Thomas Morris learned how to write by writing a horrible first book

Thomas Morris learned how to write by writing a horrible first book

Things I Learned Along the Way — Huck’s Fiftieth Issue Special collects lessons learned and creative advice from fifty of the most inspiring people we know. Each day we’ll be sharing a new excerpt from the magazine. Today, writer Thomas Morris shares how it took him three years to write the book of his dreams. Then he scrapped it, sat down, and wrote the truth.

#50 – Thomas Morris

“It took a long time to learn how to give up on controlling the writing before it begins, to find in character and story the real pulses of how things are – and not the way we want them to be. And it took a lot of self-questioning to realise that I once chose to write a Quiet Novel – not because I wanted Literary Respect – but because I had been unwilling to confront the true sadnesses and joys, the real complications and contradictions of life as it’s really lived. And whatever about the next book I wrote – the book that will actually be published – writing the first one showed me how not to be.

You can’t cheat truth – and the Real resides in the quiet and the loud, in the serious and the absurd, and in that whole heavenly mix of the blood, the shit and the love.”

We Don’t Know What We’re Doing, a collection of short stories, is published by Faber & Faber in August 2015.

This is just a short excerpt from Huck’s Fiftieth Special, a collection of fifty creative lessons from fifty inspiring people.

Grab a copy now to read all fifty stories in full. Subscribe to make sure you don’t miss another issue.