¡ʎlıɯɐɟ puɐ spuǝıɹɟ noʎ ssǝɹdɯı uɐɔ noʎ os uʍop ǝpısdn ƃuıʇıɹʍ ɹnoʎ sʇɹǝʌuoɔ ʇɐɥʇ ǝʇıs ƃuıʇsǝɹǝʇuı uɐ
“So you’re a writer,” an examing physician remarked jovially to the late, great novelist Margaret Laurence. “When I retire, I intend to become a writer myself.” To which Margaret replied, cheerfully, “Yes, and when I retire, I intend to become a brain surgeon.”
That’s from Pierre Berton‘s The Joy of Writing, which I began reading last night. It’s the first of his books I’ve read, though I’ve been meaning to pick up one of his books for years. He’s an excellent writer. I’m surprised how funny he can be. I’ve laughed out loud, tears-running-down-my-face laughter, a few times already.
This week’s Final Word article by Craig Wilson of USA Today has some good advice for writers:
Years ago, someone told me that if I wanted to be a writer, I had to first make sure my refrigerator was clean. I didn’t know what she meant at the time. Now I do.
Writers will do almost anything not to write. Cleaning out the refrigerator is an excellent stalling technique.
Excellent article by Elmore Leonard about writing:
These are rules I’ve picked up along the way to help me remain invisible when I’m writing a book, to help me show rather than tell what’s taking place in the story. If you have a facility for language and imagery and the sound of your voice pleases you, invisibility is not what you are after, and you can skip the rules. Still, you might look them over.