The 5 Best Writing Tips by Ernest Hemingway

Are you considering the career of a writer? We are not talking about blogging, but about the amazing works of literature that will stay with readers forever. Young writers should always look towards older, more established ones. One incredible example would be Ernest Hemingway, and his work “A Moveable Feast”. This literary masterpiece is a writing manifesto and an homage to Paris. In it, Ernest Hemingway re-tells his meeting with some of the most remarkable figures of the 20th century literature (including Gertrude Stein, Scott Fitzgerald and Ezra Pound). With the help of this book, and several interviews that the writer has accepted to take, we have managed to compile a list of writing tips by Ernest Hemingway.

1. Never Discuss the Creative Process

One thing I’ve learned in life is that art work cannot be explained. It is up to each individual to understand and appreciate it in his own, unique way. This advice is particularly obvious in Hemingway’s manner of treating interviewers. Ford Madox Ford laughed at the idea of Hemingway even being considered a gentleman. Either way, when it comes to writing, the writing process is only for you to know, and the others to wonder about.

2. Don’t Underestimate Simplicity

The best things in life are usually simple. For example, don’t you feel that there is something incredibly familiar and organic about a pencil? Hemingway often said that when he could not squeeze the keys of a typewriter he would turn to the old-fashioned pencil. Of course, this is only one way of looking at simplicity. Your literary work itself could be simple, yet still regain a level of complexity. Hemingway had no regard for adjectives and he felt that the basest expression is usually honest, and comes from the subconscious.

3. Let Yourself Love

It was necessary to get exercise, to be tired in the body, and it was very good to make love with whom you loved. That was better than anything.

When you are in love everything is better. Everybody knows that the muses have a preference for those enamored. When you love, and make love, life happens at a different pace. The sky is bluer, the leaves are greener, and talent is amplified. The trick here is to give yourself permission to feel in love. Love comes from the heart, from a secret place which can only result in writing that is truer.

4. Don’t Write Everything You Know


This is without a doubt the best advice that Hemingway has ever given. He says that you can omit anything that would strengthen your story and make people feel something more than what they understand. In other words, a writer should always know more than what he writes, and share information in a way that it gives the story a sense of completeness. This is also a good skill to have, to not make all knowledge universal knowledge.

5. Stand While Writing

This sounds a tad strange, doesn’t it? Standing while writing sounds downright absurd. Hemmingway has never said why standing while writing is useful, we can only guess. Some suggest that an erect body could work as a better antenna for radio signals sent by the muses, but we are pretty sure Hemmingway did not care for this. However, he would usually stand in his loafers, before his desk, and write. This habit has been with him since he first started his career.

Other tips from Ernest Hemingway include actually enjoying the process (which is basically a no-brainer for such a career), writing during morning glory (when the brain is more focused), and writing honestly. As an ending, we give you one of his most motivational quotes:

I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know’ 

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