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“Never think you’re too weird.” Read Anne Rice’s best writing advice.

Emily Temple

December 13, 2021, 2:52pm

Anne Rice died this weekend at the age of 80, leaving behind more than 30 novels and millions of exuberant fans—many of whom are aspiring writers themselves. Which is probably why, over the years, Rice has been called upon many times to give advice to those who would love to write their own sprawling literary sagas. (And she is extremely encouraging and optimistic—a breath of fresh air, even!) Here’s some of her best advice:

On writing, my advice is the same to all. If you want to be a writer, write. Write and write and write. If you stop, start again. Save everything that you write. If you feel blocked, write through it until you feel your creative juices flowing again. Write. Writing is what makes a writer, nothing more and nothing less.from Rice’s official website

Go where the pleasure is in your writing. Go where the pain is. Write the book you would like to read. Write the book you have been trying to find but have not found. But write. And remember, there are no rules for our profession. Ignore rules. Ignore what I say here if it doesn’t help you. Do it your own way. –from Rice’s official website

If you find yourself becoming bored, then do what you must do to make the novel exciting again for you. Never keep building a scene because you feel you must. Think of some other way to solve the problem that is goading you to write what you don’t enjoy. –from Rice’s Facebook page

Ignore critics. Critics are a dime a dozen. Anybody can be a critic. Writers are priceless. –from Rice’s official website

Keep going. Remember that you must finish the novel for it to have a chance in this world. You absolutely must complete it. And of course, as soon as I do I think of new things. I go back, refining, adding a little. And when I stop feeling the urge to do that, well, I know it’s really finished. –from Rice’s Facebook page

You may write two or three chapters of a book and decide you hate it. Don’t throw it away, save it. It’s very easy to do in the computer age—you make a folder for that, you put it away, you save it. –from Rice’s YouTube page, 2012

Treasure your own voice, your own characters, your own vision. Never think you’re too weird, never think that you’re too crazy. Look, if I can make it, you can make it. –on CBC/Radio-Canada, 2014

Every writer knows fear and discouragement. Just write. The world is crying for new writing. It is crying for fresh and original voices and new characters and new stories. If you won’t write the classics of tomorrow, well, we will not have any. Good luck. –from Rice’s official website

Or you could just watch this:

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