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13 Rules for Writing


Write with the TV on.
Write with the radio on.
Write with your spouse yelling at you
to get off the fucking computer and get in bed already


As an undergrad, I couldn’t sleep.  I had plenty of time for it.  The inconvenient drive to study for exams or complete assignments didn’t surface until… well, actually, I’m still waiting for that.  I could have a good night’s sleep, saunter to class at ten am and still have time to stop by the liquor store later.   But college was loud.  I greatly envied my roommates who grew up in big families where there was no such thing as quiet.  To this day, I have trouble sleeping with someone whispering next to me.

But I can write.

Like cafes, quiet is not the magical ingredient in the story recipe.

Just like I can write on a bus or in a kitchen or in my pajamas in bed, I can write at a concert or next to an elementary school playground at recess or in a construction zone or on the couch with Jersey Shore blaring from my roommate’s TV.

Why? Because  I want to write more than I want to sleep. I want to write.  More than that, I want to be a writer.

And a writer writes.  No matter what.

I hope that in one hundred years somebody will remember that I wrote.  Who cares if they also remember that I slept?

6 Responses to “13 Rules for Writing: Rule #2”

    • aeliusblythe

      I’ve gotten pretty good at using distractions to fuel my work. I’ve actually discovered that I can work very efficiently in short bursts over a long period of time. So if I’m in a loud or distracting environment, it helps me to look up ever 10 or 15 minutes, take my mind off my writing for a few minutes, then going back with fresh eyes and a clear mind.

      That’s probably how I can manage the end-of-November, 48 hour NaNoWriMo bursts. A good skill to develop.

    • Yuma

      28 September 2011This piracy’ has two aspctes: the limitless possibilities of the internet, and a specific attitude of the pirates’. Pirates’ make use of the internet as, say, political activists do in Syria. They just establish and use communication channels which can serve all kinds of purposes. At the same time, the technical means to track and censor political dissidents are basically the same as the ones that are used towards pirates’. Now many of those pirates’ confuse things by thinking they’re fighting a political fight for freedom, their enemy being the music industry, whereas all they really do is to satisfy endless selfish needs and to make profits on the expense of creative people. At this point I totally agree with John about the perception of the whole share-and-download-thing, however you call it.One thing I really hope for besides more fair-mindedness and less self-righteousness of the people creating and using the internet is more possibilities to acquire high-res tracks of the music I love. For years I thought CDs will some day be replaced by something else with better quality, and then the age of mp3 set in. I’m sure there are a lot of people who are ready to pay for good music in good sound quality. I don’t say this would solve all the problems, but it’s a real pity music business takes so long to establish new means of distributing music. So far the industry is more part of the problem than part of the solution. I appreciate all the suggestions that have been made here that would help musicians and fans alike.With great respect to all the hard working creative people out there, especially to musicians like John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain whose beautiful and spiritually rich music is a invaluable gift to the worldViktor Gyoerffy

  1. live60

    Good article. I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t possibly write all the things going on in my mind, and nothing distracts me from doing them except for already ongoing writing projects.



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