Nietzsche’s One Rule for Writing Something Worth Reading
“Write with blood and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.” — Nietzsche
Good ol’ Nietzsche had advice for everything.
From what religious beliefs you should have to whom you should marry, if at all. So it comes as no surprise that he would give plenty advice on writing.
One of my favorite quotes regarding the art of writing, of which he was a master, is:
“Of all that is written, I love only what a person has written with his blood.”
Nietzsche was such a compelling writer because he wrote with his blood.
No, he wasn’t some type of cheap horror story you tell around the campfire; and yes, he did have enough ink.
Nietzsche wrote with his own blood in the sense that everything he wrote came from the deepest part of his soul. He genuinely felt everything he put down on paper.
Mr. Nietzsche wasn’t trying to meet some quota, nor was his boss breathing down his neck telling him he needed to have at least 20 articles written by the end of the day.
Nietzsche wrote because he had an urgent message for humanity. The fire that fed the urgency of this message set his words ablaze. We can almost feel his hand pop out his books grabbing the reader by the shoulders, shaking him and begging him to wake up. Begging him to think for himself.
Motive is Everything
Nietzsche didn’t write to make a living. That wasn’t his motivation. In fact, his books were an utter failure during his lifetime. His book *Human, All Too Human* sold only 120 out of the 1,000 copies printed during the first year. The deeper and the more demanding his thinking became, the more his readership dwindled in size. He was no J.K. Rowling.
Despite his ground-level sales, he didn’t stop writing nor did he water down his message to please his audience in order to sell more. His blood was thick, and it needed to be plastered on paper, popularity be damned.
Today, Nietzsche is one of the most influential philosophers of our time. His ideas are taught in every philosophy class, and his walrus mustache is well known even by those that know nothing about philosophy.
How To Write With Blood
Do you have an urgent message to spread? Let that urgency bring forth that blood you will use as your ink.
Use your voice, your feelings, your entrails to show your passion. Don’t mince words. Don’t be afraid of how your words will be received. Let everyone talk.
However, the main instruction to learning to write with blood is plain and simple:
Do not be afraid of failure
Failure is entirely dependent on perception. What some people may consider a failure, a more evolved group will consider practice.
So find your voice, find your blood, and pour it on the page. Don’t worry about the mess.
Happy living and happy writing!