Good piece, Zat, and good advice. Please note that “In Our Time,” Hemingway’s collection of short stories, mostly about war, really started people noticing his work. Fortunately, “Th Sun Also Rises” confirmed what people were already thinking: He was a good writer. Few authors had achieved his “strength in simplicity,” although Wordsworth wrote often about the “core of elementary ideas,” what we now call “telling it like it is.” As you say, getting there is a lot of work (10,000 hours seems light) and you’re right, you need encouragement as well as thoughtful criticism. I’ll add to that with another piece of advice from Hemingway: “Murder your darlings.” We must edit scrupulously, whether it’s a novel or an article here. I think that’s our greatest weakness with social media. My rule of thumb is this: If what I’ve written goes over the “5 minute read” point, I immediately go back and see what can be shortened. Occasionally, it can’t be shortened, but often it can. Good piece. Thanks for posting.

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I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.

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