On Listening

Publish date:
Image placeholder title

too, is 90 percent listening. You listen so deeply to the space around you that
it fills you, and when you write, it pours out of you. If you can capture that
reality around you, your writing needs noting else. You don’t only listen to
the person speaking to you across the table, but simultaneously listen to the
air, the chair, and the door. And go beyond the door. Take in the sound of the
season, the sound of the color coming in through the windows. Listen to the
past, future, and present right where you are. Listen with your whole body, not
only with your ears, but with your hands, your face, and the back of your neck.

is receptivity. The deeper you can listen, the better you can write. You take
in the way things are without judgment, and the next day you can write the
truth about the way things are. Jack Kerouac in his list of prose essentials
said, ‘Be submissive to everything. Open. Listening.’ He also said, ‘No time
for poetry, but exactly what it is.’ If you can capture the way things are,
that’s all the poetry you’ll ever need.”

Goldberg, Writing Down The Bones


Incite vs. Insight (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use incite vs. insight with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.


Jane K. Cleland: On Writing the Successful Long-Running Series

Award-winning mystery author Jane K. Cleland describes what it's like to write a long-running book series and offers expert advice for the genre writer.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: #StartWrite, Virtual Conference, and New Courses

This week, we’re excited to announce free resources to start your writing year off well, our Novel Writing Virtual Conference, and more!


20 Most Popular Writing Posts of 2020

We share a lot of writing-related posts throughout the year on the Writer's Digest website. In this post, we've collected the 20 most popular writing posts of 2020.


Carla Malden: Writing With Optimism and Innocence

Screenwriter and author Carla Malden explains why young adult fiction and the '60s go hand-in-hand and how she connected with her main character's voice.


Writing Mistakes Writers Make: Talking About the Work-in-Progress

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so we started this series to help identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake writers make is talking about the work-in-progress.


Greta K. Kelly: Publishing Is a Marathon

Debut author Greta K. Kelly reveals how the idea for her novel sparked and the biggest surprise of her publication journey.

Poetic Forms

Mistress Bradstreet Stanza: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the Mistress Bradstreet stanza, an invented form of John Berryman.


Capital vs. Capitol (Grammar Rules)

Learn when to use capital vs. capitol with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.