Monday, March 26, 2012

Ernest Hemingway on Writing

Expect a lot more radio silence, until the end of June. Though I will try to add at least some posts. I have been thinking a lot about writing, since my creative energies have been redirected to other projects in my line of work and social life rather than fiction writing. A lot of writers have also been thinking about the craft of writing.

Who: Ernest Hemingway

Written: "A Moveable Feast", "For Whom the Bells Toll" and the classic "The Old Man and the Sea" 

What did he say: Hemingway has said a lot about writing and what I've come to recognize as a powerful way to communicate urgency is the use of short sentences to the point I sneak in some sentence fragments. Here are two official quotes from his book on writing.
“Writing is something that you can never do as well as it can be done. It is a perpetual challenge and it is more difficult than anything else that I have ever done.” 
“I think you should learn about writing from everybody who has ever written that has anything to teach you.”
What do I think: I agree with both quotes. Writing is an art form based on continuous improvement as all art should be in the first place. Given the writers' predisposition to ferocious self-criticism, it's no surprise that the act of writing remains challenging. I think the second quote has more relevance now more than ever, because as readers and writers we are in the position to choose among a multitude of writers to learn about the craft. What I'm not entirely sure how to interpret the quote. I strive to learn from those, who through their words have provoked a change within my micro-cosmos. 

Do you share Ernest's opinion?