Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I write; therefore I am...tired.

From Paul Levine

WRITERLY ADVICE: A young writer in Texas posted a question yesterday on my Facebook Wall (Wailing Wall?), asking for advice for the aspiring novelist. Here's my quick reply:

Read and Write. Read a variety of novelists in a variety of genres. Read Stephen King's "On Writing." Then read it again. I do. And of course, keep writing. You write because you have to. It is an itch that cannot be scratched, an illness that cannot be cured. Give in to it. Write when you're energized and when you're tired. Write when you're in love and write when your heart's been broken. Write when you're sober and write after a Mojito or two. Write at dawn and write after midnight. Write in the face of rejection and scorn and envy. Write until you get it right!

NITTANY EYES ARE WEEPING: Penn State did not get an NCAA Tourney bid, despite a 22-11 record (but with a pathetic out-of-conference schedule. So tonight, I'll be watching the disappointed Nittany Lions play Jackie Mason -- excuse me, George Mason -- in the NIT.

What makes this worse is that the hated Pitt Panthers are a number one seed in the NCAA tourney. What can I say? They have a great program, and as the photo below demonstrates, their students can read at least three words.

After a dozen novels, I've finally started a newsletter. You can receive Volume 1, Issue 1 of this witty and wise publication free of charge simply by signing up. Subscribing also puts you in the running for a free copy of "Illegal," which hits the stores next Tuesday. Sign up here. (This offer not valid in Albania). I'm also giving away copies of "Solomon vs. Lord" and "Mortal Sin," a Jake Lassiter novel considered a collector's item. Why a "collector's item?" Because it's so long out of print, you can't find the damn thing.

Until next time,



  1. Loved your writerly advice, but I might add, write after you've had a strenuous Pilates workout and an iced, decaf, triple, grande, cinnamon, nonfat, no-whip mocha.

  2. Great writing advice.

    I didn't realize PSU had sports teams. Good for them.


  3. Jim,
    I am not sure how many people who read this blog know why F.S.U., your alma mater, is called Free Shoes University.

  4. free shoes university?
    i bet there's never any shortage of girls there!

  5. Thanks for the clarification, Sybille. I thought James O's alma mater was a hot-bed of social unrest over a person named Shoes.

  6. i know what you mean, patty. he had me worried for a moment as well.

  7. Terrific writing advice, Paul - and I especially like the reference to "On Writing" by Mr. King - I re-read that when I need to give myself a kick in my writerly pants!

    Did anyone mention free shoes???

  8. Write in the face of rejection and scorn and envy.

    Like going back and reading Stephen King's "On Writing." I do!