“How I write” – notes on Marjorie Perloff’s talk

Marjorie Perloff‘s talk at the Stanford’s series “How I write,” sharing some really useful ideas. The talk can be downloaded from Stanford on iTunes U (you’ll need iTunes for that). Some of her ideas:

  • Before the first draft, I’ll do anything to procrastinate.
  • I take a lot of notes. I still copy a lot of things and I do it before I start writing.
  • When i start writing, I am usually taken to a different place than what I planned.
  • Writing is a habit. If you get out of habit, it’s hard to come back. You have to write all the time.
  • Write (book) reviews, they are good practice.
  • It’s much more difficult to write something short.
  • Reviews (with a fixed number of words) are a great exercise.
  • I have friends who have great ideas, but they procrastinate and never write them down.
  • After a first draft things get easier.
  • I like collages, non-sequitur. So i turned my weakness into my strength.
  • You may write in order to learn.
  • In all writing, you have to try and be brave.
  • Be ready to take criticism.
  • When you start, you rely a lot on other’s criticism, “as Foucault says…” I don’t do that much anymore. When you get older you start feeling sure about things.
  • Things are so trendy that you may find the same 10 books all around. So you have to try getting away from that.

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