It is useless to try to do what you have no talent for – Maugham’s ‘writing advice’

  1. You must get bored before the audience does.

2, the writer’s motto must be: delete as much as you can, delete and delete again, straight to the top of the audience’s attention.

3, we writers must study or ordinary people. Ordinary people are the more fertile soil for writers.

4、He likes to use stronger words than those that are pleasant to the ear.

5、A few years later I realized that writing is a delicate art, which can be acquired only after hard work.

6、It is useless to try to do what you have no talent for.

7, I was surprised by the paucity of my vocabulary, so I took a pen and paper to the British Museum, jotted down the names of exotic treasures, the Byzantine colors of antique enamels, the feelings the fabric brought to the flesh, and then carefully conceived some sentences to put them all in. I was lucky not to find much opportunity to use these materials; they are still lying in that old notebook, ready for people who want to write nonsense.

8, I wanted to abandon the pomp and circumstance and write in as straightforward and unadorned a way as possible.

9, I found my own limitations, for me, the only wise move is to set the goal within the limits of the best that they can achieve. I know I have little lyrical qualities.

10, I thought, I seem to set the goal of clarity, simplicity and pleasing to the ear.

11、Two types of obscurity can be found in a writer’s work, one from oversight, the other intentional. People write obscurely, often because they have not taken the trouble to learn how to write intelligibly. Another cause of obscurity is that the writer himself is not very sure of his own meaning.

12, many writers do not write before, but only when they write, that is, the pencil promotes the idea. This is indeed a danger that writers must always beware of.

13, people can easily convince themselves that a certain word he does not understand contains far more meaning than he realizes.

14, to achieve clarity, need to go through rigorous training.

15、Simplicity and naturalness are the truest signs of “excellence”.

16、Pleasant to the ear is the last of the three characteristics I mentioned, a quality lacking in a significant number of readers and many respected writers.

17, the words have weight, sound, appearance, only when you consider these, you can write a beautiful and beautiful sentence.

18、I don’t write according to my own desires, I write according to my own abilities.

19, far-fetched, old-fashioned, and even pretentious words, as long as they are better than straightforward, clear words, or give the sentence a better sense of balance, I will not consider it inappropriate. Although you can give in without hesitation to the sound of the moving voice, you should not give in to words that make the meaning vague.

20、I think it is better for the writer to have a stronger function of boredom than the reader, so that he can perceive the boredom before the reader does.

21、Once people try to form a style of writing, they are rarely able to write completely freely afterwards.

22、If you can write clearly, concisely, pleasantly and vividly, then you will write perfectly, you will write like Voltaire.

23, a good style of writing without traces of effort, you write the words should look like a wonderful hand.

24、If I achieve the effect of submissiveness in the end, it is only through hard work to get it.

25、People should write in a way that belongs to the period they are in. The voice is vivid and changing; trying to write like writers in the distant past can only lead to unnaturalness.

26、I would rather a writer be secular than pretentious; for life is secular, and what a writer seeks is life.

27、It seems to me that many writers do not observe life at all, but only create their characters from many images they imagine, according to the existing appearance. They are like draftsmen who draw patterns based on their memories of antiques, never trying to draw living models. At best, they can only give the fantasy in their minds a plausible shape.

  1. The foolish prejudice of intellectuals is to think that their knowledge is the only thing that works. Truth, goodness and beauty are not the privilege of those who go to expensive schools, spend time in libraries or frequent museums. There is no excuse for artists to think they are superior. The artist is a fool if he thinks that his knowledge is more important than that of others; he is a fool if he cannot face others happily from a position of equality.

29、The writer can be assured that the work he himself wishes to forget is also forgotten by the reader.

30、I put books aside only because I realize that time passes and that life is my business.