Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Craft Book of the Month: January 2011 "Take Joy"

Week Three: "Advice"

I love the following:
"Writing," we must also remind ourselves in Theodore Roethke's wonderful phrase, "is an act of mischief." Be Loki. Be Coyote. Be willing to stir the world's soup pot, spit at the stars, show your backside to the council, whoop in church. Nothing and everything is sacred to the writer."
Here's what Jane Yolen gives in the way of advice, which she cautions she applies only to herself.

  • WRITE EVERY DAY"... and then the sympathetic magic takes hold. As water calls water, so words call words."
  • WRITE WHAT INTERESTS YOU "... for me that's easy. Almost everything except hard science, Brussels sprouts, and hockey interests me."
  • WRITE FOR YOURSELF "... by this I mean you shouldn't look outside yourself for some target audience and hope to hit it. You never will because the target keeps shifting."
  • WRITE WITH HONEST EMOTION "... this is not necessarily an easy or even comfortable way to write. But there are also times when the writer is not aware of what a story is really saying."
  • BE WARY OF PREACHING "... as Samuel Goldwyn once said of the movies: "If you want to send a message, use Western Union."
  • BE READY TO GO TOPSY-TURVY (By this, she means to look at your work through a different lens, so you can see "anew what is on the page.")
  • BE PREPARED FOR SERENDIPITY "An author, like any fresh-faced and eager Boy Scout, must always be prepared."
Good rules to write by. Do you have any "rules" you use to help you write?


  1. my rules uh..
    Write in the morning
    and go for it

  2. Rules? There are rules? Hmmm...well...if I had to come up with a couple I guess it would be these:

    1. Grammar/spelling/punctuation matter (because I'm a nerd).
    2. Write from the head and heart simultaneously. Think it, feel it, write it.

    I love the "serendipity" rule. Serendipity is one of my favorite things...I love it when something wonderful and unexpected comes my way!

  3. Good stuff! and yes write and scribble/sketch, paint, everyday! Thanks-


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