Six Tips on Writing by John Steinbeck

Six Tips on Writing by John Steinbeck
Interview in Fall 1975 issue of The Paris Review.

john steinbeck

1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.

2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.

3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.

4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.

5. Beware of a scene that becomes too dear to you, dearer than the rest. It will usually be found that it is out of drawing.

6. If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech.

The Known and the Unknown – #11

a writer's word polished or rawThe Known and the Unknown – #11
Excerpts from the Essay “Fail Safe”
Written by Debbie Millman
Post Sunday 28th September 2014

The Essay titled “Fail Safe”
Taken From Anthology
Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays
on the Intersection of Life and Design

Debbie Millman is an Artist
Strategist & Interviewer

“Fail Safe” The Essay-Explores Existential Skills-Living With Uncertainty-Embracing The Unfamiliar-Allowing For Not Knowing-Cultivating What John Keats Famously Termed “Negative Capability”

psychedelic cat

The Known and the Unknown – #11

If you
imagine less,
less will be
what you
undoubtedly
deserve.

DO WHAT YOU LOVE

and

don’t stop
until you get
what you love.

Work
as hard
as you can

imagine
immensities

don’t
compromise

and

don’t
waste time.

Start
now.

Not
20 years
from now

not
two weeks
from now.

NOW

blk & wht fluid abstract painting


“The Known and the Unknown” – Part #11 – Jennifer Kiley

Remember

“Do What You LOVE

“The Known and the Unknown” – #10

a writer's word polished or rawThe Known and the Unknown – #10
Excerpts from the Essay “Fail Safe”
Written by Debbie Millman
Post Sunday 21st September 2014

The Essay titled “Fail Safe”
Taken From Anthology
Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays
on the Intersection of Life and Design

Debbie Millman is an Artist
Strategist & Interviewer

“Fail Safe” The Essay-Explores Existential Skills-Living With Uncertainty-Embracing The Unfamiliar-Allowing For Not Knowing-Cultivating What John Keats Famously Termed “Negative Capability”

psychedelic cat

The Known and the Unknown – #10

Every
once
in a while

often
when
we least
expect it

we encounter
someone
more
courageous

someone
who chooses
to strive
for
that which
(to us)
seemed
unrealistically
unattainable

even elusive.

And we marvel.

We swoon.

We Gape.

Often
we are
in awe.

I think
we Look
at
these people
as Lucky

When
in fact,
luck
has nothing
to do
with it.

It is
really
ALL about
the strength
of their
IMAGINATION

it is
about
how they
constructed
the possibilities
from
their Life.

In short

unlike me,
they didn’t
determine
what was
impossible
before
it was
even impossible.

John Madea
once explained

“The computer
will do
anything
within its
abilities.”

blk & wht fluid abstract painting


“The Known and the Unknown” – Part #10 – Jennifer Kiley

Remember

“Do What You LOVE

“The Known and the Unknown” – #9

a writer's word polished or rawThe Known and the Unknown – #9
Excerpts from the Essay “Fail Safe”
Written by Debbie Millman
Post Sunday 14th September 2014

The Essay titled “Fail Safe”
Taken From Anthology
Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays
on the Intersection of Life and Design

Debbie Millman is an Artist
Strategist & Interviewer

“Fail Safe” The Essay-Explores Existential Skills-Living With Uncertainty-Embracing The Unfamiliar-Allowing For Not Knowing-Cultivating What John Keats Famously Termed “Negative Capability”

psychedelic cat

The Known and the Unknown – #9

I recommend
the following
course
of action

for those
who are just
beginning
their careers

or

for those
like me,
who may be
reconfiguring
midway through

heed the words
of Robert Frost

Start with
a big
fat Lump
in your throat

start with
a profound
sense
of WRONG

a deep homesickness

or a crazy
Love Sickness

and run
with it.

If you
imagine less

less is
what you
undoubtedly
deserve.

DO
WHAT
YOU
LOVE

and
don’t stop
until
you get
what
you Love.

Work
as hard
as you can

imagine
immensities

don’t
compromise

and

don’t
waste
time.

Start
N0w.

Not
20 years
from now

not
two weeks
from now.

Now.

blk & wht fluid abstract painting


“The Known and the Unknown” Part #9 – Jennifer Kiley

Remember

“Do What You LOVE