February 23, 2010

Clear Your Mind to Fill the Page

Writing well is a basic skill for those in the public relations profession, and everyone has their own style, voice and technique. I found this article today and thought it had some insight into breaking down writer's block and writing with more impact.

Anderson: The Best Writing Advice of the Best Writing Advice

Few things are more addictive to writers than reading tips about writing. Anyone who spends several hours a day wrestling with the blank page approaches the enormous canon of writing advice (Brande’s Becoming a Writer, Gardner’s The Art of Fiction, Dillard’s The Writing Life, Lamott’s Bird by Bird, The Paris Review interviews, etc.) as a kind of never-ending existential thriller. Over the weekend, the Guardian added to the genre, publishing a two-part survey of advice from 29 well-known contemporary writers, each of whom was asked to produce ten rules. The resulting 200-odd tips cover, pretty thoroughly, all the basic clich├ęs of the form: write every day, read all the time, revise mercilessly, and so on. Some of them explore territory beyond that, with advice ranging from the incredibly specific (Helen Dunmore: "Read Keats’s letters") to the vague (Anne Enright: "Try to be accurate about stuff"), and from the practical (Joyce Carol Oates: "be alert for possibilities of paragraphing") to the evasive (Philip Pullman: "My main rule is to say no to things like this, which tempt me away from my proper work").

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