How to Be an Excellent Writer

Each writer has a process. This process is often indispensable; it’s a routine to help them direct their creativity in such a way that a piece of literature is born from it. It brings comfort and confidence, following this routine. Mine, for instance, is playing instrumental music, burning incense, and finding a spot that’s comfortable enough for me to relax and allow my thoughts to manifest themselves on paper.
E.B. White, the famous author of Charlotte’s Web, has a different routine.
“I never listen to music when I’m working. I haven’t that kind of attentiveness, and I wouldn’t like it at all,” White said in an interview with the Paris Review.
He often uses the living room to write in, despite its many distractions. He finds he never loses his focus when it comes to these trivial distractions. He says not to wait for ideal conditions, as you will die before putting a pen to paper.
In order to prepare himself to write, White will sometimes sit and take a drink. He lets ideas marinate, sometimes straightens things around the room, before actually writing anything down.
He also revises “a great deal,” and he knows when something is right because “bells begin ringing and lights flash.” He says that each write must be able to judge his own work accurately, that it’s a very helpful skill to hone.
A successful writing process, he says, requires a writer to get down what he wants to get down, no matter what distractions he faces, and that he must try over and over to get it right. This will guarantee excellence.



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