Dienstag, 2. April 2013

My eleven rules for writing - anything

After finding Margaret Atwoods ten rules for writing fiction I sat at my desk (did I mention that I have new glasses, since this morning actually, its the kind of glasses which make you remember that you are old: when I look through the upper part, I can see the house on the other side of my street, I can see my neighbor sitting at her desk, when I look through the lower part, I can see the screen - if I get lost between the two parts of my glasses, my world turns kinda blurry. I am a bit nauseous since this morning, but it is o.k., I am hangin' in), so I sat at my desk, played with the glasses, thought about Margaret Atwoods rules, blurred my vision in all directions several times, got dizzy, and thought about my rules to writing, not just fiction, really anything. I came up with eleven rules. Here they are:

  1. Keep a notebook, write in it as often as possible, about everything that matters to you (this morning, before picking up the glasses, I started # 150, I am not kidding, I started writing into notebooks when I was 12, I mentioned the story about this before right here. I have them with me most of the time, not in my office though. Unfortunately my job is getting a bit demanding lately and its hard to find time for writing there. They would not like me sitting in the office and taking private notes. If I absolutely have to though I open my blog and start a new post entry. They never notice, because I have an office job. So writing in my blog might be about anything, even work related. 
  2. Don't feel silly if you only write into a certain kind of notebooks, I do, my favourites are these. I used to force my US-friends to mail them to me, or bring them over whenever they came to visit, I even took running out of them as one excuse to fly to the US. I mean some people buy their shoes in Paris, I buy my notebooks in Virginia, alright!? Unfortunately I found a paper shop around the corner from my office now that sells them, so this excuse is not soooo valid anymore. Unless you are also into a certain kind of pen, which I am. I really do like those. So, what can I say, I have to fly to the US from time to time to stock up. Writing in a certain kind of notebook with a certain kind of pen can get your writing juices flowing - if you are a bit like me. I still write mostly everything by hand first.
  3. Flying to the US from time to time - it is just the chemistry between me and the country I suppose, but I find it very inspiring to be there. I find its people very inspiring too and nothing inspires me more then an american bookstore like Barnes & Nobles at the Washington DC Union Station - fantastic! But even better are the small ones in little cities like Fountain Bookstore in Richmond/Virginia
  4. Read as much as you can, everything you want to read and look how the good authors, the ones you like, do it. Read what you want to write. 
  5. I am with Margaret Atwood on the exercising thing - also walking, swimming, everything that moves your body will also move your thoughts. It is important to change your perspective often - I really am into yoga nowadays and I prefer the postures where you somehow end up upside down.
  6. Travelling is also a great means of changing perspectives - and I mean not just to the US, just travel everywhere, even in Germany, go on trains, by car, by foot, on airplanes, move and collect impressions, colours, smells, people, stories, experiences, yourself in new circumstances. 
  7. Meditation is very helpful - quiets that inner voice, sometimes at least, and lets one look into deeper layers of ones life (which is not bad) but also of ones writing (which is on certain days even better).
  8. Start a blog - got me to writing more then I did ever before. Also got me away from my novel, which I hate right now, which I will continue to write nonetheless. 
  9. Do not complain in your writing, people do not want to feel sorry for the people they read about. 
  10. Do not write I I I all the time - people do not want to feel like they are reading your diary. 
  11. Gardening and being in my little hut in the country, nature, the voices of all kinds of birds, having my hands in the earth, harvesting, reading under the cherry tree in full blossom - all this and much more I do need to write! It is nurturing. 
April 25th, 2014: I tend to reread my posts, because I often like them and they contain a lot of thoughts, I want to think again and again. And sometimes I even find more interesting things to make the post even BETTER (if thats possible, mind you).
Here I found some other writer's ten rules for writing fiction and I thoroughly enjoyed reading them and will take some of them seriously to heart: Hilary Mantel (I've been meaning to read her Wolf Hall for a year now. It is waiting beside my bed, and I think, it will be read by the end of summer! Jonathan Franzen, whose books are also on my to-read-list!
© Susanne Becker


  1. I can't wait to see your new glasses!

  2. :-) They of course look fabulous on me - make me at least 17 years younger and I do now recognize my neigbors again if you know what I mean ;-)