Writing Advice from William Blake

By Bhalachandra Sahaj

William Blake was an absolute genius and a person who is still considered eccentric. He wrote countless poems, prose, and commentaries. Besides being a writer, he was an outstanding engraver, with many of his engravings accompanying his writing.

Though put into the class of Romantic Era writers, Blake was truly in a class of his own. Read some of his quotes to understand his phenomenal nature and commentary on it:

“To generalize is to be an idiot.”

- In writing, including generalizations is a sure way to kill the interest and respect readers have in your writing.

“If the Sun and Moon should ever doubt, they’d immediately go out.”

- If you doubt yourself as a writer, your writing will be weak and inactive.

“I must create a system or be enslaved by another mans; I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.”

- Be original as a writer. Do not be a copy and paste other writers you admire. Express your own truth.

“The man who never in his mind and thoughts travel’d to heaven is no artist.”

- Be imaginative and explore your imagination. Don’t be settled on just thinking or dreaming up usual things.

“One thought fills immensity.”

- As a writer, you can write whole books on flies, or one idea. To those who think this is not possible do not have their imagination and strength of intellect built up.

“The imagination is not a state: it is the human existence itself.”

- Our senses are how we experience the world. Recognize this truth, and play with how we experience life in our writing.

“Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.”

- If you want to be like everyone else, you can do so. But to be a real genius, one needs to take paths less taken.

“Expect poison from the standing water.”

- If your writing style becomes stagnant, you can expect your writing to become stale.

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