How to Write
I love talking about writing, and I love working out simple but effective ways to teach it. I don’t say much, on this blog or elsewhere, about how to feel good about yourself, or about motivating yourself to write, or believing everything you do is already great, because I feel there are a lot of books already talking about this. And also—I don’t simply want to write. I want to write well. Really well.
The techniques described below should help you do that.
To write well, you need to understand, love, and care for the words you put on the page. My series draws together advice on style from many sources, and presents it simply enough that anyone who likes words can understand and immediately use.
The entire series is described here.
2. Lessons from the Greats
If you want to improve your writing, it makes sense to study the writers you most love and admire, to figure out how they did it.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Keats: How did John Keats so rapidly improve as a poet? As shown in Walter Jackson Bate’s biography, Keats’ poems went from “average” to “best in the language” in only a few years of hard, focused work. Here is how I think he did it.
The Confusing Pleasures of Saul Bellow: I spent a season reading his novels, essays, and letters, and was left in troubled awe.
This page will expand. I have lots more to discuss. Let me know if there is a particular topic you’d like me to write about.