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Some Maxims for Writers Part 1

Offered without comment, for your use as you see fit...

1. Write about what you love.

You may have heard the maxim ‘Write about what you know’. Take this a stage further, a step deeper, by defining the things you love and writing about them.

2. The light of your theme, your message, will guide you home.

If you know what you want to say, no technical, aesthetic or logistical obstacle can stop you from getting it communicated in the end.

3. Fall in love with something and stay there.

To reach the heights of writing, meditate upon something you love and pick up your pen (or keyboard). Don’t think too much about it, just write. That doesn’t mean your stories have to be about love, or light-hearted, or even all have happy endings — but your writing will be charged with depth nevertheless.

4. The only lasting beauty your work will have is the beauty of meaning.

Beautiful words, rhythm, characters, moments, endings — they’ll all last for readers if they are also resonating with meaning. Master metaphors.

5. Pain is the beacon which guides you to better work.

Things that hurt give your stories emotional power. You don’t have to be cruel, you can relieve pain with tremendous positive effect — but to get your readers to feel, pain is your guide.

6. Start writing and a story will appear.

Only as you sit down to write do you fully discover the work that lies within you.

7. Imagination is an open door in a prison cell.

There are no barriers, no locks. The door is open.

8. Write until you break — then keep writing.

Your best work will come after you have gone outside your comfort zone into the vast hinterlands around you.

9. As a writer, you shine the sunlight which shows beauty to others.

Even a dark story can bring illumination to readers.

10. As a writer, you are the bridge between readers and other worlds.

Show them things they’ve been looking for for their whole lives, whether they knew it or not.

11. Your words light worlds.

Words, sentences, paragraphs, scenes — together they add up to new stars in the sky for the travelling reader.

12. You are at your best when you become words.

You might be typing with a body, but you’re living at your best when you become what you write.

13. Anxiety is fuel.

Worry is a sign that words are trying to get out.

14. Write as though you were the last reader in the world.

Readers? Who needs them? Create the library of works you’d love to discover.

15. You are your own solar system — go exploring.

True knowledge, real meaning and authentic beauty lie within.

16. Messengers are everywhere. Listen to them.

Right now, you’re surrounded by emissaries bringing you stories. Look, listen, feel.


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