writing advice from Stephen King

Just want to share (and archive, for my own use) this gem from stephen king:

Everything You Need to Know About Writing Successfully: in Ten Minutes

My favorite tip:

5. Never look at a reference book while doing a first draft
You want to write a story? Fine. Put away your dictionary, your encyclopedias, your World Almanac, and your thesaurus. Better yet, throw your thesaurus into the wastebasket. The only things creepier than a thesaurus are those little paperbacks college students too lazy to read the assigned novels buy around exam time. Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule. You think you might have misspelled a word? O.K., so here is your choice: either look it up in the dictionary, thereby making sure you have it right – and breaking your train of thought and the writer’s trance in the bargain – or just spell it phonetically and correct it later. Why not? Did you think it was going to go somewhere? And if you need to know the largest city in Brazil and you find you don’t have it in your head, why not write in Miami, or Cleveland? You can check it … but later. When you sit down to write, write. Don’t do anything else except go to the bathroom, and only do that if it absolutely cannot be put off.

I think this particular piece of advice is just brilliant, and the answer to my horrid tendency to stop so many times throughout the course of writing a single paragraph, just because I cannot proceed to the next word until I have found the perfect preceding word. I end up stalling, and stalling, until I lose my flow or forget what point I was trying to make in the first place.

I’m listening, Stephen.

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