Kermit the Frog Typing
Kermit the Frog Typing, source unknown

Paul Gallagher on writing, 2016
The only advice that’s worth a damn when it comes to writing is to sit down and write. There are no quick fixes, no cheat sheets, no words that will bring around some grand epiphany. Good writing is earned from experience. It comes gradually through practice.
Asking “how to write?” and “where do ideas come from?” are the wrong questions. Only someone who doesn’t write would think these questions important–like quizzing a surgeon how he knows where best to make the incision. A writer can give advice on technique, discipline, and what to read. Books teach how good writing works.
Advice from Ernest Hemingway, 1934
The most important thing I’ve learned about writing is never write too much at a time. Never pump yourself dry. Leave a little for the next day. The main thing is to know when to stop. Don’t wait till you’ve written yourself out. When you’re still going good and you come to an interesting place and you know what’s going to happen next, that’s the time to stop. Then leave it alone and don’t think about it; let your subconscious mind do the work. The next morning, when you’ve had a good sleep and you’re feeling fresh, rewrite what you wrote the day before. When you come to the interesting place and you know what is going to happen next, go on from there and stop at another high point of interest. That way, when you get through, your stuff is full of interesting places and when you write a novel you never get stuck and you make it interesting as you go along.
And here is a list of fourteen books and two short stories which Ernest Hemingway suggested a young writer should read, as drawn from the list given to Arnold Samuelson in 1934:

  • The Blue Hotel by Stephen Crane
  • The Open Boat by Stephen Crane
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  • Dubliners by James Joyce
  • The Red and the Black by Stendhal
  • Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
  • Hail and Farewell by George Moore
  • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • The Oxford Book of English Verse
  • The Enormous Room by E.E. Cummings
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Far Away and Long Ago by W.H. Hudson
  • The American by Henry James

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