Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it.

Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.

Could someone please explain this quote in simple words?

  • 1
    Where's your question? – Mari-Lou A Jan 19 '17 at 11:46
  • 2
    Not my downvote, but the piece of advice seems very clear to me, what exactly don't you understand? – Mari-Lou A Jan 19 '17 at 11:52
  • 2
    You do make it hard not to downvote, or vote to close.... meta.ell.stackexchange.com/questions/3396/… – Mari-Lou A Jan 19 '17 at 12:10
  • 1
    This question can be reopened if you'll explain which part of the quote is confusing you. As it stands now, I can't tell if you're confused about "Read, read, read," or something else. – J.R. Jan 19 '17 at 12:23
  • The quote is attributed to William Faulkner – Mari-Lou A Jan 19 '17 at 13:07

That's advice for learning how to write.

By reading a lot, you'll develop a sense of what is good writing and what isn't. You're learning by example.

Then when you write some text, you'll be able to recognize if what you've written is any good.

  • I'd add that "throw it out the window" is a figurative expression, meaning to discard something. In the case of writing, this would mean throwing the paper in a wastebasket or recycle bin, or, in the case of an electronic document, simple starting over. – J.R. Jan 19 '17 at 12:22

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.