How to write only what people want to read.

From Tommy Tomlinson’s blog:

“[Elmore Leonard] wrote 45 books, dozens of short stories, plus screenplays and essays and magazine articles and book reviews. Millions of words. And you might read them for days before you find a flowery descriptive passage, a wandering adverb or a boring character. That’s not just skill. That’s the daily willpower, over 60-some years of professional writing, to rewrite and cut and rewrite and cut until the only parts left are the parts readers want to read. You can know all the writing tricks. But to make the tricks come alive takes more work than most writers are willing to do. Elmore Leonard always did the work.”

Writing—truly good writing—feels like such an act of faith sometimes. You have to have faith in yourself to find just the right words to make the story just so, faith in that the work you’re doing will lead to that.

That’s solely what I run on some days. Especially now that I’m writing more and more fiction. I have no guaranteed income right now. There’s only the next project, and whatever I can find after that. It feels like insanity sometimes, trying to make it as a writer. But I love this life. And I’m lucky enough to have a woman who loves me and chose to live this life with me. Maybe one day we’ll hit it big. I hope so. But more than that, I just hope to make enough of a living off of this to do this forever, and still help her and our dogs and our future children live a good and full life.

And to get to that point, I gotta drum up that daily willpower.

And write on.

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