Saturday, April 30, 2016

Revising What You Write

Revision tests our ability to be honest with ourselves about our strengths and our weaknesses. Who enjoys that sort of honesty, really?

Jan Burke 

Friday, April 29, 2016

The Overpowering Desire To Write

Neurologists have found that changes in a specific area of the brain can produce hypergraphia--the medical term for an overpowering desire to write.

Dr. Alice W. Flaherty 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Writers On The Bottle

You usually can tell when a writer is going downhill by the size of his liquor bill.

James M. Cain 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Effect of Literary Prizes on Writers' Egos

Any author who gets a swelled head because he has been given a prize or a plaque is a foolish man.

John O'Hara 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Are Writers, As a Group, Unlikeable People?

Writers are a bad lot on the whole--petty, nasty, bilious, suffused with envy and riddled with fear.

Roger Rosenblatt 

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Blessings Of Not Being Able To Write

For a person to discover that she or he does not have a calling to write can be good news. Consider committing your life in an impossible difficult, underpaid profession that is not right for you.

Stephen Koch

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016

Creative Writing Courses

One of the oddities of creative writing courses is that there exists no standard theory on how to teach creative writing.

John Gardner

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Writing Requires Talent

Be it modest or magnificent, you've got to have some talent. It may be latent; it may be undeveloped; it may be neglected. But it must be there.

Stephen Koch 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Reading And The Dream of Becoming a Writer

Reading precedes writing. And the impulse to write is almost always fired by reading. Reading, the love of reading, is what makes you dream of becoming a writer.

Susan Sontag 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Stephen King On Talent

If you write something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn't bounce, and if you paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.
Stephen King 

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Manic-Depressive Writer

A surprising proportion of writers are manic-depressive.

Dr. Alice W. Flaherty 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Learning To Write

To learn to write and write decently is simply a much longer and harder thing than is generally admitted.

James Gould Cozzens 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Writer's Despair

At the age of thirty-four I am weary, tired, dispirited, and worn out. I was a decent-looking boy six years ago--now I am a bald, gross, heavy, weary-looking man. I wanted fame--and I have had for the most part shame and agony.

Thomas Wolfe 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Write What You Know

I have always tried to keep the setting of my novels as far as possible within the confines of my own experience.

Ngio Marsh 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Editing Your Own Writing

I hate editing. I love to write, but I hate to reread my stuff. To revise. And most students do, too. It's a killer.

Barry Hannah 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Mystery of Writer's Block

Sometimes writer's block will pass by itself, mysteriously slouching off as silently as it came, and you'll never know why it appeared, or why it slogged away.

Sophy Burnham 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How One Writer Launches His Novels

I try to get the right people assembled, give them right-sounding names, and then I'm off and running.

Elmore Leonard 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Harsh Criticism As Well As Too Much Praise Can Hurt a Writer

Harsh criticism can harm our creative process, but so can a reliance upon praise. Praise is nice, of course. It feels good to get a positive response to our work. That ego stroking shouldn't be why you write, though. If you become dependent on praise, your creative flow gets displaced. You become removed from your own source.

Gayle Brandeis 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

There's a Big Difference Between Wanting to Write a Book Than Actually Writing It

Large numbers of people apparently want to write, or think they do. They speak as if they are going out to catch a bus or whip up a batch of fudge: "One of these days I'm gonna sit down and write a book," or "I got an uncle Carl, he's real funny; if he'd just come and spend a long weekend then me and him could write a book."

Larry L. King 

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Learning To Write From Other Writers

Most writers like to talk, and one of the things they love to talk about is writing. In interviews and letters, in table talk and memoirs and manifestos, writers have always held forth in surprisingly full detail about how they do what they do. It adds up to a vast, largely untapped literature on technique.

Donald M. Murray 

Friday, April 8, 2016

Real Writers Don't Wait For Inspiration

Only writers in movies wait for inspiration. Real writers work on schedules, different ones for different writers, but always structured. Ask any writer you know.

Ed McBain 

Thursday, April 7, 2016

To Aspiring Novelists: There Is No Such Thing As a New Idea

One of the most common faults I have seen over the years is the attempt by the novice author to seek out an idea "that has never been done before."

Martin P. Levin 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Facing the Blank Page

Many times, I just sit for three  hours with no ideas coming to me. But I know one thing; if an idea does come between nine and twelve, I am there ready for it.

Flannery O'Connor

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Writers On The Sets of Movies Based on Their Books

Producers of films tend to involve writers of books in the moviemaking process as little as possible, for the sensible reason that it's hard enough to make a film without having an interested amateur meddling in the process.

Tony Hillerman 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Getting Hit With The Talent Stick

I think God hits some people with the talent stick harder than He hits others. And it kills a lot of people. It's like dynamite: they blow up.

Stephen King 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A Writer Must Be Persistent

The one talent that is indispensable to a writer is persistence. You must write the book, else there is no book. It will not finish itself.

Tom Clancy

Friday, April 1, 2016

Writers Have to Live With Rejection

When you get used to being disappointed, the recovery time gets shorter, the time you need before you get back to work gets shorter and shorter.

Colson Whitehead