Annie Dillard on Writing

In her seminal books the Writing life, Annie Dillard lays out numerous advices for novice writers. Below I have summarized a few which I consider the most significant

1. Even the foundation walls must fall
2. Reading your own words too often can cause the illusion of quality
3. The amount of work doesn’t matter, the quality solely does
4. The work itself leads the writer
5. It takes 2-10 years to produce a good book
6. Flaubert wrote 75 usable pages a year
7. The idea that your own work is either brilliant or disastrous should be abandoned at once
8. Having the courage and strength to write word by word
9. Life trumps the imagination

10. Solitude and walks can do wonders
11. To avoid fear, write daily
12. Changes enrich the initial draft
13. The page is the only teacher
14. Trust your passion and intuition
15. Write like a it’s your last day
16. Writing daily is the greatest achievement
17. Study literature, live in the world
18. Choose carefully what you read, it will end be being what you write
19. Let it all out at once

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