Ernest Encourages

This year marks the 115th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s birth. The number of writers he has influenced is legion. To celebrate his continuing legacy, Writer’s Digest recently gathered some of his pearls of wisdom on craft. Here are some pithy selections:

“I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.”

“If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water.”

“For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.”

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”

“Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over.”

“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.”

“In going where you have to go, and doing what you have to do, and seeing what you have to see, you dull and blunt the instrument you write with. But I would rather have it bent and dulled and know I had to put it on the grindstone again and hammer it into shape and put a whetstone to it, and know that I had something to write about, than to have it bright and shining and nothing to say, or smooth and well oiled in the closet, but unused.”

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

May Ernest’s words encourage and energize you today. Write on!

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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1 Response to Ernest Encourages

  1. Mike Tully says:

    Hi, Karin!

    Thank you for the insights. Hemingway worked at United press International, as did I. There any similarity ends.

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