For new writers, it is always best to seek advice from those who have been there. Who then would be the best person to seek advice from than an established literary figure, Ernest Hemingway? Here are among his top pieces of advice that have helped him become an effective writing genius.
1.Do It In The Morning
Getting anything done in the morning is tough. A lot of us find it hard to function well even after a few hours of getting out of bed. However, Ernest Hemingway believes that doing the writing done in the morning helps make sure that you do get something done and also gets you into the habit of making your writing the first task of the day. Hemingway would write from daybreak until around the midday – or until he runs out of juice – and still have lots more time to spend with his wife and friends.
2.Enjoy Your Creative Process
The life of a write is not always a pleasant one, especially when there are looming deadlines up ahead. Becoming a writer means you have to have a genuine love for the craft and that you have to become devoted to endless words and sentences and paragraphs that you weave together to form great stories. Enjoy the actual process of putting together something creative and dance with your words like you would with a ballad.
3.But Don’t Share It To Anyone.
Magicians swear by a code, to keep the secrets of the trade to themselves. You may or may not have a strict creative process to go through but be careful not to divulge it to anyone. Think of it as a way of lovemaking – surely you would not want to share this out to every person you happen to come across, right? Hemingway was not particularly a gentleman to many of his interviewers, mostly because he wanted to keep things to himself.
4.Stand While You Write
This one is a weird advice from Hemingway, who stood in his loafers in front of his work desk which is a habit he acquired even at the start of his career. To him, an erect body is able to function more properly the way an antenna does for a television. Perhaps doing so keeps his brain alert and awake and gets all the creative juices flowing steadily.
All throughout his creative process, Hem kept himself clear from anything complicated and complex. Could there be anything else simpler and more organic than a pencil? Ernest Hemingway kept turning to the use of his hands and a good paper and pencil when his creative juices could no longer be squeezed by the typewriter. Even in his actual written work, the great writer kept things as simple as possible: he had no regard for adjectives and he makes use of the simplest expressions there are.
6.Keep Track Of Your Progress.
At the end of each day, Ernest Hemingway would always take the time to look through his work and see how much he has done for the day. Yes, he counted the words he had written so far in the hours that he worked and then kept a tracking board which he placed on the wall. This keeps him level headed so he stays focused on the goal but still assure himself he isn’t doing anything too ambitious.
7.And Know When To Set It Aside
Just like any other job, it can be easy to get lost in a craft that you find yourself are enjoying in. You can spend hours and hours scribbling chapters or typing in conversations and before you know it, the day has come and gone. The book maybe yours but you certainly are not the book’s so be sure to take control of your life.
Hemingway always made sure that his writing did not take over his other activities (unlike races and gambling did). Being able to set aside things also allowed for new ideas to come and he became flexible enough to add new elements into the story when they should otherwise not have been permitted.
8.Stay True To Your Craft.
Ernest Hemingway loved using the word ‘true’ and it not only manifested in the words of his works but also in its essence. Thus, he always made sure that his works had a degree of honesty in them and that they get out one way or another. For him, the pursuit of truth should never, ever be underestimated and to achieve this would be to move his readers in such a deep way. Staying true to yourself and to your craft and giving them out to your readers is the best gift a writer could ever give.
9.Always, And Everything, With Love.
You may do crazy things when you are in love but you also do awesome things as well. Things become a hundred times better when you are in love and making love frequently. Don’t we all just notice that sweet, beautiful words seem to flow without effort from our hearts and our mouths – or, in this case, our hands – when we are in love? Our heart flutters and beats faster but it is a great feeling.
10.Don’t Write It All.
You may know things but it does not mean that you have to write them all down. Ernest Hemingway once said, “…you could omit anything if you knew that you omitted and the omitted part would strengthen the story and make people feel something more than they understood”.
We all love stories that have a sense of mystery in them – the types whose missing “parts” are up to the reader to interpret. It leaves out a little something for the author to keep to himself and also gives the readers as sense of incompleteness that only their hearts and imaginations can fulfill. Just because you can does not mean that you should!
We hope these things can help you become as effective and great a writer as Ernest Hemingway is.