Writing objects to the lie that life is small. Writing is a cell of energy. Writing defines itself. Writing draws its viewer in for longer than an instant. Writing exhibits boldness. Writing restores power to exalt, unnerve, shock, and transform us. Writing does not imitate life, it anticipates life.
Writing is really just a matter of writing a lot, writing consistently and having faith that you'll continue to get better and better. Sometimes, people think that if they don't display great talent and have some success right away, they won't succeed. But writing is about struggling through and learning and finding out what it is about writing itself that you really love.
You honor your writing space by recovering, if you are an addict. You honor your writing space by becoming an anxiety expert, a real pro at mindfulness and personal calming. You honor your writing space by affirming that you matter, that your writing life matters, and that your current writing project matters. You honor your writing space by entering it with this mantra: "I am ready to work." You enter, grow quiet, and vanish into your writing.
Writing, for me, when I'm writing in the first-person, is like a form of acting. So as I'm writing, the character or self I'm writing about and my whole self - when I began the book - become entwined. It's soon hard to tell them apart. The voice I'm trying to explore directs my own perceptions and thoughts.
Writing is writing to me. I'm incapable of saying no to any writing job, so I've done everything - historical fiction, myths, fairy tales, anything that anybody expresses any interest in me writing, I'll write. It's the same reason I used to read as a child: I like going somewhere else and being someone else.
The secret to writing is writing. Lots of people I know talk about writing. They will tell me about the book they are going to write, or are thinking about writing, or may write some day in the future. And I know they will never do it. If someone is serious about writing, then they will sit down every day and put some words down on paper.
We're pretty regular guys. Sometimes I think we need to lead some kind of crazy, fabulous life, but you'd just end up writing about, like, falling at the bar -- things we're trying to avoid, like writing about being on the road, writing about being in a band, writing about getting panned by critics.
Writing for adults and writing for young people is really not that different. As a reporter, I have always tried to write as clearly and simply as possible. I like clean, unadorned writing. So writing for a younger audience was largely an exercise in making my prose even more clear and direct, and in avoiding complicated digressions.
Write all the time. I believe in writing every day, at least a thousand words a day. We have a strange idea about writing: that it can be done, and done well, without a great deal of effort. Dancers practice every day, musicians practice every day, even when they are at the peak of their careers - especially then. Somehow, we don't take writing as seriously. But writing - writing wonderfully - takes just as much dedication.
Write all the time. I believe in writing every day, at least a thousand words a day. We have a strange idea about writing: that it can be done, and done well, without a great deal of effort. Dancers practice every day, musicians practice every day, even when they are at the peak of their careers "" especially then. Somehow, we don't take writing as seriously. But writing "" writing wonderfully "" takes just as much dedication.
Writing has to do with truth-telling. When you're writing, let's say, an essay for a magazine, you try to tell the truth at every moment. You do your best to quote people accurately and get everything right. Writing a novel is a break from that: freedom. When you're writing a novel, you are in charge; you can beef things up.
If you have to find devices to coax yourself to stay focused on writing, perhaps you should not be writing what you're writing. And if this lack of motivation is a constant problem, perhaps writing is not your forte. I mean, what is the problem? If writing bores you, that is pretty fatal. If that is not the case, but you find that it is hard going and it just doesn't flow, well, what did you expect? It is work; art is work.
Ursula K. Le Guin
On the craft level, writing for children is not so different from writing for adults. You still have to have a story that moves forward. You still have to have the tools of the trade down. The difference arises in the knowledge of who you're writing for. This isn't necessary true of writing for adults.
Whether it's writing a monologue or writing standup or writing a screenplay or writing a play, I think staying involved in the creation of your own work empowers you in a way, even if you don't ever do it. It gives you a sense of ownership and a sense of purpose, which I think as an actor is really important.
Actually, I've taught creative writing in Turkey, at an English language university, where the students were native Turkish speakers, but they were writing their essays in English, and they were very interesting - even the sense of structure, the conventions of writing, the different styles of writing.
If I'm writing a novel, I'll probably get up in the morning, do email, perhaps blog, deal with emergencies, and then be off novel-writing around 1.00pm and stop around 6.00pm. And I'll be writing in longhand, a safe distance from my computer. If I'm not writing a novel, there is no schedule, and scripts and introductions and whatnot can find themselves being written at any time and on anything.
I don't think you could teach someone to be a genius, but you can certainly teach them to not make rookie mistakes and to look at writing the way a writer looks at writing, and not just the way a reader looks at writing. There are a lot of techniques and skills that can be taught that will be helpful to anybody, no matter how gifted they are, and I think writing programs can be very good for people.
I had been writing for the 'Late Show' for about four years when I started writing short stories. I had a blast writing the stories because I was writing in a voice more my own, as opposed to a man's. HBO ended up buying four of them. I think that had a direct impact on my decision to write a book.
Right now-whether you're in writing courses getting "paid" in credit for writing, or burdened and distracted by earning a living and changing diapers-figure out how to make writing an integral part of your life. Publication is good, and gives you the courage to go on, but publication is not as important as the act of writing.
If you are trying to decide among a few people to fill a position hire the best writer. it doesn't matter if the person is marketer, salesperson, designer, programmer, or whatever, their writing skills will pay off. That's because being a good writer is about more than writing clear writing. Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. great writers know how to communicate. they make things easy to understand. they can put themselves in someone else's shoes. they know what to omit. And those are qualities you want in any candidate. Writing is making a comeback all over our society... Writing is today's currency for good ideas.
The secret to writing is just to write. Write every day. Never stop writing. Write on every surface you see; write on people on the street. When the cops come to arrest you, write on the cops. Write on the police car. Write on the judge. I'm in jail forever now, and the prison cell walls are completely covered with my writing, and I keep writing on the writing I wrote. That's my method.
Writing is the dragon that lives underneath my floorboards. The one I incessantly feed for fear it may turn and devour my ass. Writing is the friend who doesn't return my phone calls; the itch I'm unable to scratch; a dinner invitation from a cannibal; elevator music for a narcoleptic. Writing is the hope of lifting all boats by pissing in the ocean. Writing isn't something that makes me happy like a good cup of coffee. It's just something I do because not writing, as I've found, is so much worse.
Quentin R. Bufogle
A distinction must be made between that writing which enables us to hold on to life even as we are clinging to old hurts and wounds and that writing which offers to us a space where we are able to confront reality in such a way that we live more fully. Such writing is not an anchor that we mistakenly cling to so as not to drown. It is writing that truly rescues, that enables us to reach the shore, to recover.
We should write because it is human nature to write. Writing claims our world. It makes it directly and specifically our own. We should write because humans are spiritual beings and writing is a powerful form of prayer and meditation, connecting us both to our own insights and to a higher and deeper level of inner guidance. We should write because writing brings clarity and passion to the act of living. Writing is sensual, experiential, grounding. We should write because writing is good for the soul. We should write because writing yields us a body of work, a felt path through the world we live in. We should write, above all, because we are writers, whether we call ourselves that or not.
In the minds of some people, writing is one thing, but thinking is quite another. If they define writing as spelling, the production of sentences with random meanings, and punctuation, then they might have a case. But who would accept such a definition? Writing is the production of meaning. Writing is thinking.
George Hillocks Jr.
People who write for reward by way of recognition or monetary gain don't know what they're doing. They're in the category of those who write; they are not writers. Writing is simply something you must do. It's rather like virtue in that it is its own reward. Writing is selfish and contradictory in its terms. First of all, you're writing for an audience of one, you must please the one person you're writing for. Yourself.
When writing goes painfully, when it's hideously difficult, and one feels real despair (ah, the despair, silly as it is, is real!)-then naturally one ought to continue with the work; it would be cowardly to retreat. But when writing goes smoothly-why then one certainly should keep on working, since it would be stupid to stop. Consequently one is always writing or should be writing.
Joyce Carol Oates
When writing goes painfully, when it's hideously difficult, and one feels real despair (ah, the despair, silly as it is, is real!)""then naturally one ought to continue with the work; it would be cowardly to retreat. But when writing goes smoothly""why then one certainly should keep on working, since it would be stupid to stop. Consequently one is always writing or should be writing.
Joyce Carol Oates
I hate writing. I so intensely hate writing -- I cannot tell you how much. The moment I am at the end of one project I have the idea that I didn't really succeed in telling what I wanted to tell, that I need a new project -- it's an absolute nightmare. But my whole economy of writing is in fact based on an obsessional ritual to avoid the actual act of writing.
At first, teaching was more or less a straightforward way of making a living and having access to institutional resources while writing - aka libraries. And that was not inconsiderable. But it didn't in any way touch the writing. Maybe it would push the writing aside sometimes, but mostly it was fine.
Don't wait. Writers are the only artists I know of who expect to get somewhere by waiting. Everyone knows you have to dance to be a dancer, you have to sing to be a singer, you have to act to be an actor, but far too many people seem to believe that you. don't have to write to be a writer. So, instead of writing, they wait. Isaac Asimov said it beautifully in just six words: 'It's the writing that teaches you.' Writing is what teaches you. Writing is what leads to 'inspiration.' Writing is what generates ideas. Nothing else-and nothing less. Don't meditate, don't do yoga, don't do drugs. Just write.
Writing for the sake of writing, writing that draws its credibility from its very existence, is a foreign idea to most Americans. As a culture, we want cash on the barrel head. We want writing to earn dollars and sense so that it makes sense to us. We have a conviction-which is naive and misplaced-that being published has to do with being 'good' while not being published has to do with being 'amateur.'... 'Did you write today?' 'Yes.' 'Then you're a writer today.' It would be lovely if being a writer were a permanent state that we could attain to. It's not, or if it is, the permanence comes posthumously. A page at a time, a day at a time, is the way we must live our writing lives. Credibility lies in the act of writing. That is where the dignity is. That is where the final 'credit' must come from.
It was not a choice of writing or not writing. It was a choice of loving my life or not loving my life. To keep writing was always a first priority.... I worked probably 25 years by myself.... Just writing and working, not trying to publish much. Not giving readings. A longer time than people really are willing to commit before they want to go public.
A random guy I met at a party I went to in high school told me not to study creative writing because in his opinion studying creative writing as a major sucks the love of writing out of you (he was a creative writing major, so he said he would know). I did not want the love of writing sucked out of me, so I followed his advice (however, I did take a few creative writing workshops at IU and I enjoyed them very much). Instead, I had the love of art sucked out of me. Years later I met that guy from the party again in New York City where I moved after college to be an illustrator, and we got married.
The process of writing fiction is totally unconscious. It comes from what you are learning, as you live, from within. For me, all writing is a process of discovery. We are looking for the meaning of life. No matter where you are, there are conflicts and dramas everywhere. It is the process of what it means to be a human being; how you react and are reacted upon, these inward and outer pressures. If you are writing with a direct cause in mind, you are writing propaganda. It's fatal for a fiction writer.
A Cyclops on a unicycle juggling three giant eyeballs couldn't compare to the balanced vision my writing presents. In fact, noted linguist and translation expert Dora J. Arod had these flattering words to say about my writing: 'I wouldn't read Jarod's writing-not even if he paid me to read it. And he does pay me to read his writing, but that doesn't mean I do.' Of course the quote continued on, but that was the only part that was praising.
The process of writing a book is infinitely more important than the book that is completed as a result of the writing, let alone the success or failure that book may have after it is written . . . the book is merely a symbol of the writing. In writing the book, I am living. I am growing. I am tapping myself. I am changing. The process is the product.
Theodore Isaac Rubin
It's wonderful to look back at our old writing and cringe. It simply means we have grown and can write better now. And you found some parts you can be proud of, so when you throw the old writing on the floor and stomp on it, remember to celebrate those seeds of genius and be glad that you're still writing.
Do not beat up on yourself. Do not criticize your writing as lousy, inadequate, stupid, or any of the evil epithets that you are used to heaping on yourself. Such self-bashing is never useful. If you indulge in it, your writing doesn't stand a chance. So when your mind turns on you, turn it back, stamp it down, shut it up, and keep writing.
Gail Carson Levine