Writing / April 18, 2014

Writers, Stop Writing About Writing

From my most recent post at The Blazing Center:

This might be hypocritical. It’s likely a bit odd and possibly (probably) pretentious. Some might refer to it as Meta. I prefer to think of it as Inception-like. As a writer, I have some things to write about writers writing about writing.

Writers writing about writing, while not always pretentious, can reach levels of pretention previously only dreamed of. Sometimes this shows itself as melodrama. “I write because I must.” “The pressure of pain begins to build until, of a sudden, it burst forth like lava from a volcano . . . and I write.” “Publishing a written work is like sending a child off to school for the first time, every time.” “Writing is a grueling, thankless task, but I have no choice. I am compelled”

Gag me. Nobody wants to hear about the travails of the writer, not even other writers. (In fact, while you’d think other writers would be the most empathetic we are in fact the least inclined to care about your moaning.) If it’s so awful, quit, for all our sakes. You’re not compelled against your will; you write because you enjoy it, or at least something about it. And with all that whining, methinks what you love most is the attention not the craft.

. . .
You know what’s remarkable? How little the truly great writers say or said about writing itself. They just wrote. And so should we. They didn’t cogitate on “the life of the writer”; no, they lived life, digested it, and regurgitated it in words and stories and essays.

. . .

Read the full post HERE.

photo credit: cellar_door_films via photopin cc




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2 Comments

Apr 18, 2014

I must disagree. I have read several essays on the art of writing by skilled writers that are worthy of any writer’s time. I think you mean to differentiate between the quality of writing about writing. May I recommend this little work: Annie Dillard, The Writing Life: http://www.amazon.com/The-Writing-Life-Annie-Dillard/dp/0060919884

Or maybe this:
http://www.amazon.com/Ernest-Hemingway-Writing-Larry-Phillips/dp/0684854295

And while not about writing in the sense you mention, there can be no better book ‘about’ writing that this: http://www.amazon.com/The-Elements-Style-Fourth-Edition/dp/020530902X


Apr 18, 2014

There is a nearly identical yet equally pertinent sister post waiting for you to write it: “Songwriters, Stop Writing Songs About Songwriting.”



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