This is a very good article – it really says it how it is about writing. and one of the most improtant things for me is, “If you aren’t a serious reader, don’t expect anyone to read what you write.”
You’re going to need to spend a lot of time alone. James Yamasaki This is so, so true! If you don’t like being solitary don’t even think about writing!
Being a writer means developing a lifelong intimacy with language. You have to be crazy about books as a kid to establish the neural architecture required to write one.
If you complain about not having time to write, please do us both a favor and drop out.
I went to a low-residency MFA program and, years later, taught at a low-residency MFA program. “Low-residency” basically means I met with my students two weeks out of the year and spent the rest of the semester critiquing their work by mail. My experience tells me this: Students who ask a lot of questions about time management, blow deadlines, and whine about how complicated their lives are should just give up and do something else. Their complaints are an insult to the writers who managed to produce great work under far more difficult conditions than the 21st-century MFA student. On a related note: Students who ask if they’re “real writers,” simply by asking that question, prove that they are not.
If you aren’t a serious reader, don’t expect anyone to read what you write.
Without exception, my best students were the ones who read the hardest books I could assign and asked for more.
- British Native Shamanism
- Training in the Old British Ways
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