On Writing (2015)

“Wow, you sure portrayed the angst of remembering the first encounter when finding out the differences between boys and girls. Seeing it from the boy’s point of view rather than a girl’s is intriguing. Your way with words is quite descriptive, and I can picture your scenes well. . . . The last line, though: that really got me to laughing out loud. If I didn’t know better I’d attribute it to Dorothy Parker, as it is absolutely something she would say.  Quite wonderful reading.”—Denise Johnson on a memoir piece, an example of editing, in On Writing

For most of my life I resisted the idea of writing about writing, but then inspiration struck, as it does.  I heard one time too many about Stephen King’s book on writing.  Because I do not enjoy or admire Stephen King very much, and because I was fed up with hearing about him, I decided it was time I put my own thoughts out there.

I wanted the book to be short but sweet, featuring not only thoughts about creative writing I have not released anyplace else but highlights of my writing journey such as my first poem, my first story, my first published story, a few favorite early pieces, and my advice to anyone suffering writer’s block.  It’s compact but packed!

Note: there is NOTHING in this book on getting published, except my scorn for people who pursue publication in literary magazines as if they were trophies to rack up.  I don’t know how to get traditionally published, so I would be the last person to seek advice on that from.  My concern, my passion, is for the art of writing.  If your goal is to sell your work, you will have to find advice on that from someone else.  In my view, good work sells itself.

” . . . Peate’s musings on what writing is, why it’s done, and why it’s so important are very worth the read.”—Anonymous Amazon reviewer

Now updated to include a student essay on hating to write.

Kindle or Paper

Nuggets of wisdom include:

“It’s not what you write about, it’s how you write about it.”

“Never allow yourself to think you know everything.  You don’t.  I don’t.”

“Don’t write what you want your characters to say.  Write what they would say.”

“The best exposition exists to make sense of things
so you can enjoy the showing more.”

“Try to lift up your genre—and not just your genre.”

“Don’t take advice.”