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Zadie Smith’s 10 Rules of Writing

Zadie Smith’s 10 Rules of Writing
by Maria Popova “Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.” In the winter of 2010, inspired by Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules of writing published in The New York Times nearly a decade earlier, The Guardian reached out to some of today’s most celebrated authors and asked them to each offer his or her rules. My favorite is Zadie Smith’s list — an exquisite balance of the practical, the philosophical, and the poetic: When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.Don’t romanticise your ‘vocation’. What a fine addition to famous writers’ timeless wisdom on the craft, including Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 rules for a great story, David Ogilvy’s 10 no-bullshit tips, Henry Miller’s 11 commandments, Jack Kerouac’s 30 beliefs and techniques, John Steinbeck’s 6 pointers, and Susan Sontag’s synthesized learnings.

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/09/19/zadie-smith-10-rules-of-writing/

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