“…the most valuable investment a writer can make with his time…”


Today (23 July) is the birthday of Raymond Chandler, author of The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye, whose writing will never go out of style. Some of his advice for writers:

“It would seem that a classical education might be a poor basis for writing novels in a hard-boiled vernacular. I happen to think otherwise. A classical education saves you from being fooled by pretentiousness, which is what most current fiction is too full of.”

He also said: “The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the most valuable investment a writer can make with his time. It pays off slowly, your agent will sneer at it, your publisher will misunderstand it, and it will take people you have never heard of to convince them by slow degrees that the writer who puts his individual mark on the way he writes will always pay off.”

These quotes are taken from The Writer’s Almanac, which fortunately is back in business on-line and available through an e-mail subscription.

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