Dorothy Allison's Top 5 Writing Tips

Dorothy Allison’s Top 5 Writing Tips

Writers Write shares writing tips and writing resources. In this post, we share Dorothy Allison’s top 5 writing tips.

Dorothy Allison is an American writer who was born 11 April 1949.

Her writing includes themes of sexual and child abuse, feminism, class struggle, and lesbianism. She has won a number of awards for her writing, including several Lambda Literary Awards.

Her books include the titles Cavedweller and Bastard Out Of Carolina. Bastard Out of Carolina, her first novel, was a finalist for the 1992 National Book Award. It won the Ferro Grumley and Bay Area Book Reviewers Awards for fiction.

Allison founded The Independent Spirit Award in 1998, a prize given annually to an individual whose work within the small press and independent book-store circuit has helped sustain that enterprise.  The award is administered by the Astraea Foundation.

In 2014, she was elected to membership in the Fellowship of Southern Writers. She is also a member of the board of PEN International.

We found these tips on writing from the author on The Writer.

Dorothy Allison’s 5 Top Writing Tips

  1. I’m not sane when I don’t write. I suppose that’s the bottom line. The only way I know to understand the world is to remake it with story.
  2. I like a story to be in a specific spot. Smells and sounds in the background and discomfort. I like a lot of discomfort in my places. I want sweat and snake. You know what I’m talking about? I try to encourage [students] to indulge those approaches.
  3. Try not to read the email. Try desperately not to read the email. Or listen to the phone messages. The hardest thing in the world is to write fiction instead of doing business. Being a published writer there’s just an enormous amount of business. As soon as you engage with it, it short circuits the part of you that writes stories.
  4. The thing about working writers is we train our muscles. And one of our muscles is our butt muscle. You got to be able to sit and write and work for as long as the energy flows.
  5. Make writing a place of joy. If you only think of writing as this work, as this onus, difficult thing, eventually you will start avoiding it or at least you will not come to it with the enthusiasm and energy. It needs to be what you want to do, what you love to do. You have to give yourself permission to do scary, wonderful exciting things.

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 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 11th April 2020