10 Provocative Thoughts on Writing – by Authors

  1. If you did not write every day, the poisons would accumulate and you would begin to die, or act crazy or both–you must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. – Ray Bradbury
  2. Write. Start writing today. Start writing right now. Don’t write it right, just write it –and then make it right later. Give yourself the mental freedom to enjoy the process, because the process of writing is a long one. Be wary of “writing rules” and advice. Do it your way. – Tara Moss
  3. Be daring, take on anything. Don’t labor over little cameo works in which every word is to be perfect. Technique holds a reader from sentence to sentence, but only content will stay in his mind. – Joyce Carol Oates
  4. The artist must raise everything to a higher level: he is like a pump; inside him is a great pipe reaching down into the bowels of things, the deepest layers. He sucks up what was pooled beneath the surface and brings it forth into the sunlight in giant sprays. – Gustave Flaubert
  5. Know the story before you fall in love with your first sentence. If you don’t know the story before you begin the story, what kind of a storyteller are you? Just an ordinary kind, just a mediocre kind – making it up as you go along, like a common liar. – John Irving
  6. I get annoyed when a self-indulgent writer just shows off what he knows but doesn’t really tell a story. To me storytelling is first a craft. Then if you’re lucky, it becomes an art form. But first, it’s got to be a craft. You’ve got to have a beginning, middle and end. – Robert Ludlum
  7. Most writers write too much. Some writers write way too much, gauged by the quality of their accumulated oeuvre. I’ve never thought of myself as a man driven to write. I simply choose to do it, often when I can’t be persuaded to do anything else; or when a dank feeling of uselessness comes over me, and I’m at a loss and have some time on my hands, such as when the World Series is over. – Richard Ford
  8. Every writer is a thief, though some of us are more clever than others at disguising our robberies. The reason writers are such slow readers is that we are ceaselessly searching for things we can steal and then pass off as our own: a natty bit of syntax, a seamless transition, a metaphor that jumps to its target like an arrow shot from an aluminum crossbow. – Joseph Epstein
  9. Occasionally, something sticks. And then I follow that. The only image I can think of is a man walking around with an iron rod in his hand during a lightning storm. – Arthur Miller
  10. Here are three reasons for becoming a writer: the first is that you need the money; the second, that you have something to say that you think the world should know; the third is that you can’t think of what to do with the long winter evenings. – Quentin Crisp

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