Adventures with (and lessons from) Ernest Hemingway

Think back to the first time you read a novel and it opened a new world. You finished the last page, sat back, and soaked it all in, knowing you read something grand.

Now imagine you jump on a train and travel across a continent to meet this literary giant and end up being their apprentice on a sailing vessel for a year. You have great discussions late into the night, have writing time (after all there is no place to go!), and you get a really really great tan.

Sounds like something from a movie, right? Well this happened to a man named Arnold SailingSamuelson in the spring of 1934. He met and was an apprentice to none other than Ernest Hemingway.

It might shock some of you, though not all, that I never liked Hemingway. His stripped down brilliance and clarity of prose is obvious to anyone trained in literature but, I think most of his stories are depressive like Burmese Days by George Orwell. However, I have begun to enjoy his stories more and more. Okay, let’s be honest. I was finally won over by Corey Stoll’s brilliant rendition of him in Midnight in Paris.

I wanted to share this article with my writer friends and thought a post was the best way to do that.

There were two things I took away from this article that I believe any writer should consider. I implore you to read the whole article by clicking HERE and post your thoughts below.

Lesson’s from Hemingway

  1. Never write too much in one sitting. Essentially, never empty yourself of everything you have. This way you will always be fresh and so will your book.
  2. Read good writers that are dead. Why? Because though they are dust their books have withstood the crashing waves of contemporary literature. Hemingway compiled a list of these books, which I have included below.
    •  “The Blue Hotel” by Stephen Crane
    • “The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane
    • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
    • Dubliners by James Joyce
    • The Red and the Black by Stendhal
    • Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham
    • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
    • Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
    • Hail and Farewell by George Moore
    • The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    • The Oxford Book of English Verse
    • The Enormous Room by E.E. Cummings
    • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
    • Far Away and Long Ago by W.H. Hudson
    • The American by Henry James

Find some time to write today.



Helpful Movies, Books, and Blogs for Writers

There are many things that can influence a writer. Some inspiration comes from people and some from the world of media. I would like to use this blog to make a list of things that I have found helpful in my writing life. I hope you fund these as beneficial as I have.

Movies for Writers

Stranger than Fiction – Starring Will Ferrell. Watch this moving if you have not, and you are a writer.

Midnight in Paris – See my blog about it HERE for more info as why I would recommend it.

Books for Writers

On Writing – by Stephen King. The first book I read on writing. I don’t actually like his writing style, but this book was been very influential to my writing.

The Art of Fiction – by John Gardner. I write about its influence HERE. My favorite book on writing with great writing exercises.

Beginning Writer’s Answer Book – edited by Jane Friedman. If you have any question about writing, publishing a book, getting an agent, when to submit your story, you MUST have this book!

Bird by Bird – by Annie Lamott. Writing a book can seem overwhelming. Just read the back of this book at your local bookstore and you will get it. You take it one step at a time.

Blogs on Writing

Josh MoseyThere is nothing better than plugging your friends and getting involved in the writing community. 

RobertLeeBrewer – He is currently doing a blog on “building your platform”. There is just too much to write about this blog, just go see it!

Word PlayVery nice blog with piles of resources for writers.

Works and DaysIf you are a poet this is my friend Matt’s blog. He is published in so many places I can’t keep track anymore.

If you have found other movies, books, or blogs for writers I would encourage you to share them in the comments section below.

Thank you for reading this week. Enjoy your weekend.