Oh, I love labels, as long as they are numerous. I'm an American writer. I'm a Nigerian writer. I'm a Nigerian American writer. I'm an African writer. I'm a Yoruba writer. I'm an African American writer. I'm a writer who's been strongly influenced by European precedents. I'm a writer who feels very close to literary practice in India - which I go to quite often - and to writers over there.
What is a writer? A writer is a magician who can create a masterpiece With a wave of a pencil A writer has the key to a new world Capturing readers and taking them on a roller coaster ride away from reality But a writer can be a commanding tyrant Or a hypnotist stealing minds What is a writer? A writer is a powerful being, an intelligent thinker And an artist creating mind pictures through words. A writer is a keeper of secrets Or like a roomful of words waiting for a book But a writer is also a puppet master taking control With no strings attached What is a writer? A writer is a true friend Using words to spread smiles to the world A writer is... The voice of the hear
One of the most useful parts of my education as a writer was the practice of reading a writer straight through - every book the writer published, in chronological order, to see how the writer changed over time, and to see how the writer's idea of his or her project changed over time, and to see all the writer tried and accomplished or failed to accomplish.
You know that you are a writer if you are imaginative. You know that you are a writer if you are curious. You know that you are a writer if you are interested in the things and people of the world. You know that you are a writer if you hold a minie ball in your hand and wonder about its story. You know that you are a writer if you like the sound of rain on the roof. And if you want to tell someone else about your heart and how waiting for the thunder sometimes makes you feel, if you work to find the words to do that, then you are a writer. -Maureen O'Toople in the short story "Your Question for Author Here
If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing. A writer who appreciates the seriousness of writing so little that he is anxious to make people see he is formally educated, cultured or well-bred is merely a popinjay. And this too remember; a serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.
You see, in my view a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway." [Becoming a Writer/ The List, O Magazine, November 2009]
As every writer knows... there is something mysterious about the writer's ability, on any given day, to write. When the juices are flowing, or the writer is 'hot', an invisible wall seems to fall away, and the writer moves easily and surely from one kind of reality to another... Every writer has experienced at least moments of this strange, magical state. Reading student fiction one can spot at once where the power turns on and where it turns off, where the writer writes from 'inspiration' or deep, flowing vision, and where he had to struggle along on mere intellect.
To say that a writer's hold on reality is tenuous is an understatement-it's like saying the Titanic had a rough crossing. Writer's build their own realities, move into them and occasionally send letters home. The only difference between a writer and a crazy person is that a writer gets paid for it.
Of course I'm a black writer. I'm not just a black writer, but categories like black writer, woman writer and Latin American writer aren't marginal anymore. We have to acknowledge that the thing we call literature is more pluralistic now, just as society ought to be. The melting pot never worked. We ought to be able to accept on equal terms everybody from the Hasidim to Walter Lippmann, from the Rastafarians to Ralph Bunche.
The writer is a spiritual anarchist, as in the depth of his soul every man is. He is discontented with everything and everybody. The writer is everybody's best friend and only true enemy-the good and great enemy. He neither walks with the multitude nor cheers with them. The writer who is a writer is a rebel who never stops
The writer is a spiritual anarchist, as in the depth of his soul every man is. He is discontented with everything and everybody. The writer is everybody's best friend and only true enemy - the good and great enemy. He neither walks with the multitude nor cheers with them. The writer who is a writer is a rebel who never stops.
It feels as though a very disproportionate number of main characters are writers, because that's what the writer knows. Fair enough. But nothing bothers me more in a movie than an actor playing a writer, and you just know he's not a writer. Writers recognize other writers. Ethan Hawke is too hot to be a writer.
B. J. Novak
But the writer who endures and keeps working will finally know that writing the book was something hard and glorious, for at the desk a writer must try to be free of prejudice, meanness of spirit, pettiness, and hatred; strive to be a better human being than the writer normally is, and to do this through concentration on a single word, and then another, and another. This is splendid work, as worthy and demanding as any, and the will and resilience to do it are good for the writer's soul.
It's akin to style, what I'm talking about, but it isn't style alone. It is the writer's particular and unmistakable signature on everything he writes. It is his world and no other. This is one of the things that distinguishes one writer from another. Not talent. There's plenty of that around. But a writer who has some special way of looking at things and who gives artistic expression to that way of looking: that writer may be around for a time.
My father was the editor of an agricultural magazine called 'The Southern Planter.' He didn't think of himself as a writer. He was a scientist, an agronomist, but I thought of him as a writer because I'd seen him working at his desk. I just assumed that I was going to do that, that I was going to be a writer.
Being a writer means expressing with passion your imagination, nightmares, dreams, experiences and reality through words on paper. You are a successful writer when readers criticize, get emotionally affected by, and praise your written work. As a writer, rejections are paths to success. Being prepared for it is like wearing a powerful armor in battles unknown. Continue to write. It is a writer's mighty shield and weapon.
For the serious mediocre writer convention makes him sound like a lot of other people; for the popular writer it gives him a formula he can exploit; for the serious good writer it releases his experiences or emotions from himself and incorporates them into literature, where they belong.
If a writer of prose knows enough about what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing.
It looks like the writer is telling you a story. What the writer is actually doing, however, is using words to evoke a series of micromemories from your own experience that inmix, join, and connect in your mind in an order the writer controls, so that, in effect, you have a sustained memory of something that never happened to you.
Samuel R. Delany
It's great to win a few prizes early on. It helps a writer to get noticed and to get some sales. It can also be a pain in the arse because it gets in the way of the quiet, contemplative time every writer needs, but which is particularly important when you are a new writer finding your own voice, and pursuing the things that interest you.
A handwritten letter carries a lot of risk. It's a one-sided conversation that reveals the truth of the writer. Furthermore, the writer is not there to see the reaction of the person he writes to, so there's a great unknown to the process that requires a leap of faith. The writer has to choose the right words to express his sentences, and then, once he has sealed the envelope, he has to place those thoughts in the hands of someone else, trusting that the feelings will be delivered, and that the recipient will understand the writer's intent. How childish to think that could be easy.
There is a problem with writers. If what a writer wrote was published and sold many, many copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold a medium number of copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold very few copies, the writer thought he was great. If what the writer wrote never was published and he didn't have enough the money to publish it himself, then he thought he was truly great. The truth, however, was there was very little greatness. It was almost nonexistent, invisible. But you could be sure that the worst writers had the most confidence, the least self-doubt. Anyway, writers were to be avoided, and I tried to avoid them, but it was almost impossible. They hoped for some sort of brotherhood, some kind of togetherness. None of it had anything to do with writing, none of it helped at the typewriter.
To choose a writer for a friend is like palling around with your cardiologist, who might be musing as you talk to him that you are a sinking man. A writer's love for another writer is never quite free of malice. He may enjoy discussing your failures even more than you do. He probably sees you as tragic, like his characters - or unworthy of tragedy, which is worse.
As a reader, when the writer gets sentimental, you drift, because there's something fishy going on there. You recognize a moment that's largely about the writer and the writer's own need to believe in something that might not in fact exist. As a reader, you think, 'Where did the story go? Where did the person I'm reading about go?'
Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
But we should ask the question: Why should a writer be more than a writer? Why should a writer be a guru? Why are we supposed to be psychiatrists? Isn't it enough to write and tell the truth? It's not like telling the truth is common. Writers are the earthworms of society. We aerate the soil. That's enough.
The writer walks out of his workroom in a daze. He wants a drink. He needs it. It happens to be a fact that nearly every writer of fiction in the world drinks more whisky than is good for him. He does it to give himself faith hope and courage. A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul and that I am sure is why he does it.
Often, you have to fail as a writer before you write that bestselling novel or ground-breaking memoir. If you're failing as a writer - which it definitely feels like when you're struggling to write regularly or can't seem to earn a living as a freelance writer - maybe you need to take a long-term perspective.
J. K. Rowling
Many a young person tells me he wants to be a writer. I always encourage such people, but I also explain that there's a big difference between being a writer and writing. In most cases these individuals are dreaming of wealth and fame, not the long hours alone at the typewriter. You've got to want to write, I say to them, not want to be a writer. The reality is that writing is a lonely, private and poor-paying affair. For every writer kissed by fortune, there are thousands more whose longing is never requited. Even those who succeed often know long periods of neglect and poverty. I did.
It's not possible to advise a young writer because every young writer is so different. You might say, "Read," but a writer can read too much and be paralyzed. Or, "Don't read, don't think, just write," and the result could be a mountain of drivel. If you're going to be a writer you'll probably take a lot of wrong turns and then one day just end up writing something you have to write, then getting it better and better just because you want it to be better, and even when you get old and think, "There must be something else people do," you won't be able to quit.
It's not possible to advise a young writer because every young writer is so different. You might say, 'Read, ' but a writer can read too much and be paralyzed. Or, 'Don't read, don't think, just write, ' and the result could be a mountain of drivel. If you're going to be a writer you'll probably take a lot of wrong turns and then one day just end up writing something you have to write, then getting it better and better just because you want it to be better, and even when you get old and think 'There must be something else people do, ' you won't quite be able to quit.
The most important trait of a writer is an authentic voice. Writers have to have faith in their own voice, and their own way of doing things. Originality is the gem that every writer possesses. Originality also brings on the most merciless attacks. The world resents originality in the beginning writer, and then rewards it abundantly once that writer has been successfully published. Cherish your own voice. Don't try to sound like anybody else. Sound like yourself and take the slings and arrows and keep going.
No one can teach writing, but classes may stimulate the urge to write. If you are born a writer, you will inevitably and helplessly write. A born writer has self-knowledge. Read, read, read. And if you are a fiction writer, dont confine yourself to reading fiction. Every writer is first a wide reader.
A writer is someone who analyses the society, people and the world around him or her. Simply a writer is someone who pays attention to the utmost simple things happening around him or her. I believe the best things about being a writer is, you are going to live forever through your work, in your books, in the hearts of your readers, in your characters.
Don't put down too many roots in terms of a domicile. I have lived in four countries and I think my life as a writer and our family's life have been enriched by this. I think a writer has to experience new environments. There is that adage: No man can really succeed if he doesn't move away from where he was born. I believe it is particularly true for the writer.
The writer's job is to write with rigor, with commitment, to defend what they believe with all the talent they have. I think that's part of the moral obligation of a writer, which cannot be only purely artistic. I think a writer has some kind of responsibility at least to participate in the civic debate. I think literature is impoverished, if it becomes cut from the main agenda of people, of society, of life.
Mario Vargas Llosa