.".I have the same problem when people ask me about being an artist.When I meet other artists..it's very rare that we discus technique..

Lorena said...

good advice and cool picture!

Devil Mood said...

Niall: Yes, I can't think of a sillier question than: how do you become an artist? hahaha


Thanks Lorena :)

Miss Iyer said...

An indulgence it is! Well said DevilM. I hate writing about writing too. Cos when I ponder over it, all I can think of is all the flaws I already have :-/ Sooo, am not gonna break any rules. Wont take the tag :D ehhe.

Devil Mood said...

Miss Iyer: Good for you! When reflecting over things leads us to dead ends, it's better not to reflect at all, I agree. Thanks for reading all my last posts, by the way!

Aroj said...

Hey thanks for that..helps to remind myself why i write..for myself and not for others..