The Writing Life Quotes

Quotes tagged as "the-writing-life" (showing 1-14 of 14)
Anita Desai
“Usually a feeling of disappointment follows the book, because what I hoped to write is not what I actually accomplished. However, it becomes a motivation to write the next book.”
Anita Desai

Aberjhani
“I place my fingers upon these keys typing 2,000 dreams per minute and naked of spirit dance forth my cosmic vortex upon this crucifix called language.”
Aberjhani, Visions of a Skylark Dressed in Black

Ernest Hemingway
“The one who is doing his work and getting satisfaction from it is not the one the poverty is hard on.”
Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Annie Dillard
“If you ask a twenty-one-year-old poet whose poetry he likes, he might say, unblushing, "Nobody's," In his youth, he has not yet understood that poets like poetry, and novelists like novels; he himself likes only the role, the thought of himself in a hat.”
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Stephen Koch
“And please don't sink into this woeful nonsense about not having time to read...The real culprit here is almost never your schedule. It is your boredom--your boredom with the books you think you are supposed to read. Find a book you want, a book that gives you real trembling excitement, a book that is hot in your hands, and you'll have time galore.”
Stephen Koch

Annie Dillard
“Only after a writer lets literature shape her can she perhaps shape literature. In working-class France, when an apprentice got hurt, or when he got tired, the experienced workers said, "It is the trade entering his body." The art must enter the body, too.”
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Annie Dillard
“I do not so much write a book as sit up with it, as with a dying friend. During visiting hours, I enter its room with dread and sympathy for its many disorders. I hold its hand and hope it will get better.
This tender relationship can change in a twinkling. If you skip a visit or two, a work in progress will turn on you.”
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

W. Somerset Maugham
“I began to meditate upon the writer's life. It is full of tribulation. First he must endure poverty and the world's indifference; then, having achieved a measure of success, he must submit to a good grace of its hazards...But he has one compensation, Whenever he has anything on his mind, whether it be a harassing reflection, grief at the death of a friend, unrequited love, wounded pride, anger at the treachery of someone to whom he has shown kindness, in short any emotion or any perplexing thought, he has only to put it down in black and white, using it as a theme of a story or the decoration of an essay, to forget all about it. He is the only free man.”
W. Somerset Maugham, Cakes and Ale

Annie Dillard
“The feeling that the work is magnificent, and the feeling that it is abominable, are both mosquitoes to be repelled, ignored, or killed, but not indulged.”
Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Annie Dillard
“You can read in the space of a coffin, and you can write in the space of a toolshed meant for mowers and spades.”
Annie Dillard

Karen Jones Gowen
“f you want to be famous then run for office and be a politician. If you want to be rich then become a plastic surgeon. If you want to have people know your name then be a teacher. If you want to make a difference in someone’s life then have children. But if you want to work alone, feel like a freak, be misunderstood, wonder what the point is, always come up short of time and money, while writing stories that bubble up from within about characters you have never met but are strangely in love with, then be a writer.”
Karen Jones Gowen

Maurice Blanchot
“The feeling of the uselessness of what I am doing is linked to this other feeling that nothing is more serious.”
Maurice Blanchot, Faux Pas

William Zinsser
“Don't annoy your readers by over-explaining--by telling them something they already know or can figure out. Try not to use words like "surprisingly," "predictably" and "of course," which put a value on a fact before the reader encounters the fact. Trust your material.”
William Zinsser, On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction