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'What makes you a poet is a gift for language, an ability to see into the heart of things, and an ability to deal with important unconscious material. When all these things come together, you're a poet. But there isn't one little gimmick that makes you a poet. There isn't any formula for it.'

'There's an epigram tacked to my office bulletin board, pinched from a magazine -- "Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pâté."'

'A writer who isn't writing isn't really alive.'

'What makes you a poet is a gift for language, an ability to see into the heart of things, and an ability to deal with important unconscious material. When all these things come together, you're a poet. But there isn't one little gimmick that makes you a poet. There isn't any formula for it.'

'People say, "What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?" I say, they don't really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they're gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.'

'All writers are liars. They twist events to suit themselves. They make use of their own tragedies to make a better story... They are terrible people.'

'I know I am finished with a book when I never want to see it again. And if you have worked at it long enough to hate the sight of it, I promise you will come to love it again some sweet day. That is when you will know you did a writer's work.'

'The more you read, the more you write, and the more you free yourself to do so, the better writer you will become.

'Nothing annoys a writer who doesn't write as much as being asked what he's writing.'

'Write what you know. Learn what you don't.'

'There's an epigram tacked to my office bulletin board, pinched from a magazine -- "Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pâté."'

'The most crucial thing is to learn the craft: how to string sentences together, how to make your dialogue sound like real people, how to properly pace a story, how to develop interesting characters.'

'Writers must fortify themselves with pride and egotism as best they can. The process is analogous to using sandbags and loose timbers to protect a house against flood. Writers are vulnerable creatures like anyone else. For what do they have in reality? Not sandbags, not timbers. Just a flimsy reputation and a name.'

'The most helpful quality a writer can cultivate is self-confidence - arrogance, if you can manage it. You write to impose yourself on the world, and you have to believe in your own ability when the world shows no sign of agreeing with you.'

'I don't choose my characters, rather, they come to me. Books choose their authors, at least that's what I believe.'

'The one thing you learn is that nobody knows what will sell.'

'Writing after many years becomes a place you can hide. Because you acquire a certain amount of craft, it allows you to do something while not revealing yourself.'

'An absolutely necessary part of a writer's equipment, almost as necessary as talent, is the ability to stand up under punishment, both the punishment the world hands out and the punishment he inflicts upon himself.'

'Always thought being a writer would be one of the most useless things you could be in a zombie apocalypse, but it turns out arts and culture and storytelling is what helps us get through. Along with science, doctors, nurses, delivery people, farm workers and supermarket cashiers.'

‘Words may, through the devotion, the skill, the passion, and the luck of writers prove to be the most powerful thing in the world.'

'Our lives are spent plopped on the gluteal upholstery for eight hours a day with only imaginary friends for company, spinning lies, marinating in envy, and wondering when the Pulitzer committee is going to twig to our brilliance.'

'It never occurred to me to write something people want to read.'

'Half the people I know want to be writers.

Why do you say want? If you're already doing it, then it's not about the future. It already exists in the present.

'The more you read, the more you write, and the more you free yourself to do so, the better writer you will become.'

'The biggest mistake you can make as an author is to think while writing "What does the reader wants to hear"? Because unique worlds & characters are built inside an individual mind. And also your readers do not know what they want to read until they read it.'

‘Poetry might seem like an inconsequential side-casualty in a larger, noisier war, but in fact it is central to the story of ownership of ideas and expressions.'

'All writers are liars. They twist events to suit themselves. They make use of their own tragedies to make a better story... They are terrible people.'

'Sometimes people dismiss SF and fantasy for being escapist...however, it is anything but. SF comes from its respective authors' societies, a reflection of the world's present, its history and its future. That world used to be overwhelmingly American, but it isn't anymore, and needn't be.'

'Some day people will put faith in poets, who saw things centuries ago in perfect clarity.'

‘It's not my job to populate my books with characters that other people find relatable. It's my job to write about whatever comes into my head. If you don't want to read novels about writers, or women, or Irish people, don't read my novels. I won't mind.'

‘First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won't. Habit is persistence in practice.'

'It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.'

‘It's an accepted fact that all writers are crazy; even the normal ones are weird.'

'If I read a book [and] it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?'

'The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof lie detector. This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it.'

'The really heroic thing about Nick Hornby is that he lives in north London and rarely leaves it... Every English writer needs their corner that is forever England - but only a few brave men choose to make that corner Highbury.'

'Writing romantic fiction is the second chance that loved ones denied us.'

‘All fiction is largely autobiographical and much autobiography is, of course, fiction.'

'I don't need inspiration from real children. The real test is the child within me.'

'Writers are fortunate in that they are able to treat their neurosis every day by writing and as soon as the writer is blocked - this is catastrophic because the writer will start to go to pieces.'

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