Word by Word

Practical insights for writers from Jessica P Morrell

Jeanette Winterson’s 10 Rules for Writing

Written By: Jessica Morrell - Aug• 29•18

I write lists, I love lists, I live by lists.

Writers’ lists of advice distill hard-earned wisdom and common sense.¬† I don’t always agree with their suggestions, but am always curious about what other writers have learned about craft and butt-in-the-chair sticktoitness. I’ll be adding some of my own lists here in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, check out Jeanette Winterson’s¬†advice:

  1. Turn up for the work. Discipline allows creative freedom. No discipline means no freedom.
  2. Never stop when you are stuck. You might not be able to solve the problem, but turn aside and write something else. Do not stop altogether.
  3. Love what you do.
  4. Be honest with yourself. If you are no good, accept it. If the work you are doing is no good, accept it.
  5. Don’t hold on to poor work. If it was bad when it went into the drawer, it will be just as bad when it comes out.
  6. Take no notice of anyone you don’t respect.
  7. Take no notice of anyone with a gender agenda. A lot of men still think women lack imagination of the fiery kind.
  8. Be ambitious for the work but not the reward.
  9. Trust your creativity.
  10. Enjoy this work!

Keep writing, keep dreaming, enjoy this work



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