Gentle Reminders About Writing

A writing tip from Roxane Gay

1. There is no shame in writing slow. Your writing takes as long to develop as it takes. Writing is not a race. There is something very seductive about slow writing, about the care being given to the words when the writing happens at a more languorous pace. This is not to say fast writers don’t take care. We do. All writers approach their craft differently and there’s so much room for that difference.

2. Prolific doesn’t mean good. Sometimes, it just means someone has produced a lot of mediocre writing. Do you want to be known for writing a lot or for writing well?

3. Getting your name out there is only as useful as the writing you’re associating with your name.

4. The Internet makes it easy to think the only way to write/publish is fast and often. This is not true. Don’t let what others are doing, and how much you know about what others are doing, create unnecessary pressure in your writing life. Just do you.

Roxane Gay is the author of Ayiti. Her stories have appeared in the Best American Short Stories anthology, Virginia Quarterly Review, Atticus Review, Guernica, McSweeney’s, and numerous other journals and anthologies. She is the co-editor of PANK, the essays editor of The Rumpus, the fiction editor of Bluestem, and an assistant professor of English at Eastern Illinois University.



The debut collection from the vibrant voice of Roxane Gay is a unique blend of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, all interwoven to represent the Haitian diaspora experience.

Click on the cover to visit the book's Amazon page.

2 comments:

Deb said...

Thanks for this Roxane. I feel like you have given me permission. I want to be known for writing well, not for writing a lot, although I've been told that I need to learn when to stop studying words and let it go out into the world. I think most good writers write a lot, but don't share every bit of it.

I'm an introvert and social media makes me feel pretty inferior - the constant "Look at me Look at me Look at me." And it takes so stinking much time... so for now I'll use that time to write rather than to tell everyone that I write. Building platform is important, but you need to write well first.

Christopher Allen said...

Excellent advice!