Jeannette Winterson is an English author, whom I not heard of until I came across her 10 rules for writing. Now I want to read Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, a semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age novel about a teenage girl.
Meanwhile, her writing tips are terrific. The admonition attached to the first item on her list – “No discipline equals no freedom” – seems particularly apt. Not only can it be applied to writing, but it also makes sense for life in general.
- Turn up for work. Discipline allows creative freedom. No discipline equals no freedom.
- Never stop when you are stuck. You may not be able to solve the problem, but turn aside and write something else. Do not stop altogether.
- Love what you do.
- Be honest with yourself. If you are no good, accept it. If the work you are doing is no good, accept it.
- Don’t hold on to poor work. If it was bad when it went in the drawer it will be just as bad when it comes out.
- Take no notice of anyone you don’t respect.
- Take no notice of anyone with a gender agenda. A lot of men still think that women lack imagination of the fiery kind.
- Be ambitious for the work and not for the reward.
- Trust your creativity.
- Enjoy this work!
Photo Credit: Neven Krcmarek
I lead writing workshops in the Bay Area, and spend much of my so-called free time writing. To support my avocation (and my family) I sell residential real estate in San Francisco; for more about that visit RealEstateTherapy.org or CynthiaCummins.com.