Monday, February 29, 2016

As a Writer, Don't Worry Too Much About the First Draft

The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon. You can always do it better, find the exact word, the apt phrase, the leaping simile.

Robert Cormier 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Philosopher Novelist

I am a philosopher, I write novels only on the weekend.

Umberto Eco

Monday, February 22, 2016

When Not To Write

Never, never at night. I don't believe in writing at night because it comes too easily. When I read it in the morning it's not good. I need daylight to begin.

Gunter Grass

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Writing Three Hours a Day Is Enough For One Novelist

All those I think who have lived as literary men--working daily as literary laborers--will agree with me that three hours a day will produce as much as a man ought to write.

Anthony Trollope 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Finding the Strength To Write a Novel

[To complete a novel] physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity.

Haruki Murakami 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Night Writer

I never work [write] in the mornings unless I'm in real trouble.

Tom Stoppard 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Henry Miller's Writing Secrets

I don't believe in draining the reservoir. I believe in getting up from the typewriter, away from it, while I still have things to say. I know that to sustain those true moments of insight one has to be highly disciplined, lead a disciplined life.

Henry Miller 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Boswell's Self-Motivation to Write

As soon as I am awake, I remember my duty, and like a brisk mariner I give lash to indolence and bounce up with as much vivacity as if a pretty girl, amorous and willing, were waiting for me.

James Boswell 

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Writing of "Ulysses"

All in all I calculate that I must have spent nearly 20,000 hours in writing Ulysses.

James Joyce

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Spare Time Writer

I was brought up to think you had to have a day job, and write in your spare time.

Philip Larkin

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Depressed Writer

I shall always be depressed, but what comforts me is the realization that I can now accept this dark side as the commanding side of my personality. In accepting it, I will make it work for me.

Samuel Beckett 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

An Almost Permanent Case of Writer's Block

I really don't adhere to writing schedules at all. The times that I've tried that, when I have been in a slump and I try to get out of it by saying, "Come on, Ann, sit down at the typewriter," I've gotten in a worse slump. It's better if I just let it ride. I've learned I can't force it. I certainly am a moody and, I would say, not very happy person.

Ann Beattie 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Truman Capote: The "Horizontal" Writer

I am a completely horizontal writer. I can't think unless I'm lying down, either in bed or stretched out on a couch and with a cigarette and coffee handy. I've got to be puffing and sipping. As the afternoon wears on, I shift from coffee to mint tea to sherry to martinis.

Truman Capote 

Sunday, February 7, 2016

One Novelist's Life Habits

My habits are simple, my tastes banal, soccer matches on the TV, an occasional cup of wine or a gulp of canned beer, sunbaths on the lawn, and composing chess problems.

Vladimir Nabokov 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Self-Disciplined Novelist

Someone once called me a bureaucrat among writers because my self-discipline seemed excessive. It seemed excessive to me, too.

Saul Bellow

Friday, February 5, 2016

F. Scott Fitzgerald And His Booze

It has become increasingly plain to me that the very excellent organization of a long novel or the finest perceptions and judgment in time of revision do not go well with liquor.

F. Scott Fitzgerald 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Tolstoy's Work Habits

I must write each day without fail, not so much for the success of the work, as in order not to get out of my routine.

Leo Tolstoy 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Difficulty of Writing in a Plain, Clear Style

Last night I began my novel [Madame Bovary]. Now I foresee terrifying difficulties of style. It's no easy business to be simple.

Gustave Flaubert