Monday, September 18, 2006

Maureen Hull's Advice to Aspiring Writers

1. Read: widely, cross-genre, garbage to High Lit. Every book you pick up on how to write, and every workshop instructor you meet, will tell you this, because it's important.
 
2. Put your coffee mug on the floor. If you put it on your desk, sooner or later you'll knock it into a pile of papers or, worse yet, onto your keyboard. Could be expensive.
 
3. Don't answer the phone or the door when you're writing. You're not available. They'll get back to you.
 
4. Get some fresh air. Open a window. Stretch. Walk around the block. Sit on a park bench and blow bubbles.
 
5. Confess to yourself: I want to be published, many times; I want to make so much money at it that I can just write and never work at another job in my life; I want a housekeeper to cook and clean, efficiently and very quietly; I want to spend two months every winter under a palm tree with my laptop on a wicker table nearby in case I feel inspired.
 
6. Admit to yourself that this is never going to happen. Probably. Then go back to writing.
 
7. Acquire a skill that will bring in enough cash to support yourself and your writing habit. Acquire a patron (they may be extinct) and then let me know how you did it. If you buy lotto tickets—don't kid yourself.
 
8. Join a writers' group and/or a writers' organization. Take a few workshops. You need support and information, and those are the places you'll find it. Share what you learn. Writers need allies. Get some; be one.
 
9. Have a real life. Appreciate the planet—it's gorgeous—and try to see some of it firsthand. Take care of important relationships and make some effort to stay healthy. You can use parts of your real life in your writing, but don't make writing the whole of your real life or you won't have one.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great advice, Maureen!

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Suzanne Saito said...

Hello Maureen

just read your book "A View from a Kite" and loved it. Suzanne Saito
Dawson City, Yukon

8:35 PM  

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