Home » Epic Quote of the Day » Epic Quote of the Day: Ernest Hemingway

Epic Quote of the Day: Ernest Hemingway


So, as you know, dear readers, I will be doing NaNoWriMo next month. I am now well into the process of preparing for it (which I will be talking about later on this afternoon), and arguably the hardest part for me so far has been getting on board with what Ernest Hemingway says in today’s Epic Quote of the Day. Do any of my fellow writers have any tips to help me get over this mental hurdle, besides using profanity to describe a first draft?



15 thoughts on “Epic Quote of the Day: Ernest Hemingway

  1. I write the first draft as quickly as possible. First draft is all about making decisions. Every turn you take puts you on a new road. It takes me a lot of time before the roads become clear. Each draft, your manuscript will grow in clarity. Do not do research on the first draft of a fictional work. This is deceptive, and will lead you to believe you are writing, when you are not. I would honestly set a goal of X amount of pages per day, and be certain to hit that goal.

  2. I really like the idea of not doing research on the first draft. I *always* get bogged down with research, whether it be about a character’s profession or the history of a place or just an architectural feature of a house that I want to design (I have not so fond memories of spending two hours looking up Cape Cod houses and bay windows in order to write one paragraph in a short story). I will definitely try to do that!

  3. Everyone has their own system but I’m actually the opposite – I like to do a lot of research, brainstorming, outlining etc before I write the first draft, b/c then I at least have an idea of where I’m planning to go and can get there more efficiently. Then of course lots and lots of revision. But I agree that setting a daily page goal can be helpful. Also yoga ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. In “A Moveable Feast” (one of my favorite books), Hemingway wrote: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.”

    He also advised writers “to develop a built-in bullshit detector.”

    I like both these suggestions. The first helps to get the words flowing; the second spares you a lot of unnecessary angst and self-loathing!

    Good luck!

    • I completely agree with that. If you can write something in one sentence rather than a paragraph, you’d better write it in that one sentence. I definitely need to work on the bullshit detector though haha. That would be very nice to have, both in regard to writing and in life in general.

    • Awesome! Thank you! I’m definitely bookmarking this and coming back to it when I get stuck. Hemingway was great.

      Google and Reddit ๐Ÿ˜‰ There are also meme generators where you can make your own by uploading a picture and plugging in your own tag lines; alas, I’m not witty enough to make clever memes like the ones I’ve posted, so I don’t do this haha.

  5. Also find someone trustworthy to discuss your writing with. They don’t need to be well versed in the subject matter, that can actually be a hindrance at times. Sometimes speaking what’s in your head will actually “draino” your brain.

    • I 100% agree. I’m fortunate enough to have a few people who I trust with my work and who trust me with theirs, and I’ve found it helps exponentially. Just got to make sure they’re okay with saying if something is terrible or not haha, can’t just stroke the writer’s ego the whole time.

      • I agree. Those I talk to I ask them to find something wrong with what I write. At first I used to ask them only what they thought. But sometimes I feel what I write doesn’t feel right, but I can’t put my finger on what is wrong. Asking them to find something wrong helps because they know you want them to give you negative feedback.

  6. Pingback: Paying homage at Hemingway’s Paris shrines | The Collaborative Writer

  7. Pingback: With Six-Toed Cat – Ernest Hemingway – Changed The World | One Person Changed The World

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