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23.03.2018 19:52    Comments: 0    Categories: Writing Quotations      Tags: john gardner  student  writer  writing  reading  

What this means, in practical terms for the student writer, is that in order to achieve mastery he must read widely and deeply and mu st write not just carefully but continually, thoughtfully assessing and reassessing what he writes, because practice, for the writer as for the concert pianist, is the heart of the matter. Though the literary dabbler may write a fine story now and then, the true writer is one for whom tech nique has become, as it is for the pianist, second nature. Ordinarily this means university education, with courses in the writing of fiction, and poetry as well. Some important writers have said the opposite — for instance, Ernest Hemingway, who is quoted as having said that the way for a writer to learn his craft is to go away and write. Hemingway, it may help to remember, went away for free ‘tutorials’ to two of the finest teachers then living, Sherwood Anderson and Gertrude Stein.


John Gardner (from The Art of Fiction)

 
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