I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.
The pen is the tongue of the mind.
~ Miguel de Cervantes
Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.
I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.
Write from the soul, not from some notion what you think the marketplace wants. The market is fickle; the soul is eternal.
~Jeffrey A. Carver
Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then
it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant.
The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.
If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.
The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in shock-proof shit-detector.
All you have to do is write one true sentence.
Write the truest sentence that you know.
Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie.
Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.
You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.
Every man usually has something he can do better than anyone else. Usually, it is reading his own handwriting.
Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.
–Groucho Marx (1890 – 1977)
My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day’s works is all I can permit myself to contemplate.
Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself – it is the occurring which is difficult.
Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
–William Strunk, Jr.
Most writers regard truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.
I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.
If you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.