I LOVED your golfing
story. Read every word. You're a wonderful writer.
(Peter Bowerman, the Well-Fed Writer)
Big Things rule! ... and the video
of the Airbus is great. (Jim McDonald,
Having enjoyed reading your
can't take that away from me... I
would love to post your article (for my) course for
seniors entitled Autobiography and Journaling ... and
let them read your article as a good example of what
I call the reader's writer, clearly expressed and easy
to read. (Howell)
The French language has
always appealed to me ... so I enjoyed Lavinia's
France! (Di Sullivan, Perth, Australia)
I am an American and an
expat here since 1990. I have been a subscriber to Writing
Tip for a few years now and look forward to the Friday
editions. I archive by creating topics of the tips
relevant to me and often refer. (Mary, Lagos, Nigeria)
Your Own Best Seller!
year, don't just read a best-seller ... Write
your own using the software program that works
in the same way J K Rowling writes her Harry
Who said Aussies would
bet on two flies crawling up a wall? Now I know
better! (Bill Denham, Chicago, USA)
I enjoy reading your page
every week, Jennifer, it's never boring and there's always
something to bring a smile to my face! (Kenny Dima,
Thanks for pitching in to
the English Language for and with us. (Paul, Portland,
Your story about the evil
glasses made my day :) (Edith, Derbyshire, UK)
I enjoy your
letter and use it in my advanced writing class here in
China. (Bugs, Shenzhen, CHINA)
I always look forward to
quote of the week. (Paul, Mexico City, Mexico)
Aah! Those evil
marionettes are everywhere! Thanks for another great
laugh! (Jim Fraser, Vancouver, Canada)
Your remarks regarding the alien
contact had me in stitches, figuratively speaking, of
course. (Dave Wagner, Sacramento, US)
The best part of the
missive is the introduction to Australian
humour and expressions. (Chaska, Prince Edward
site...very inspirational when you get writer's
block like me! (Peter, Seoul, South Korea)
Nice letter, I
was using google for once, twice, thrice
and quince, and found this page, great ;) (Marv, Zwolle,
One of the most
amusing and erudite newsletters that makes my day.
Keep going. (David Vasnaik, Bangalore, INDIA)
more testimonials ...
Great newsletter -
originally found this site after searching for
clarification on a contentious
point amongst work colleagues. Just had to look at old
issues and now look forward to Fridays (Juliet Wallace,
Do You Become a Writer?
Amanda Eyre Ward, author of Forgive Me
I remember going to hear
Joyce Carol Oates read when I was in college. I wanted desperately to be a
writer, and I hung on her every word. When she mentioned that she wrote by
a window, I noted write by a window.
When she said she drank tea, I wrote tea.
Whenever I met a real writer, I asked them where they wrote, how they wrote, and
when. I wanted to know the rules, how to organize my life in order to
know now that every writer makes his or her own rules. The advice I give
to beginning writers is to have faith, love the process, and to value writing,
to put it in the center of their lives.
faith is hard as rejection letters and bills come regularly in the mail.
But of my friends and colleagues who studied fiction writing with me at the
a decade ago, the only ones who have not published yet are the ones who gave
up. The rest of us make a living now by writing. (Or writing and
Valuing writing is the fun part. Set aside a desk for writing, set aside a
day. Spend some money on your favorite tea, an important pen, a book you
want to read. Play music, and feel proud when youíve written a page.
Take a walk if you need to. Get a sitter. Surround yourself with
objects that inspire you. The rest of the writing life is difficult, and
can be heartbreaking. This is what you get: a solitary morning, a cup of
coffee, the luxury of bringing words into the world, the joy of a perfect
Writing in the Center of Your Life
Putting writing in the center of your life is also challenging, when so many
other important things beckon. Oprah and everyone else tells me I can make
time for an exercise routine, but I canít seem to do it. But living as a
writer doesnít always mean being alone. You can take care of children,
or a job, or a spouse while you think about writing. When you see a movie,
ask yourself why it is working or not. If you lose interest in a
friendís story, ask yourself what she could have done to hold you. What
magazines are you reading, and why? What could be going on with the bank
teller and her strange expression? Living your life as a writer is a way
of participating fully, but also taking notes as an observer. Itís
something that takes practice, but I have found it to be essential. I have
been completely stuck in a novel, left it for the day, and then found my answer
on the playground or at the library. I am always thinking about my novels.
And, thanks to Joyce Carol Oates, I always sit by the window.
Amanda Eyre Ward is the award-winning author of How
to Be Lost and Sleep Toward
Heaven. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family.
more information, please visit www.amandaward.com.