Quote: Anne Rice on Being Aware of the Reader

A double-shot of Mrs. Rice today. Not long after posting an older quote from her earlier today regarding being a writer, I stumbled across this quote from her on her Facebook page today.

“For me the reader is all important. I’m really a popular writer; I believe in being for the people — that’s what popular means. I want an eight-year-old to be able to understand my book completely. If I use a four syllable word, I want that eight-year-old to be able to understand it in context. So I’m always aware of the reader. You know, somebody gave me a wonderful piece of advise 35 years ago, and it was: make things easy for the reader; don’t make it difficult. I’m always trying to make it easy for the reader to get what I’m trying to say. I’m always inviting the reader into my world.” — Anne Rice

It fits pretty much in line with how I approach my writing as well. I write with an audience in mind.

As I always say, writing is a performance art. Like the visual arts, writing is created to be received by an audience, whether that’s the masses or an audience of one. Rarely is it ever created for an audience of none, at least not if it’s put into a public forum or venue of some sort.

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Quote: Anne Rice on Being a Writer

Anne Rice is one of those authors whose fiction work I don’t read much of, but yet I read a great deal of interviews, advice pieces and watch videos of her talking. She’s always so very sharp, deep-thinking and astute. Like Clive Barker, she’s a fellow Libra too. Anyway, this bit of writerly advice is so basic yet so on-point, that it’s undeniably a sage piece of wisdom.

“If you want to be a writer, write. Write and write and write. If you stop, start again. Save everything that you write. If you feel blocked, write through it until you feel your creative juices flowing again. Write. Writing is what makes a writer, nothing more and nothing less.” — Anne Rice

I definitely keep everything, going all the way back to 1989’s “Apocalyptic City” that I wrote for a creative writing class. And I have a Write-or-Flight initiative I’ve been trying to comply with. I mean, I certainly write as well as I can EVERY day. Unfortunately that’s not fiction writing everyday. Need to change that. Fifteen, twenty years ago this was not a problem (bachelor life).

Working on my personal library RUCKERPEDIA the the past two weeks has really reinvigorated my muse. It can only help when you read your previously written words — the good ones — and find yourself inspired by them.

Quotes | Stephen King – On Writing

In honor of Stephen “Uncle Stevie” King’s birthday this week (Sept 21st) I am going to forego our regularly scheduled programming in favor of five poignant quotes from Mr. King’s book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft that I bookmarked with lots of Post-it Notes so many years ago. By the way, this isn’t the first time Uncle Stevie’s been quoted here recently.


 

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”

 

“Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.”

 

“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room. Life isn’t a support system for art. It’s the other way around.”

 

“Put your vocabulary on the top shelf of your toolbox, and don’t make any conscious effort to improve it. (You’ll be doing that as you read, of course … but that comes later.) One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up a household pet in evening clothes. The pet is embarrassed and the person who committed this act of premeditated cuteness should be even more embarrassed.

“I’m not trying to get you to talk dirty, only plain and direct. Remember that the basic rule of vocabulary is use the first word that comes to your mind, if it is appropriate and colorful. If you hesitate and cogitate, you will come up with another word—of course you will, there’s always another word—but it probably won’t be as good as your first one, or as close to what you really mean.”

 

“Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference.”

 


Yes, I’m filing this a bit late. It’s my birthday weekend, so I’ve taken it easy today (I have Monday off from work as well). I had originally intended to write and post a Ruckin’ With You column for this week, but alas. I’ll either produce it in a couple of days, or just wait until later in the week.  I also need to do a Workbook update (I skipped the August-into-September one). At any rate, I do remain committed to composing a blog entry that uncorks my headspace on a weekly basis, though.

So until next time, keep reading, keep writing, keep rocking.

-BLR

Quote/Advice | Ed Brubaker on Health & Work/Life Balance

Celebrated and award-winning comics/graphic novels author Ed Brubaker (CRIMINAL, VELVET, CAPTAIN AMERICA, THE WINTER SOLDIER), one of my faves, shared some sage writerly advice and wisdom today in his latest newsletter From the Desk of Ed Brubaker, of which I must make note.

On health:

“If you are a writer, if sitting and thinking followed by sitting and typing is what you want to do for a living, I can’t urge you more strongly to get regular cardio and get up from your desk a lot and stretch.

I can’t stress enough how easy it is to fall into bad habits in this profession that can cause you major health issues. In my career I’ve had to deal with repetitive strain injuries, tendonitis, chronic TMJ pain (from clenching my jaw when I get lost in writing) and lower back problems. And recently, while trying to get back into good cardio shape, I injured my ankle – the cause, having my foot bent weird while I typed.”

Actually, that’s good advice for anyone who works at a desk for long periods. He even provided this handy infographic.

As for writing work/life balance, something I know I personally struggle mightily with, the crime/noir-loving writer said:

“And work/life balance? That can be hard to manage, too. When I’m being good at sticking to my work routines, ideally I’m not in front of the computer for more than four or five hours a day. Kurt Vonnegut said no one should be required to be smart for more than four hours a day, so I try to follow his example. Then lately, after I’m done typing, I go for a 20 mile bike ride, and I’m starting to take some yoga classes. But I’ve had long periods of my career where I spent all day in front of a computer for months with no exercise, and I regret that a lot.

Writers are always writing in their heads, even when they aren’t typing or scribbling, so that’s one anyone in a relationship with a writer has to put up with. Even when they’re with you, they’re kind of not.”

The struggle is real. I know it’s a rather trendy and passe thing to say these days, but that doesn’t make it any less valid.

Mr. Brubaker’s words (and the source from which they come) are Copyright © 2016 Basement Gang Inc., All rights reserved. Mr. Brubaker’s photo is courtesy of Comics Vine.