Writing Advice From Famous Essay Writers
You may ask yourself, “What do famous writers know about teaching others?” If you have ever been in the teaching or training profession, you will know how false this old statement is: “If you can't do, teach.” The fact is that teaching and training are skills you can learn and mature, and they have nothing to do with the talent you have for what you are actually doing. It is why professional boxers are rarely trainers and coaches for other boxers. The famous writers of today and yester year have nothing to teach you that a good trainer couldn't. Still, it is nice to get an idea of what they thought or did so that you may apply it to your own writing.
Write Notes, Do Not Worry About Organizing Them - Shakespeare
If Shakespeare existed, it is said that he used to have piles of notes that were unorganized in his office. This is because every time he had an idea he would note it down as quickly as possible. Over time his notes became a little overwhelming, but on the plus side, if he wanted an idea he would just pick up some notes like he was in a raffle and find some ideas that worked.
Write Every Single Day - Stephen King
There is a confirmed rumor, confirmed by King himself, that he writes ten pages every day, even on holidays. This may be something that he put out there to confirm his mystique, but he does write a lot of material, good or bad, so it stands to reason that he does write ten pages per day. He writes everyday and is good at what he does--and it stands to reason that this same principle would apply to anybody that practiced so often.
List-Making Can Boost Your Creativity - Ray Bradbury
As a planning method, you will find that list making is top notch. It helps you organize your thoughts, which in turn helps you relax knowing that you have not forgotten anything important. It helps your creativity too because you can organize your time, your thoughts and your creative exercises.
To Produce a Mighty Book, You Must Choose a Mighty Theme - Herman Melville
This tip does make sense. After all, the Lord of the Rings has to be one of the most epic stories ever put to print, and that is one hell of a mighty theme. There may be something in this tip. For example, the movie “Fight Club” was a mighty theme, and somebody had to write that screenplay. It was a mighty theme and it created a movie that was different from every other movie ever made. It broke the mold, and that was because it was a mighty theme (plus great direction and acting too).
It is Perfectly Okay to Write Garbage—as Long as you Edit Brilliantly - C. J. Cherryh
You can write for hours and hours, writing fluff and nonsense if you wish. It is not a terrible idea so long as you edit down your work when you are done. If you edit down your work then you cut away all the stuff you do not want and you keep the pure gold, which usually appears in snippets throughout the text.
Science Fiction Writers, I am Sorry to Say, Really do not Know Anything - Philip K. Dick
This is a tip, or maybe an inspirational quote. Maybe you do not have to know anything to be a writer, and if you do not know anything, then why not be a science fiction writer.
Half my Life is an Act of Revision - John Irving
This is just a fact of life for writers, and it is so annoying when you have to do it. Revision for a writer is like being asked to run 50 laps if you are a football player. It has that air of inconvenience that makes you want to quit rather than do it. John was making a very true point that writers can relate to.
Get it Down. Take Chances. It May be Bad, But it's The Only Way You Can do Anything Really Good. - William Faulkner
This is great advice because within the midst the massive amounts of crap you write, you are going to write something good. The skill comes through being able to pick out what bits that are fantastic and leave behind the bits that do not work. Again, how can you do this if you are not writing down everything you think of?
Literature is All, or Mostly, About Sex - Anthony Burgess
This is true, but is mostly true about things in life too. Still, look at most literature and you will find some motivation that relates to sex. Do you think Macbeth would have killed if his wife were not whispering in his ear? Would Lenny have killed Curly's wife if she were not sex hungry and love starved? Would Bob Cratchit have had as many problems if he didn't have six kids?