My writer friend Sibella sent me this quote from C.S. Lewis:

  • In 1959, an American schoolgirl appealed to C. S. Lewis for writing advice, and he sent her a list of eight rules for good writing: 
  • 1. Turn off the radio [and television].

  • 2. Read good books and avoid most magazines.

  • 3. Write with the ear, not the eye. Make every sentence sound good.
  • 4. Write only about things that interest you. If you have no interests, you won’t ever be a writer.
  • 5. Be clear. Remember that readers can’t know your mind. Don’t forget to tell them exactly what they need to know to understand you.
  • 6. Save odds and ends of writing attempts, because you may be able to use them later.
  • 7. You need a well-trained sense of word-rhythm, and the noise of a typewriter will interfere.
  • 8. Know the meaning of every word you use.

    Source: C. S. Lewis. Collected Letters. New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1966, 291-292. Quoted in Kathryn Lindskoog, Creative Writing for People Who Can’t Not Write. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1989, 253.

  • ~~Angie


    1. saralabaysinger

      Sweet! Thanks for sharing! Although I must say… I NEED to have the radio/music on when I write. Maybe that’s not such a good idea? On the other hand, if the television is on, I might as well just shut my computer (and brain) down, because it’s simply no use trying to write with obnoxious voices yelling in the background….

    2. J:-)mi

      It’d be pointless for me to turn of the music. There’s always songs running through my head anyway! 😀

    3. UlrikeGrace

      Thank you Angie! What a delightful find as well as practical! I especially like the admonition to write by ear! I enjoy reading my work out loud as it shows all the awkward stumbling places and my ear can pick up so much faster when I have used a particular word one too many times. Thanks for this, it’s a keeper! Blessings to you


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