5 Thoughts: Why (and How) We Write

HANGING BY OUR COMPUTER IS a sheet of paper I look to for inspiration. Sometimes it inspires me, sometimes it depresses me, but always it gets me back on the horse. It’s called “Why (and How) We Write.” If you too find it useful, please hang it by your computer.

1. Do it for the buzz.
— Stephen King

2. Finish what you start. Keep submitting until it sells.
— Robert Heinlein

3. a) Fanaticize yourself
b) Fanaticize something greater than yourself
c) “Sheer delight in what you are doing.”
— Robert Anton Wilson

4. a) Arrange events in linear order
b) Now arrange them in narrative order.
c) Write the story.
d) Revise the story.
e) FINALISE.
— H. P. Lovecraft

5. “Most of the characteristics which make for success in writing are precisely those which we are all taught to repress … the firm belief that you are an important person, that you are a lot smarter than most people, and that your ideas are so damned important that everybody should listen to you.”
— Robert Anton Wilson, reprise

Poker Face

WE WERE FIVE MEN PLAYING draw poker.

“Ante up, gentlemen,” said R. “Nickel apiece.”

The cards went round once, twice, thrice.

B coughed. T took a sip of his Cuba Libre.

R sent the cards round again. And again.

We lifted our hands.

“Oh! Ghawd! Damn!” said K. “I’m betting TWENTY BUCKS!”

“Fold.” “Fold.” “Fold.” “You idiot.”

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(See Also: Robert Anton Wilson / HP Lovecraft / Writing / 5 Thoughts / Text As Life)

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