Writing Tip of the Day 2-22-18 (William Gibson)

Posted: February 20, 2018 in Writing
Tags: , ,

William Gibson

“[I]n science fiction I think the classic advice from Robert Heinlein was, in order to be a writer you had to finish what you wrote, submit what you’d written for publication, and without waiting to see whether it was rejected or accepted, start writing something else, which you’d then finish. And when the first piece was rejected, you’d immediately submit it somewhere else. Heinlein said that if you simply kept doing that, you’d become by default a writer, and eventually a published one. . . . [M]y advice would be even simpler than that — although that’s really good advice, because if you skip any of Heinlein’s steps you’re not likely to become a published writer. . . . [G]ood fiction is written by people who’ve read a lot of fiction. That seems to be the common denominator. If you think you want to be a writer but you don’t like reading, you should look at that . . . So I would recommend that people read a lot, and as broadly as possible, and then I would suggest that people write a lot. You have to have written a very good deal in order to become really good at it. And if you do it often enough and pay sufficient attention, you’re much more likely to get somewhere than if you don’t.”

— “William Gibson riffs on writing and the future

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