WRITING AS WORK
If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I'd type a little faster.
The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any.
Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed.
I don't think it is possible to give tips for finding one's voice; it's one of those things for which there aren't really any tricks or shortcuts, or even any advice that necessarily translates from writer to writer. All I can tell you is to write as much as possible.
Poppy Z. Brite
I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop.
Clarence Budington Kelland
The faster I write the better my output. If I'm going slow, I'm in trouble. It means I'm pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.
I've always believed in writing without a collaborator, because when two people are writing the same book, each believes he gets all the worries and only half the royalties.
Life is what happens to a writer between drafts.
Damon (aka Dennis R. Miller)
…who spent 25 years completing his novel The Perfect Song.
I believe that in a good collaboration, the authors bring their strengths to the story; one author's strength cancels the other author's weakness, and back and forth it goes.
Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
E. L. Doctorow
People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it.
When my horse is running good, I don't stop to give him sugar.
You can't say, I won't write today because that excuse will extend into several days, then several months, then… you are not a writer anymore, just someone who dreams about being a writer.
Dorothy C. Fontana
Writing is a crummy profession, but a good hobby.
Writing is physical work. It's sweaty work. You just can't will yourself to become a good writer. You really have to work at it.
To be a writer is to sit down at one's desk in the chill portion of every day, and to write; not waiting for the little jet of the blue flame of genius to start from the breastbone – just plain going at it, in pain and delight. To be a writer is to throw away a great deal, not to be satisfied, to type again, and then again, and once more, and over and over....
The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything.
A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.
When we read, we stat at the beginning and continue until we reach the end. When we write, we start in the middle and fight our way out.
Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it, and sometimes you're doing good work when it feels like all you're managing is to shovel shit from a sitting position.
Writing is a fairly lonely business unless you invite people in to watch you do it, which is often distracting and then have to ask them to leave.
It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.
Ursula K. LeGuin
Hardly anybody ever writes anything nice about introverts. Extroverts rule. This is rather odd when you realise that about nineteen writers out of twenty are introverts. We are been taught to be ashamed of not being 'outgoing'. But a writer's job is ingoing.
Ursula K. LeGuin
Writing makes no noise, except groans, and it can be done everywhere, and it is done alone.
Ursula K. LeGuin
You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won't be able to take a break from being a writer.
At night, when the objective world has slunk back into its cavern and left dreamers to their own, there come inspirations and capabilities impossible at any less magical and quiet hour. No one knows whether or not he is a writer unless he has tried writing at night.
H. P. Lovecraft
When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen.
All the words I use in my stories can be found in the dictionary - it's just a matter of arranging them into the right sentences.
The secret of becoming a writer is to write, write and keep on writing.
We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.
The author must keep his mouth shut when his work starts to speak.
Only ambitious nonentities and hearty mediocrities exhibit their rough drafts. It's like passing around samples of sputum.
I write to tell stories. I believe that there a some professions in the world that will last forever: doctor or a nurse, teacher, builder and a storyteller. I write also to become myself, more so day by day. Writing is a way to shape out visible and invisible, in myself as well as in the world.
One hasn't become a writer until one has distilled writing into a habit, and that habit has been forced into an obsession. Writing has to be an obsession. It has to be something as organic, physiological and psychological as speaking or sleeping or eating.
Through joy and through sorrow, I wrote. Through hunger and through thirst, I wrote. Through good report and through ill report, I wrote. Through sunshine and through moonshine, I wrote. What I wrote it is unnecessary to say.
Edgar A. Poe
There's no such thing as writer's block. That was invented by people in California who couldn't write.
Writing energy is like anything else. The more you put in, the more you get out.
The only way to avoid being miserable is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not.
George Bernard Shaw
The measure of artistic merit is the length to which a writer is willing to go in following his own compulsions.
I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork.
Peter de Vries
God sells us all things at the price of the labor.
Leonardo da Vinci
An artist's career always begins tomorrow
I never want to see anyone, and I never want to go anywhere or do anything. I just want to write.
P. G. Wodehouse
I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit.
P. G. Wodehouse
...after being asked about his writing technique
Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.