Giving It Away

When you write, don’t hold back. Don’t keep some of the best bits back for the next project. Think of yourself as a fountain and the words (the images, the turns of phrase, the ideas) as your water. You well up, offering everything you have, unstinting, flowing it forth onto your page. But if you fear that you’ll dry up, if you hold back the water at the bottom, it will stagnate and stop the flow. New water will rush in when you have given it all, don’t worry! In fact, there is a wonderful paradox to all this: the more you spend, prodigally flowing outward, the more will come to you next time, when you need it, to be given away.

Even more than giving it all away into your writing, you then have to give away the writing itself! Your novels will be like your children (which you also have to eventually let go of). You will hate to see them venture out into a cold world of harsh criticism and rejection. But they cannot make connections with other people if you don’t.

So give it up, give it away, give it all away. A thousand times more comes back to you.


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