Quotes about Writers and writing

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Books choose their authors; the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one.

It is excellent discipline for an author to feel that he must say all that he has to say in the fewest possible words, or his reader is sure to skip them.
It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? for the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. Growth is exciting; growth is dynamic and alarming. Growth of the soul, growth of the mind.
Writing is a question of finding a certain rhythm. I compare it to the rhythms of jazz. Much of the time life is a sort of rhythmic progression of three characters. If one tells oneself that life is like that, one feels it less arbitrary.
The trade of authorship is a violent, and indestructible obsession.
Writing is to descend like a miner to the depths of the mine with a lamp on your forehead, a light whose dubious brightness falsifies everything, whose wick is in permanent danger of explosion, whose blinking illumination in the coal dust exhausts and corrodes your eyes.
When an author is too meticulous about his style, you may presume that his mind is frivolous and his content flimsy.
I cringe when critics say I'm a master of the popular novel. What's an unpopular novel?
Thus, with child to speak, and helpless in my throes, biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite: Fool! said my muse to me, look in thy heart, and write.
Writing is not a profession, but a vocation of unhappiness.
What I like in a good author isn't what he says, but what he whispers.
Agatha Christie has given more pleasure in bed than any other woman.
The writer does the most good who gives his reader the most knowledge and takes from him the least time.
Writing is the continuation of politics by other means.
For a country to have a great writer is like having another government. That's why no r?gime has ever loved great writers, only minor ones.
The writer is either a practicing recluse or a delinquent, guilt-ridden one; or both. Usually both.
Writers are a little below the clowns and a little above the trained seals.
Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.
What you're trying to do when you write is to crowd the reader out of his own space and occupy it with yours, in a good cause. You're trying to take over his sensibility and deliver an experience that moves from mere information.
What an occupation! To sit and flay your fellow men and then offer their skins for sale and expect them to buy them.
O Grub Street! how do I bemoan thee, whose graceless children scorn to own thee! . Yet thou hast greater cause to be ashamed of them, than they of thee.
Style may defined as the proper words in the proper places.
As a man has no right to kill one of his children if it is diseased or insane, so a man who has made the gradual and conscious expression of his personality in literature the aim of his life, has no right to suppress himself any carefully considered work which seemed good enough when it was written. Suppression, if it is deserved, will come rapidly enough from the same causes that suppress the unworthy members of a man's family.
The two most engaging powers of a good author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.
A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure.
Some American writers who have known each other for years have never met in the daytime or when both were sober.
When all things are equal, translucence in writing is more effective than transparency, just as glow is more revealing than glare.
No doubt I shall go on writing, stumbling across tundras of unmeaning, planting words like bloody flags in my wake. Loose ends, things unrelated, shifts, nightmare journeys, cities arrived at and left, meetings, desertions, betrayals, all manner of unions, adulteries, triumphs, defeats... these are the facts.
Write without pay until somebody offers to pay you. If nobody offers within three years, sawing wood is what you were intended for.
As to the adjective, when in doubt strike it out.
Often I think writing is a sheer paring away of oneself leaving always something thinner, barer, more meager.
My idea is always to reach my generation. The wise writer writes for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterward.
An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterwards.
All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.
Mostly, we authors must repeat ourselves -- that's the truth. We have two or three great moving experiences in our lives -- experiences so great and moving that it doesn't seem at the time that anyone else has been so caught up and pounded and dazzled and astonished and beaten and broken and rescued and illuminated and rewarded and humbled in just that way ever before.
Writers aren't people exactly. Or, if they're any good, they're a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person. It's like actors, who try so pathetically not to look in mirrors. Who lean back ward trying -- only to see their faces in the reflecting chandeliers.
Many writers who choose to be active in the world lose not virtue but time, and that stillness without which literature cannot be made.
Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence.
Every drop of ink in my pen ran cold.

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