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“I often write in margins of books and email authors all the little typos I found while reading their novel...”
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“It’s the good girls who keep diaries; the bad girls never have the time.”
Tallulah Bankhead
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“Reading this tiny book (more a pamphlet really) in one short sitting made me feel as though I was trapped in a lift with a crack-smoking Stalin.”
Johann Hari, on George Galloway’s book
“”
“A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor.”
Ring Lardner
“”
“Management speak has been infiltrated into our lives, a loathsome serpent crawling into our bed at night and choking the life out of our language. It is an outrage that the phrase ‘human resources’ was not strangled at birth.”
“”
“I used to pound out so many research papers in college (I was a history major after all) but these days it’s all emails and blog posts and really, you’ve all ruined me. I swear the paperclip guy in Word is mocking me. ‘Go write your paper in Movable Type. You seem to be able to come up with the words there...’”
“”
“You’re not officially a writer until someone interrupts you while you’re typing, and you try to be nice about it, but you secretly want to start screaming like Nicholson in ‘The Shining.’ ”
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“My guiding principle is always to write with my grandparents in mind. It keeps me from being too personal or too technical or too complainy.”
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“There is no urge so great as for one man to edit another man’s work.”
Mark Twain
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“Think of a dish rag. Nice and fluffy soft and sitting in the clean linen drawer. That’s the writer at rest. Now, dunk it in the sink. That’s the writer at work absorbing. Each molecule of water a piece of life’s puzzle. Now, wring it out. Wring it hard, every drop of moisture must be released. That’s the writer writing - each drop of water a word. Now hang it out to dry, because it’s done for a while. That’s me.”
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“Men of the pen have seldom any great skill in conquering kingdoms, but they have strong inclination to give advice.”
Samuel Johnson
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“I’m finding that there is a discrete number of words I can squeeze out in a day. It seems that number is currently about 3,000, to be split between articles, stories, or anything else I write. Today, 2,736 of those words went into emails alone. This note is taking up another 56. What to do with the rest?”
“”
“You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.”
Ray Bradbury
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“Everywhere I go, I’m asked if the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.”
Flannery O’Connor
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“TV relies on pictures; radio on emotive voices. Blogs are about words, period, and you stand or fall on how well you use them.”
“”
“If you can’t communicate clearly in writing, perhaps the Internet is not the best place for you, eh?”
Barb MacRae
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“The advice ‘write only what you know’ increases the likelihood that you will know the same things forever.”
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“The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense.”
Tom Clancy
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“John Updike is writing a novel about the art world, and he said that when he heard about the disaster, the work and the entire subject seemed trivial. But then, he said, he realized that continuing to write was ‘my only haven.’ He could lose himself in it. And besides, being a novelist, Mr. Updike said, is ‘my contribution to the civil order.’ “
“”
“There will be days when working on your project will be as appealing as curdled milk. Nothing I can think of short of childbirth (for which I often thank the gender-gods I won’t experience first hand) puts an individual through so much pain for so great a reward. It’s like eating chocolate-covered broken glass.”
Scott Haartman, on writing
“”
“Work, work, work for all these years, and what is my reward? Calculated insults. Stinging slaps in the face. While I continue to struggle to earn a living in my declining years, churning out weekly columns for a pittance, teenage pop thingee Britney Spears, threatening to write a first novel, with a little help from her mummy, has pre-sold her scribble for a 500,000 pounds sterling publisher’s advance in the U.K. and a reported cool million U.S. from Random House in New York. To be fair, my only protruding curve is my belly, and for all I know we are on the verge of witnessing the debut of a second Jane Austen.”
Mordecai Richler
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“Why do people always expect authors to answer questions? I am an author because I want to ask questions. If I had answers, I’d be a politician.”
Eugene Ionesco
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“A work grows as it will and sometimes confronts its author as an independent, even an alien, creation.”
Sigmund Freud
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“I don’t like to write. I don’t care what the fuck happens after I write. Once I’ve gotten the story in my mind, the rest is just pain. And to cure the pain, we put it together between covers and call it The Great Shark Hunt and sell 100,000 copies at fifteen dollars apiece. It helps ease the pain.”
Hunter S. Thompson
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“We’re all stuck here. We have no choice. We are logging automata - forced by the web to prostitute our writing skills day in and day out until we die. We shall write until we drop. Then we shall be boiled down into a black unctious liquid and people will use us for ink.”
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“A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought, and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
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“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”
Gene Fowler


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