Saturday, September 3, 2011

C.S. Lewis’s Tips on Writing

Today I came across this amazing post from the blog The Unicorn Triumphant that talks about C.S. Lewis's advice on writing. I read it twice through. Such pitch-perfect and practical advice! Below are my favorite points that C.S. Lewis gave to a seventh grader:

(1) Turn off the Radio.

(2) Read all the good books you can, and avoid nearly all magazines.

(3) Always write (and read) with the ear, not the eye. You should hear every sentence you write as if it was being read aloud or spoken. If it does not sound nice, try again.

(4) Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else. (Notice this means that if you are interested only in writing you will never be a writer, because you will have nothing to write about…)

(6) When you give up a bit of work don’t (unless it is hopelessly bad) throw it away. Put it in a drawer. It may come in useful later. Much of my best work, or what I think my best, is the re-writing of things begun and abandoned years earlier.

(8) Be sure you know the meaning (or meanings) of every word you use.’

I'm thinking of getting it printed up all fancy and hanging it up in Walden! Read the rest of the post here where C.S. Lewis gives advice to a young girl and a lady as well as the seventh grader I mentioned above. He's got some gems.

I couldn't resist sharing this music video that I came across from the blog Musings and Music (<---check it out) Now I'm kinda obsessed, the words "Take my hand, I'll teach you to dance, I'll spin you around, won't let you fall down..." are stuck in my head. WARNING: You may cry like an infant while watching this. Get them tissues.


  1. I would have to say the tip I struggle the most with is tip #1. I love listening to music while doing things, but for the sake of good writing I'll have to submit :) Thanks a ton for the link. I really appreciate it!

  2. You and I both, Matthew! It's hard for me to press the mute button. And no problem. Like I said, I couldn't resist sharing that video!

  3. Dani,

    Glad you enjoyed the post! Lewis is definitely one of the writers I most visit for advice. As for music, I confess to having my iTunes up when I'm writing as well! (Though I tend to listen to instrumental music or chant so that the words I'm thinking aren't disrupted by words others are singing.)

    Blessings on your writing!

    The Unicorn Triumphant