"...don't be satisfied with stories, how things
have gone with others. Unfold
your own myth, without complicated explanations,
so everyone will understand the passage,
We have opened you.
Start walking towards Shams. Your legs will get heavy
and tired. Then comes a moment
of feeling the wings you've grown,
- Rumi (trans. Coleman Barks)
"If only you'd remember before ever you sit down to write that you've been a reader long before you were ever a writer. You simply fix that fact in your mind, then sit very still and ask yourself, as a reader, what piece of writing in all the world Buddy Glass would most want to read if he had his heart's choice. The next step is terrible, but so simple I can hardly believe it as I write it. You just sit down shamelessly and write the thing yourself. I won't even underline that. It's too important to be underlined. Oh, dare to do it, Buddy! Trust your heart. You're a deserving craftsman. It would never betray you."
-J.D Salinger, Seymour: An Introduction
Erica’s 20 Rules for Writers
1. Have faith–not cynicism
2. Dare to dream
3. Take your mind off publication
4. Write for joy
5. Get the reader to turn the page
6. Forget politics (let your real politics shine through)
7. Forget intellect
8. Forget ego
9. Be a beginner
10. Accept change
11. Don’t think your mind needs altering
12. Don’t expect approval for telling the truth -
(Parents, politicians, colleagues, friends, etc.)
13. Use everything
14. Remember that writing is Heroism
15. Let Sex (The Body, the physical world) in!
16. Forget critics
17. Tell your truth not the world’s
18. Remember to be earth-bound
19. Remember to be wild!
20. Write for the child (in yourself and others)
There are no rules.
- Erica Jong
[I don't recall where I got this from - I found it in the ether of a blog I kept circa 2008, and thought it was worth sharing again].