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Orwell’s Writing Advice

References to 1984 abound on the Internet today, with political and cultural turmoil and our surveillance society. I admit I have not read it, but it is on my classical novels to be read bucket list.

Popular writing advice includes to write what you do not know. To just start writing and you will find how you believe or feel about a topic while you writing. That writing what you really believe can lead to propaganda or didactic writing. Sometimes this can be helpful or even desired.

However, this advice has always made me chafe. A pencil, pen, or keyboard in the hands of an experienced writer can write the novel or short story subtly, co-creating with the reader’s own thoughts. But the the bigger issue to me is if, as a writer, you have something to say from the beginning.

As a writer, you need a secure foundation from which to write.

When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.

George Orwell

I believe Mr. Orwell has succeeded.

Comment Pollicy

Comments are moderated. Follow Matthew 7:12’s version of the Golden Rule: “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you…” Or my version:  “Keep it classy!”


  1. Dee.Cee Dee.Cee December 4, 2020

    You should definitely explore 1984. Orwell’s work will have a deep impact on your writing.

  2. h. renell h. renell December 4, 2020

    I had Don Quixote on my list next, but 1984 will be after that. I did read Fahrenheit 451. I have read Orwell’s essay Why I Write. Help my writing in a philosophical way?

  3. Stuart Danker Stuart Danker December 5, 2020

    1984 is definitely one of the easier-to-read classics, and I found it rather enjoyable too. But maybe that’s just the dystopian lover in me. Great quote from Orwell. Thanks for sharing!

  4. h. renell h. renell December 5, 2020

    Thanks for stopping by! I will look forward to reading it.

  5. Dee.Cee Dee.Cee December 5, 2020

    You will have a fresh perspective.

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