What Hath Elmore Wrought?

Over the weekend, The Guardian wanted to celebrate the UK publication of Elmore Leonard’s new book, Ten Rules of Writing. To do so, the most erudite paper in England asked a boatload of authors to share tips about their writing lives.

If you’ve been within 3 miles of a writer, you’ve heard this all before. For example: Margaret Atwood wants you to bring two pencils and some paper on a plane. Joyce Carol Oates wants you to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Jeanette Winston wants you to power through the hard times. No innovative tips here!

Still, this essay got me thinking: what if some erudite publication asked me the writing rule I live under, what would I say? Initially, I didn’t have a clue, which told me that I have a long way to go in the writing game.

But I then I remembered a line I heard once: “A writer who doesn’t write is merely a secretary.” Or bartender. Or assembly line worker. Or fourth grade teacher. You know what I mean. Thinking back on that line has caused me to write over and over again.

What words of wisdom do you have for your fellow writers?

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3 responses to “What Hath Elmore Wrought?

  1. Get locked into something that will hold you accountable. I’ve found writing groups a great way to remain productive during downtimes but you could also do something like being an unpaid correspondent for a food or music website, where they expect submissions from you periodically.

  2. Why am I the only commenter on your blog? I was anticipating robust discussion!

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