Life,  reflections,  Reviews,  Writerly Insides

Writers Know No Shame

There is a lovely book that I picked up by chance, years ago. It’s called: Robert’s Rules of Writing: 101 unconventional lessons every writers needs to know by Robert Masello.

I just did a quick scan on Goodreads and found mostly that people liked his tips and there were many that didn’t. Mostly because of the way they were presented and the person who commented that they were presented like they were the ultimate rules. Anyway! I love this book because it has so many bits of pieces that seem common sense too, but they’re great little lessons that you can take on at any time. I randomly like to pick it up and flick it to a page, any page, and see what comes up. I did that just before starting this post and I came up with this:

Rule 60: Know No Shame.

As writer’s we’re inquisitive by nature. Our curiosity will not get us killed (unlike the cat), it’s a part of what use to learn. We need to watch the way others interact and jot it down. We need to ask those questions that go beyond a line and most of all we need to be fearless in doing so. Look at that we’re back at being fearless, who would have thought?

In this chapter he proceeds to go on to talk about Ian McEwan, who I can not stand, and I sort of tuned out a lot but there is a quote, at the bottom of the page, that really gets me ever time.

To write well, about anything, you must curiosity in your nature. To write well about people or characters, you have to be downright shameless.

Isn’t that beautiful? Yup. I think this is why I don’t have a brain to mouth filter sometimes and I just flat out ask questions I shouldn’t. I also blame that on my mother and my grandmother who are so blunt sometimes, ha! I like trying to pick apart people, a lot of the time it’s done covertly, because I’m so shy, and a lot of it just me being inquisitive.

So I ask you, are you shameless? Do you scrutinise others? Are you thirsty for finding out what makes others tick? Do you go out of your way to educate yourself?

It’s funny that this topic came up when I had been thinking about all of the stuff I’ve been trying to learn to educate myself with what I need for the year and a quote that one of my lecturers, Amy Espeseth, had mentioned too. She’s probably the reason why I’m reading through so many punctuation books and sitting down do grammar exercises, because I missed being taught them properly in school and in uni I had hoped that they would gloss over it but not enough. Knowledge is power and should be shameless sought after.

Mandi is a writer, reader, dreamer and is breaking procrastinating inner editors, one at a time.


  • toconnell88

    Yeah, I’m definitely shameless. You’ve got to have an interest in human behaviour. Being an observer is critical.

    Ian McEwan is one of my favourite authors, but I can see how his work mightn’t be for everyone. Enduring Love is a good pop read. Sort of a thriller. It’s still literary, but it’s probably his most accessible work. (i.e. It has a plot!)

    Good on you for studying craft.books. I’m reading Eats, Shoots and Leaves at the moment (alongside several other books!). It’s funny, and well worth a look if you’re looking for punctuation lessons.

    • Mandi

      Haha I had to read that one where he wrote about the brain surgeon guy. I can’t remember it’s name but it was horrible. I couldn’t finish it!

      You’re totally reading my mind. I’m half way through it and I have a new found love for commas!

      But shameless is verrrry good! Go us writers!

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