"The Rules of Writing Practice"

from chapter one of Natalie Goldberg's Wild Mind (1990)

1. Keep your hand moving.
- Don't let the mind get in the way of the hand.
- Don't let the editor interfere with the creator.
- Strengthen the muscles in your writing hand.

2. Lose control.

- Say what you want to say. Just let it rip.
- Don't worry if it is correct, polite or appropriate.

3. Be specific.

- Not car, but Cadillac.
- Not fruit, but apple.
- Not bird, but wren.

4. Don't think. Just write.

- Exist in the realm of first thoughts, the way we flash on things.

5. Don't worry about punctuation, spelling, or grammar.

6. You are free to write the worst junk in America.

7. Go for the jugular.

- If something scary comes up, go for it.
- Write hard and clear about what hurts. (Hemingway)