One writes not to be read but to breathe...one writes to think, to pray, to analyze. One writes to clear one's mind, to dissipate one's fears, to face one's doubts, to look at one's mistakes--in order to retrieve them. One writes to capture and crystallize one's joy, but also to disperse one's gloom. Like prayer--you go to it in sorrow more than joy, for help, a road back to 'grace'.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
[Raymond Roussel] said that after his first book he expected that the next morning there would be a kind of aura around his person and that everyone in the street would be able to see that he had written a book. This is the obscure desire harboured by everyone who writes. It is true that the first text one writes is neither written for others, nor because one is what one is: one writes to become other than what one is. One tries to modify one's way of being through the act of writing.
When I was a kid, we used to play this thing called 'the writing game' with our father. My brother and I would play it - where first person writes a sentence, and the second person writes a sentence, and the third person writes a sentence, and so on until you get bored and have to go to bed.
I must say a few words about memory. It is full of holes. If you were to lay it out upon a table, it would resemble a scrap of lace. I am a lover of history . . . [but] history has one flaw. It is a subjective art, no less so than poetry or music. . . . The historian writes a truth. The memoirist writes a truth. The novelist writes a truth. And so on. My mother, we both know, wrote a truth in The 19th Wife"" a truth that corresponded to her memory and desires. It is not the truth, certainly not. But a truth, yes . . . Her book is a fact. It remains so, even if it is snowflaked with holes.
The writer trusts nothing she writes-it should be too reckless and alive for that, it should be beautiful and menacing and slightly out of control. . . . Good writing . . . explodes in the reader's face. Whenever the writer writes, it's always three or four or five o'clock in the morning in her head.
Intelligent, heartfelt stories that tell a whole new set of truths about growing up American. Julie Orringer writes with virtuosity and depth about the fears, cruelties, and humiliations of childhood, but then does that rarest, and more difficult, thing: writes equally beautifully about the moments of victory and transcendence.
Lily Brown writes with and against things in poems that are coiled up tight as springs (or snakes). A believer in the power of the line, she writes, 'I think the plastics/and sink them' then 'Where is the sand/man hiding the dirt.' These terse, biting poems will make you look around and wonder.
I'm totally into Taylor Swift. I think she has super-clever lyrics, and I love that she writes her own music. Some of the themes she writes about are stuff I wish was there for me when I was in high school, and I'm so happy she really cares about her female fans. She's not catering to a male audience and is writing music for other girls.
you once said to would like to sit beside me while I write. Listen in that case I could not write at all. For writing means revealing one self to excess; that utmost of self-revelation and surrender, in which a human being, when involved with others, would feel he was losing himself, and from which, therefore, he will always shrink as long as he is in his right mind...That is why one can never be alone enough when one writes, why there can never be enough silence around one when one writes, why even night is not night enough.
you once said to would like to sit beside me while I write. Listen in that case I could not write at all. For writing means revealing one self to excess; that utmost of self-revelation and surrender, in which a human being, when involved with others, would feel he was losing himself, and from which, therefore, he will always shrink as long as he is in his right mind... That is why one can never be alone enough when one writes, why there can never be enough silence around one when one writes, why even night is not night enough.
Lola writes in her notebook: Leaf-fleas are even worse. Someone said, They don't bite people, because people don't have leaves. Lola writes, When the sun is beating down, they bite everything, even the wind. And we all have leaves. Leaves fall off when you stop growing, because childhood is all gone. And they grow back when you shrivel up, because love is all gone. Leaves spring up at will, writes Lola, just like tall grass. Two or three children in the village don't have any leaves, and those have a big childhood. A child like that is an only child, because it has a father and a mother who have been to school. The leaf-fleas turn older children into younger ones - a four-year-old into a three-year-old, a three-year-old into a one-year-old. Even a six-months-old, writes Lola, and even a newborn. And the more little brothers and sisters the leaf-fleas make, the smaller the childhood becomes.
Now it makes sense, for example, if the children are taking a vocabulary test of 100 words, and one of the kids misses thirteen of them, to give him an 87 percent. But we go far beyond this. A student writes an essay on a sunset, let us say, and the teacher writes 87 percent at the top of that paper. What he is saying, in effect, is that there is a mathematical metaphor operative here. The figure of 87 is to 100 what this submitted essay is... to what? What on earth is this supposed to mean?
I have always felt a little bit uncomfortable with question [why I'm write these stories]. It's not a question that you would ask a guy that writes detective stories or the guy that writes mystery stories, or westerns, or whatever. But it is asked of the writer of horror stories because it seems that there is something nasty about our love for horror stories, or boogies, ghosts and goblins, demons and devils.
My advice to women who habitually gravitate toward musicians is that they learn how to play an instrument and start making music themselves. Not only will they see that it's not that hard, but sometimes I think women just want to be the very thing they think they want to sleep with. Because if you're bright enough--no offense, Tawny Kitaen--sleeping with a musician probably won't be enough for you to feel good about yourself. Even if he writes you a song for your birthday. Don't you know that a musician who writes a song for you is like a baker you're dating making you a cake? Aim higher.
Addison writes with the ease of a gentleman. His readers fancy that a wise and accomplished companion is talking to them; so thathe insinuates his sentiments and taste into their minds by an imperceptible influence. Johnson writes like a teacher. He dictates to his readers as if from an academical chair. They attend with awe and admiration; and his precepts are impressed upon them by his commanding eloquence. Addison's style, like a light wine, pleases everybody from the first. Johnson's, like a liquor of more body, seems too strong at first, but, by degrees, is highly relished.
The Supreme Court is composed of two groups known as the Infallible Five and the Furious Four. The first group writes those majority decisions on patent law that have brought patent lawyers to their present condition. The second groups writes the dissenting opinions, trying to hold to the law as it was laid down by the first groups the week before. The composition of each group shifts from decision to decision, so that no one justice is right all the time. They sort of pass the infallibility around to keep peace in the family." - The Improbable Profession
I don't write romance novels, any more than Tom Clancy writes legal thrillers. Yes, I write about love and relationships and Tom Clancy writes a thriller, but what I do would not be accepted by romance publishers, since the romance genre has numerous requirements and I don't satisfy any of them. I write love stories, a completely different genre.
You once said that you would like to sit beside me while I write. Listen, in that case I could not write at all. For writing means revealing oneself to excess; that utmost of self-revelation and surrender, in which a human being, when involved with others, would feel he was losing himself, and from which, therefore, he will always shrink as long as he is in his right mind- for everyone wants to live as long as he is alive- even the degree of self-revelation and surrender is not enough for writing. Writing that springs from the surface of existence- when there is no other way and deeper wells have dried up- is nothing, and collapses the moment a truer emotion makes the surface shake. That is why one can never be alone enough when one writes, why there can never be enough silence around one when one writes, why even night is not night enough.
Why does the writer write? The writer writes to serve - hopelessly he writes in the hope that he might serve - not himself and not others, but that great cold elemental grace which knows us. A writer I very much admire is Don DeLillo. At an awards ceremony for him at the Folger Library several years ago, I said that he was like a great shark moving hidden in our midst, beneath the din and wreck of the moment, at apocalyptic ease in the very elements of our psyche and times that are most troublesome to us, that we most fear. Why do I write? Because I wanna be a great shark too. Another shark. A different shark, in a different part of the ocean. The ocean is vast.