pip-pippin said: <shame>

right. sorry--

No! No need to be sorry, or have shame. This is absolutely not the place for that! This is the place for writing every day. Writing! That is all! No worries or shame or feelings of remorse. Those things are killers. If you feel them, write about them. Get them out of you as soon as possible before they eat you alive from the inside out. Write. Them. Out. Then you will have done something good with them. Something positive! Exclamation points for everyone!

Write one leaf about using too many exclamation points.

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friendly-neighborhood-crystal said: This makes me very happy. I hadn't written for a long time, so I finished writing my play and found this tumblr. It feels...really good to write again.
So thank you for this.

Glad to hear it. Congratulations on finishing your play!

Write one leaf in the form of dialogue.

Tags: answers

silent-horizons said: Hi, I just followed you (and joined here) but I was wondering what advice you would give to a young poet writing a short story?
My poetry is usually short but descriptive (I don't put the good-ish stuff here) so I have trouble with the length of stories and the fact that I am picky about my words; when I care about a writing project each word is chosen for a reason and it is now a habit so my prose is a little slow to write, and also lacking in action.
Also I am afraid to publish anything on-line, so how do I know if I can write well?

Write one leaf is not exactly intended to be a place for giving advice… though I will attempt to answer questions when time permits. If this space becomes too full of “advice” or “writing tips,” I may have to consider moving my responses to a separate space.

For now, though, answers to questions will remain here, and I’ll do my best to keep them brief, and will always conclude with a prompt (which is the primary purpose of the blog).

To the young poet or to anybody, my advice on writing a short story is to write it. Don’t go in search of too much advice on writing it before you write it because in the end this will only keep you from writing it.

Once you have written it, try not to be too attached to it. It is a thing you have done, but it is not you. So seek out a person you can trust, a person with a kind and generous soul, a person who is not your mother or your spouse or your pet and share what you’ve written with that person. (It helps if this person knows something about stories, about how they are constructed and how they can be improved, but it is not absolutely essential.)

Make changes to this story if you can, or if you must, or if you want. Show it to more people. Try to have it published. Publish it yourself. Read it out loud to a group of strangers.

At some point, write another. And another. And do not be afraid. This is not brain surgery. If you slip? Nobody dies.

Write one leaf in which you describe something that scares you.

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justmealyssagarcia said: For someone who is always writing on napkins, newspapers, paper, and anthing else she can find, and wants to become a writer, do you have any tips on how I can fulfill that dream of mine?

The best writing advice anybody ever gave me was “write every day.” That was my writing teacher, Hans Ostrom, circa 1989. (Teachers have to be very careful what they say—they never know when somebody might actually be listening.)

It was extremely good advice. So I’ll repeat it here: Write every day. Even if writing is exactly the opposite of what you want to do—or perhaps especially if writing is exactly the opposite of what you want to do—write every day. Even if the thing you think you are doing isn’t your romantic vision of writing, just grab yourself a tool and scratch out a few sentences of anything.

Every. Day.

Write one leaf about the things that might prevent you from writing every day.

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no-one-but-me said: What is write one leaf all about? I see the posts everyday on my dashboard, but I guess I just don't understand what it's about. Is it that you want us to write for ourselves? Or are we supposed to respond to write one leaf?

Write one leaf is about writing. It’s about moving your hands. 

I expect different people will use the prompts posted on Write One Leaf in different ways, but my intent is that those who subscribe to Write One Leaf will write. Somewhere. Somehow.

Do you want to write? Then write. Is Write One Leaf a vehicle for helping you to write more? I hope so. I’m honored that you think so if you do. But if it doesn’t work for you… then you shouldn’t feel obligated to follow.

The prompts tend to be direct, in the form of a command or directive, because I hope it will help you begin moving your hands in a manner that resembles writing, even if that means you’re just arguing with the prompt. That is, if your first response to a prompt is “No way, you idiot, I’m not writing about that,” and you’re writing that response somewhere, anywhere, and not just thinking it and considering how long before you unfollow, then Write One Leaf is doing what it’s intended to do. You don’t have to respond directly to the prompts. You don’t have to link to Write One Leaf. Write One Leaf just wants you to write more.

Write One Leaf. Write more. Write every day. And move those hands.

Write one leaf in which you tell Write One Leaf to go to Hell.

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