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Writing is courage – TIPS FOR WRITERS


I firmly believe that writing is an act of courage. It’s almost an act of physical courage. You get up and you have this great idea. Maybe you were hanging out with friends—you guys were drinking beer and talking about something. You had this idea and they said, “Wow, that’s brilliant! Someone has to go write it.’ And you sit down to write it, and almost always what was brilliant before when you sat down and talked becomes not so brilliant when you’re going to write. It’s like you have a certain music in your head and trying to get that music onto the page is absolute hell. And that’s why you will fail. If you do it right, what happens is that the translation of what you hear in your head, what your idea is in your head, is almost always going to translate very poorly on the page when you first write, okay? But what you have to do is give yourself a day, go back, revise again and again and again until you have something that is at least 70 percent of what you wanted to do. You are trying to go from very bad to normal to acceptable. Then you know you’ve done your job. I’ve never lived up to the ideal I had in my head, so I always find the whole process a failure. I think this is the main reason why more and more people don’t write. It’s very depressing that way.


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