FROM WEFBOOKCLUB: TEN OF MY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR GOOD WRITING HABITS. BY LYDIA DAVIS.

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Just 4 days before, I liked and retweeted a tweet from @WEFBookClub from Twitter. I mean World Economic Forum Book Club. I strongly recommend you, people, to visit it. But I hope everyone knows.

Here, I took the best initial lines from each of the ten writing habits. I would like to give the source down below. The author Lydia Davis has shared her personal experience along with writing recommendations.

I apologize, I should not copy and paste everything. Rather, I noticed her inspiring lines for the readers like me and you. I’m glad to read it and share.

I highly recommend you to visit the link down below.

Lydia Davis is the author of one novel and seven story collections, most recently Can’t and Won’t. Her collection Varieties of Disturbance was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Award, and her Collected Stories was described by James Wood in The New Yorker as “a grand cumulative achievement.” She is also the acclaimed translator of Swann’s Way and Madame Bovary, both of which were awarded the French-American Foundation Translation Prize. Among many other honors, she received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2003 and the Man Booker International Prize in 2013, and was named both Chevalier and Officier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government for her fiction and translation.

  1. Take notes regularly. This will sharpen both your powers of observation and your expressive ability. A productive feedback loop is established: Through the habit of taking notes, you will inevitably come to observe more; observing more, you will have more to note down.
  • Observe your own activity.
  • Observe your own feelings (but not at tiresome length).
  • Observe the behavior of others, both animal and human.
  • Observe the weather, and be specific.
  • Observe other types of behavior, including that of municipalities.

Note facts:

As a writer, whether you are writing fiction, non-fiction, or poetry, you must be responsible for accurate factual information about how a thing works, if you’re writing about it. You will have to be well informed about such things as the weather, biology, botany, human nature, history, technology, such matters as color spectrums and the behavior of light waves etc. etc. This means that, over time, you will learn a good deal.

  • Note technical/historical facts
  1. Always work (note, write) from your own interest, never from what you think you should be noting, or writing. Trust your own interest.

Let your interest, and particularly what you want to write about, be tested by time, not by other people—either real other people or imagined other people.

This is why writing workshops can be a little dangerous, it should be said; even the teachers or leaders of such workshops can be a little dangerous; this is why most of your learning should be on your own. Other people are often very sure that their opinions and their judgments are correct.

  1. Be mostly self-taught.

There is a great deal to be learned from programs, courses, and teachers. But I suggest working equally hard, throughout your life, at learning new things on your own, from whatever sources seem most useful to you.

  1. Revise notes constantly—try to develop the ability to read them as though you had never seen them before, to see how well they communicate. Constant revision, whether or not you’re going to “do” anything with what you’ve written, also teaches you to write better in the first place, when you first write something down.

Read the best writers: maybe it would help to set a goal of one classic per year at least.

  1. If you take notes regularly, sitting in an airport, for example, you can “grow” a story right then and there. Revising it, you can give it a good shape and pace.
  2. Taking notes as you sit outside at a cafe table, you can also begin to develop a poem.
  3. Another advantage of revising constantly, regardless of whether you’re ever going to “use” what you’ve written, is that you practice, constantly, reading with fresh eyes, reading as the person coming fresh to this, never having seen it before. This is a very important skill to develop, and one that probably develops only with time and practice (although some people recommend various tricks, such as printing different drafts of your work in different fonts).

Another way to see your work freshly is to leave it alone and come back to it after time has passed.

  1. Sentences or ideas reported from reality out of context can be wonderful. But then, when and if you use them in a piece of finished writing, beware of how much context you give them.

Context can mean explanation, exposition. And too much of it can take away all the interest that the material originally had.

  1. Go to primary sources and go to the great works to learn technique. This was the advice of Matsuo Basho, the 17th-c. Japanese master of the haiku.

Read the best writers: maybe it would help to set a goal of one classic per year at least. Classics have stood the test of time, as we say. Keep trying them, if you don’t like them at first—come back to them. I tried Joyce’s Ulysses three times before I read it all the way through.

  1. How should you read? What should the diet of your reading be? Read the best writers from all different periods; keep your reading of contemporaries in proportion—you do not want a steady diet of contemporary literature. You already belong to your time.

 

SOURCE: https://lithub.com/lydia-davis-ten-of-my-recommendations-for-good-writing-habits/

With respect.

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