The lack of new posts is one part writer’s block and one part overloaded schedule. For inspiration, I reread my own advice in Writing Better and was reminded of the fourth rule: learn from the masters. What do the greatest writers say about writing?
Of course, I’ve written about the subject before in Writing Tips from Famous Authors. William Zinsser reminds me:
If writing seems hard, it’s because it is hard. It’s one of the hardest things people do.
True but unfortunately not much comfort. Luckily, after a bit of surfing, I stumbled upon this archive of more than 60 famous authors exploring literary themes – mostly they write about writing. E L Doctorow, Joyce Carol Oates, John Updike, and even Kurt Vonnegut.
If you enjoy writing, all of them are worth a read but I found myself coming back to Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules designed to help an author remain invisible when writing a book. Leonard, who died earlier this year, was called THE great American writer by Stephen King. My favorite piece of advice from Leonard’s list is his last:
Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.
In case you skipped reading the whole list, Leonard sums up his advice like this: “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”