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'That's the essential goal of the writer: you slice out a piece of yourself and slap it down on the desk in front of you. You try to put it on paper, try to describe it in a way that the reader can see and feel and touch. You paste all your nerve endings into it and then give it out to strangers who don't know you or understand you.  Read more

'I like to live in a nice house. I like to play to a big audience. A lot of people enjoy the stories. I don't think that's anything to get all pumped up about, and I don't think it's anything to get depressed about.'

 

 

'Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.'

‘Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences.'

'The trouble with science fiction is that you can write about everything: time, space, all the future, all the past, all of the universe, any kind of creature imaginable. That's too big. It provides no focus for the artist. An artist needs, in order to function, some narrowing of focus.  Read more

'The literary world is made up of little confederacies, each looking upon its own members as the lights of the universe; and considering all others as mere transient meteors, doomed to soon fall and be forgotten, while its own luminaries are to shine steadily into immortality.'

'Publishers don't nurse you,; they buy and sell you.'

‘Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons.'

'One of my many theories about short stories is that their titles and first lines ought to be memorable, because if not memorable they will not be remembered, and if not remembered the stories will not be reprinted (because no one can find them).'

'Writers may be disreputable, incorrigible, early to decay or late to bloom, but they dare to go it alone.'

 

 

'Use your imagination. Trust me, your lives are not interesting. Don't write them down.'

'It's none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.'

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 majority of poems one outgrows and outlives, as one outgrows and outlives the majority of human passions.'

'Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.'

'Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can.'

'Confronted by an absolutely infuriating review it is sometimes helpful for the victim to do a little personal research on the critic. Is there any truth to the rumor that he had no formal education beyond the age of eleven? In any event, is he able to construct a simple English sentence? Do his participles dangle? When moved to lyricism does he write "I had a fun time"?  Read more

'Only a person with a Best Seller mind can write Best Sellers.'

'The literary world is made up of little confederacies, each looking upon its own members as the lights of the universe; and considering all others as mere transient meteors, doomed to soon fall and be forgotten, while its own luminaries are to shine steadily into immortality.'

'And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.'

'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.'

'No poet, no artist of any art has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists.'

'Poetry should be great and unobtrusive, a thing which enters into one's soul, and does not startle it or amaze it with itself, but with its subject.'

 

 

'Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.'

'This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don't consider it rejected. Consider that you've addressed it 'to the editor who can appreciate my work' and it has simply come back stamped 'Not at this address'. Just keep looking for the right address.'

'I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged...I had poems which were re-written so many times I suspect it was just a way of avoiding sending them out.'

'Any good writer is a good reader first. There’s no substitute for being steeped in the great work of the past, and reading the work of your contemporaries. It’s an obvious piece of advice, but no less true for that.'

'A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.'

'I can't write without a reader. It's precisely like a kiss - you can't do it alone.'

‘If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.'

'To write fiction, one needs a whole series of inspirations about people in an actual environment, and then a whole lot of work on the basis of those inspirations.'

'A "bestseller" is a celebrity among books. It is a book known primarily (sometimes exclusively) for its well-knowness.'

'Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.'

'It is advantageous to an author that his book should be attacked as well as praised. Fame is a shuttlecock. If it be struck at one end of the room, it will soon fall to the ground. To keep it up, it must be struck at both ends.'

'It is a delicious thing to write, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creating. Today, for instance, as man and woman, both lover and mistress, I rode in a forest on autumn afternoon under the yellow leaves, and I was also the horses, the leaves, the wind, the words my people uttered, even the red sun that made them almost close their love-drowned eyes.  Read more

'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...'

'Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.'

 

 


'A great poet, a really great poet, is the most unpoetical of all creatures. But inferior poets are absolutely fascinating.'

'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....'

'It's none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.'

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