The Daily “Huh?” – Hemingway on Writing

Image: Guilty as Charged

I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.
Ernest Hemingway

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7 responses to “The Daily “Huh?” – Hemingway on Writing

  1. Read some other advice that was similar to this on Stumble Upon (Ted.com): The idea is not to tell everything about what you are planning to do; your goals, your purposes, the details. This would apply to life projects as well as elaborate talk about what you are writing about. It seems that the momentum of your motivation is lessened if you spread yourself too thin. So, as in the quote above, it seems that it’s more productive to ‘hold back a little’.

  2. Hi Richard. Has there been a word/phrase misunderstanding? I thought Hemingway, et al. were just saying it was best ‘to keep a low profile’, to ‘save a reserve of your energy’, to not ‘squander one’s time’, that you didn’t need to ‘talk to impress’, or ‘run yourself dry’: that sort of idea.

  3. Well, I’ll still hold he’s talking about that inexhaustible well of creativity wherein the muses dwell. He is advising us that we should not take all the water out at once, thereby making our draft a drought. When we write, we should not put those muses of mind under duress. We should stop before we find ourselves working too hard, and struggling with the rope. When the ideas do not come spontaneously, we should stop and allow the spirits to rest so that the water runs more freely when we once again approach our work.

  4. Just posted a great blog about Hemingway 😉 See what you think. http://haroldrobbinsnovels.wordpress.com/

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