Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chima's Rules for the Writing Life

OK, in my last post I shared Ten Rules of Fiction Writing related to craft. Today I’ll post my rules for The Writing Life.

1. Don’t be a writer unless you absolutely have to. To paraphrase Red Smith: Writing is easy; all you have to do is sit down at the keyboard and open a vein.
2. Nothing really happens until you put your butt in the chair and get the words down. If everyone who wanted to write a book actually did, the earth would be denuded of trees.
3. Never read your work once it’s published. There will always be something you wish you’d done differently.
4. Three hours on the Internet can save you a good ten minutes in the library.
5. If you cannot make a living through writing alone, find a day job that will not suck the marrow out of you.
6. Figure out when your best writing time is, and spend it writing, not Googling yourself, watching Cash Cab or researching agents.
7. There are too many arbitrary divisions in fiction—between young adult and adult lit, and between the genres and so-called “literary fiction.” All good writing has more in common than you think.
8. Never judge a genre by its worst example.
9. Don’t believe your best reviews—or your worst reviews.
10. Not everybody is going to like what you write. It doesn’t matter how good it is.

There you go. When it comes to sex and similes, you’re on your own.


Anonymous said...

This is great, Mrs. Chima! Really great! And so was the last post, some real good posts. When I got to number six on this post, though, I pasued, looked around, and whispered "I Google and watch Cash Cab". Lol. Well good luck writing and I'll be sure to keep reading it! :-)

Hollishillis said...

=] excellent advice.