The Hemingway Sentence: A Daily Practice for Better Writing


Hemingway“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

—Ernest Hemingway

I make it a point to do this every day. Sometimes it’s content related. Often it’s in my journal. Many times it’s a text to a friend. My goal is to write the best and most honest thing I can.

This is difficult, sometimes painful, but it’s true and pure, and sometimes–sometimes— just shy of brilliant.

I believe that being a good writer is about more than mastering the mechanics of the craft. It’s about the ability to tap into that visceral part of yourself that you’ve been taught to hide from the world.

Great writing has to come from a real place; it must be dredged from the depths of the emotional well.

That place isn’t immediately accessible. It’s closed off behind the various doors of your mind, kept hidden within the innermost piece of your heart. This is the part of you that is the most you, the kernel of who you are.

Getting to that place is difficult. This fortress of your heart is well-protected: the doors are thick, the guards wary.

Slow care, steady climb. That’s how you breach the walls.

To do this is daunting, to say the least. To do it on command seems impossible. Yet…

What do you think?