Vivienne Westwood “Learn from those who’ve come before you. This is true for any discipline, not just fashion. It’s a sickness of the modern age – all too often, people decide they want to do something but don’t take the time to master the discipline in the first place.”
[Vivienne Westwood, quote from ‘Grazia’ magazine January 18, 2010]
What Westwood is saying here is ‘learn the rules before you break them’. Not something you want to hear when you are young but something that does apply to writing. Perhaps it’s the journalist in me but I have always been a bit of a stickler for the Style Book, and I know I continue to use the same grammatical and style rules I learned as a trainee journalist. In making the transition from journalist to novelist, I found it difficult to let those rules go.
So, master the discipline. And learn from the master writers: listen to authors speak, read interviews with authors in which they explain their writing methods, attend creative writing classes. Practise, write something every day. Stories, exercises, poetry, plays, try writing them all.
And above all, read. I do not understand writers who say they do not read. How can they become masters of their craft, if they write in isolation?
To visit Vivienne Westwood’s website, click here.
To watch a BBC interview with Vivienne Westwood about a wedding dress she designed, which is on show now at the Victoria & Albert Museum’s ‘Wedding Dresses’ exhibition, click here.
Miss Piggy finally met Vivienne Westwood recently, watch the discussion here.
‘Vogue on Vivienne Westwood’ by Linda Watson [UK: Picador] Buy now
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Learn from those who’ve come before: advice from #fashion designer #VivienneWestwood via @SandraDanby #amwriting http://wp.me/p5gEM4-Zk