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Notes To Self: 1.The falling of autumn leaves is not your fault. 2.Stop piling candles for decoration. They are meant to be burnt. 3.Silence has a voice of its own. Listen to your own silence. 4.A piece of advice from a divorced and a formerly political prisoner: “to be successful, avoid two things: women and politics!” 5.A semi-colon is the middle finger in a sentence when writing fiction. 6.Be sadist when you write. Good things come out of your character only when bad things happen to them. 7.A comedian once said: if you are looking for sympathy in life, you will only find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis. 8.No expectations. Just instincts. 9.Undergraduate degrees of creative writing are rubbish. They are vehicles of producing mass ignorance. Because if undergraduates want to become writers, they have to spend their twenties reading excessively first. 10.Every time you get rejected by a publisher, be thankful. It is a boost for your ego to keep going forward. It is a second chance to reflect, write, and edit. It is a rebirth. It is similar to being given the question-sheet in an exam to revisit your answers before you submit your paper. 11.You are fake and hypocritical when you write for fame or political purpose. These are exterior. Honest and free writing is interior: that is when you write for yourself. 12.Mark things in green. It is the colour of grace, hope and nature. Red is bloody and fascist. 13.Reason, not need. - King Lear 14.Your body is roughly 72 per cent water. Keep hydrated. 15.Read alone. Write alone. Eat accompanied. 16.Do not drive all the time. Cycle when possible. 17.More radio. Less TV. 18.Read more. Write less. Writing comes later. 19.Sing to a mirror. 20.Re-paint your walls. 21.Read an article or summarise a short story a day. 22.Learn a new word a day too. 23.Become drunk with poetry. 24.Watch foreign films. 25.Buy mother a piece of jewellery with first salary. 26.Publish a book before you are 30. 27.Practice poetry. For fun. 28.Have a tattoo you will regret. 29.Put that bloody mobile phone down! Do not become a machine driven by machines! 30.Speak less. Listen more.

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Akram Al Deek

Professor Al Deek is Vice Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Communication, Head of the Department of English Language and Literature, and the Department of Translation, and Assistant Professor of World literatures at The American University of Madaba, Jordan.

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