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benjaminbnf

The great Walter Benjamin once postulated the 13 rules necessary for the writer to make a go of it with their craft. It’s a smart, detail-fixated, and lengthy list, which you can review in full here.

They’re not all for everybody—”Avoid haphazard writing materials. A pedantic adherence to certain papers, pens, inks is beneficial” is a tad on the fussy side—but the following items seem relevant to just about any ink-stained wretch out there:

  • “Talk about what you have written, by all means, but do not read from it while the work is in progress. Every gratification procured in this way will slacken your tempo.”
  • “Consider no work perfect over which you have not once sat from evening to broad daylight.”
  • “Never stop writing because you have run out of ideas. Literary honour requires that one break off only at an appointed moment (a mealtime, a meeting) or at the end of the work.”

It is likely that a broader belief in the concept of “literary honour” would serve the writing classes well.

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