Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How to Write--An Excerpt

"If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever it is. Who am I? What right have I to speak? Who will listen to me if I do? You are a human being with a unique story to tell, and you have every right. If you speak with passion, so many of us will listen. We need stories to live, all of us. We live by stories. Yours enlarges the circle."

Those are the opening words of 'How To Write' a book by Pulitzer winning writer, Richard Rhodes. I got it as a gift and I've been reading it carefully since then. I don't gulp it down. I sip, slowly. I let each lesson go down my throat touching every part of it before sitting in my belly. As much as I run away from 'how-to' books, this is a good one. Let's jump to another part I like:

"Your thought may not flow like Gertrude Stein's. You. May. Want. To. Write. Like. This. At. First. Feel free. Don't think about how you're writing:write. Everyone knows how to do something: describe a process. How do you untie your shoe? How do you brush your teeth?...Everyone has feelings: how do you feel about something or someone? Set a mirror before you and describe your face. Describe your hands. Are they different or the same? What do your hands have to say to each other? Describe what you taste, hear or see. What parts of you touch the world. Where does the world touch you? How does it feel? What are you thinking? Write it down. What do you think about what you were thinking? Write that down. Write until your time is up." 

You can buy a copy of the book here. It's our way of saying thank you for writing such a good book, BTW, we didn't get any permission before publishing this excerpt. Let's just hope the blog won't go down in a moment. We couldn't help but share :)


  1. Wow...I especially love the part about looking into a mirror and describing what you see. Writing is really about how good one can describe what they feel through their five senses.

  2. I like this, and may purchase the book.