My Writing Life: on Reading a Moveable Feast

Recently The Husband, dogs, and I took a bunch of day trips around the PNW. Normally on these trips we listen to a comedy CD or funny audio book, but somehow we’d exhausted our supply. I had the restored edition of Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast in the car and we wound up listening to it.

It was unintentionally hilarious.

More importantly, Hemingway had a lot of good writing advice.  Particularly these gems:

“I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

“I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

“You should only read what is truly good or what is frankly bad.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Pretty good, huh? No more draining this well at the end of the day!

If you’re serious about writing (or Paris or eating), this is must-read. I loved learning about his relationships/ friendships with Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein.

Have you read it? What advice/ essays spoke to you?

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized, writing

3 responses to “My Writing Life: on Reading a Moveable Feast

  1. Well, I read it in college, and thought he was pompous. Perhaps it was just the 21-year-old me (I?).

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    • I agree, he is a little pompous, and I think the added material in the restored edition makes it unintentionally funny. Also, I try not to take anyone too seriously if they let their cat babysit their baby while they go out to dinner/ get drunk!

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      • That was one of the things that bugged me the most – he’s out eating oysters in the cafe while his wife and baby are freezing in their apartment!

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