Quotes for Writers, part two
Friday, March 9, 2012
"Write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter."
- Neil Gaiman
"No writing is a waste of time – no creative work where the feelings, the imagination, the intelligence must work. With every sentence you write, you have learned something. It has done you good."
- Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit
"I attempted briefly to consecrate myself in the public library, believing every crack in my soul could be chinked with a book."
- Barbara Kingsolver
"I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living."
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Locked Rooms and Open Doors (1974)
"‘Write about what you know’ is tricky advice. If I’d followed it, I would never have written 11 books about European vampires, or books about a bewitched family of psychic people. I say ‘Write what you want to write. Write the book you want to read. Write what delights you.’"
- Anne Rice
"Why are we reading, if not in hope of beauty laid bare, life heightened and its deepest mystery probed? Can the writer isolate and vivify all in experience that deeply engages our intellects and our hearts? Can the writer renew our hope for literary forms? Why are we reading if not in hope that the writer will magnify and dramatize our days, will illuminate and inspire us with wisdom, courage, and the possibility of meaningfulness, and will press upon our minds the deepest mysteries, so we may feel again their majesty and power? What do we ever know that is higher than that power which, from time to time, seizes our lives, and reveals us startlingly to ourselves as creatures set down here bewildered?….We still and always want waking."
- Annie Dillard, The Writing Life (Harper, 1990), 72-3.
"Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?"
- Henry Ward Beecher
"There’s something delicious about writing those first few words of a story. You can never quite tell where they will take you."
- Miss Potter, 2006
"At one magical instant in your early childhood, the page of a book—that string of confused, alien ciphers—shivered into meaning. Words spoke to you, gave up their secrets; at that moment, whole universes opened. You became, irrevocably, a reader."
- Alberto Manguel
"At one time I thought the most important thing was talent. I think now that the young man or the young woman must possess or teach himself, training himself, in infinite patience, which is to try and to try until it comes right. He must train himself in ruthless intolerance—that is to throw away anything that is false no matter how much he might love that page or that paragraph. The most important thing is insight, that is to be—curiosity—to wonder, to mull, and to muse why it is that man does what he does, and if you have that, then I don’t think the talent makes much difference, whether you’ve got it or not."
- William Faulkner
Originally posted here two years ago. Photos collected from Tumblr and We Heart It, sources since lost (if you know any original sources, let me know).