Friday, October 23, 2009

Sara's Quotation Commentary #1 - S. Maugham

I am a huge fan of quotes about writing.  Always have been - I suspect it comes with the territory.  I love clever word play, I love insight to the writing process and inspiration to keep at it, I love sarcasm and wit.  So with all of this in mind, I am happy to introduce a new series I will be running here at The Babbling Flow:  "Sara's Quotation Commentary".

Each week (give or take) I will post one of my favorite writing quotes and expand on it.  Take from it what you will.  My hope is that you'll love the quotes for the same reasons I do.  My $.02 are just an added feature you can take or leave.

Without further ado... Let Sara's Quotation Commentary commence! (Gosh, I love alliteration.)

 I thought today's quote would be perfect to kick off the series.  I'm fairly new to the blogosphere section of the writing world (and twitter for that matter).  Like so many other aspiring authors, I have scoured tons of blogs and started participating in oodles of twitter chats.  I want to glean as much information about the best writing styles and techniques possible.

Well.  Let me just say that I am extremely thankful that I am someone who can apply what sounds right for myself and discard the rest.  Because - wowza!  There is a ton of writing advice out there.  As if it's not enough to take in - what you find on one site (or in one conversation or in one book) will most likely be completely contradicted on another. 

For instance, some people prefer to write in the morning.  I've read a lot of advice about how great it is to wake up and write - apparently you can be quite creative before your brain fully wakes up and starts automatically editing your thoughts.  Personally, I think this is genius.  But it doesn't work for me.  I can't wake up early.  I've tried my entire life.  I hate it!  So I write late at night instead - that's when my creative juices are really flowing!

I was an English minor in college.  I was a marketing and communications manager right after college.  After that, I was a government consultant, specializing in communications.  And I've been a teacher.  Now I write full-time.  I've had a long, long relationship with the written word - in many different formats.  So please believe me when I say - you can't please everyone.  Every time you follow one writing rule, you're probably breaking another from somewhere else. 

So here's my advice:  Keep reading.  Keep learning.  Because there are some writing rules (including grammar and punctuation and the likes) that actually are absolute.  But as for the rest of the rules?  I say screw 'em!  Take what works for you and use it.  You won't make the best of what's inside of you if you're uncomfortable creating it by someone else's standards!  (Unless they're your boss or agent's standards... that's a totally different story, of course.)

Want to know more about
Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)?
Click here

♥ me


  1. I think you've got it just right. If there is any one key it is reading. The time of day, the technique, all of that other stuff is moot if you aren't immersing yourself in the industry and absorbing as much of the good stuff as possible.

  2. Thanks Jenni :) Yeah, can't stress the reading enough! Not to mention (for me anyway) the more I read about what's going on in the industry, the more motivated I am to keep writing my novel... So I might really become a part of said industry on the published side someday.


Yay! I love when you have things to add :)