Inspiration #18

Every Sunday, I choose a passage of wisdom from someone who knows better and much more than I do about writing, life, the universe and/or everything.

Share and enjoy!

“High-school and college teachers of “creative writing” (what other kind is there?) often are too gentle with their students. Their idea is that the students should be encouraged to write, no matter what. In the early stages, writing may be a joy, as long as you don’t realize you write. When you find that out, it becomes painful. But students really want to know what’s wrong with their writing. Patting them on the head for everything they do is a mistake; it merely frustrates the student, because they sense they are not getting any better.
Learning to write is painful. Learning ballet is painful; learning piano is painful. People willingly undo this pain and even inflict it on themselves, because they look forward to the joy of mastery…
I bring this all up in order to warn you that in studying technique you may go through a period when you have lost sight of things that made you want to write in the first place. The joy will be gone, not just because you’re doing something hard, but because you have left it out of the mixture. Remember that all the technique in the world won’t help you if you have nothing to say. Wite the things that are deeply important to you; learn technique to write them better.”
~ from Creating Short Fiction by Damon Knight


One thought on “Inspiration #18

  1. Absolutely true. We should be told no many times before we are told yes. And we as authors also need to understand that no’s are a signpost for us to reexamine our work.

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