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Chandler on setting aside time to write

"I write when I can and I don't write when I can't . . . I wait for inspiration . . . The important thing is that there should be a space of time, say four hours a day, when a professional writer doesn't do anything but write. He doesn't have to write, and if he doesn't feel like it he shouldn't try. He can look out the window or stand on his head or writhe on the floor, but he is not to do any other positive thing, not read, write letters, glance at magazines, or write checks. Either write or nothing. It's the same principle as keeping order in a school. If you make the pupils behave, they will learn something just to keep from being bored. I find it works. Two very simple rules. A) You don't have to write. B) You can't do anything else. The rest comes of itself."

-- Raymond Chandler to Alex Barris, 1949

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
natlyn
Mar. 27th, 2007 02:53 pm (UTC)
That's pretty cool advice.
mswyrr
Mar. 28th, 2007 01:24 am (UTC)
I like that very much. Thanks for sharing it.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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