If you have a dream, don’t just sit there. Gather courage to believe that you can succeed and leave no stone unturned to make it a reality.
It was only after two years' work that it occurred to me that I was a writer. I had no particular expectation that the novel would ever be published, because it was sort of a mess. It was only when I found myself writing things I didn't realise I knew that I said, 'I'm a writer now.' The novel had become an incentive to deeper thinking. That's really what writing is—an intense form of thought.
If you write in the Old World, and against it, your work must die, go missing, be veiled, before it can live the life for which it was destined in the New World.
I ran across an excerpt today (in English translation) of some dialogue/narration from the modern popular writer, Paulo Coelho in his book: Aleph.(Note: bracketed text is mine.)... 'I spoke to three scholars,' [the character says 'at last.'] ...two of them said that, after death, the [sic (misprint, fault of the publisher)] just go to Paradise. The third one, though, told me to consult some verses from the Koran. [end quote]' ...I can see that he's excited. [narrator]' ...Now I have many positive things to say about Coelho: He is respectable, inspiring as a man, a truth-seeker, and an appealing writer; but one should hesitate to call him a 'literary' writer based on this quote. A 'literary' author knows that a character's excitement should be 'shown' in his or her dialogue and not in the narrator's commentary on it. Advice for Coelho: Remove the 'I can see that he's excited' sentence and show his excitement in the phrasing of his quote.(Now, in defense of Coelho, I am firmly of the opinion, having myself written plenty of prose that is flawed, that a novelist should be forgiven for slipping here and there.)Lastly, it appears that a belief in reincarnation is of great interest to Mr. Coelho ... Just think! He is a man who has achieved, (as Leonard Cohen would call it), 'a remote human possibility.' He has won lots of fame and tons of money. And yet, how his preoccupation with reincarnation—none other than an interest in being born again as somebody else—suggests that he is not happy!
Don’t let mental blocks control you. Set yourself free. Confront your fear and turn the mental blocks into building blocks.
The world’s greatest achievers have been those who have always stayed focussed on their goals and have been consistent in their efforts.
I wrote a book. It sucked. I wrote nine more books. They sucked, too. Meanwhile, I read every single thing I could find on publishing and writing, went to conferences, joined professional organizations, hooked up with fellow writers in critique groups, and didn’t give up. Then I wrote one more book.
Publishing a book is like stuffing a note into a bottle and hurling it into the sea. Some bottles drown, some come safe to land, where the notes are read and then possibly cherished, or else misinterpreted, or else understood all too well by those who hate the message. You never know who your readers might be.
A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down. If it is a good book nothing can hurt him. If it is a bad book nothing can help him.
Who is better off? The one who writes to revel in the voluptuousness of the life that surrounds them? Or the one who writes to escape the tediousness of that which awaits them outside? Whose flame will last longer?
Magazines all too frequently lead to books and should be regarded by the prudent as the heavy petting of literature.
I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all it is cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do---the actual act of writing---turns out to be the best part. It's like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.
It can be depressing when no one takes interest, and a lack of response makes the writer question why they’re writing at all. To have one’s writing rejected is like you, yourself, are being rejected.
We publish only to satisfy out craving for fame, there's no other motive except the even baser one of making money....
As a young man just beginning to publish some short fiction in the t&a magazines, I was fairly optimistic about my chances of getting published; I knew that I had some game, as the basketball players say these days, and I also felt that time was on my side; sooner or later the best-selling writers of the sixties and seventies would either die or go senile, making room for newcomers like me.
I have always believed in the principle that immediate survival is more important than long-term survival.
I would not employ an author to referee a Ping-Pong match. By their very nature they are biased and bloody-minded. Better put a fox in a henhouse than to ask an author to judge his peers. (in a letter to the Governor General about the GA's Literary Awards & his issue--among others--with the judging system, 1981)
It has been our experience that American houses insist on very comprehensive editing; that English houses as a rule require little or none and are inclined to go along with the author's script almost without query. The Canadian practice is just what you would expect--a middle-of-the-road course. We think the Americans edit too heavily and interfere with the author's rights. We think that the English publishers don't take enough editorial responsibility. Naturally, then, we consider our editing to be just about perfect. There's no doubt about it, we Canadians are a superior breed! (in a letter to author Margaret Laurence, dated May, 1960)
We do not like the truth because it is simple, we do not want the truth because it is hard, and we do not trust the truth because it is free. Perhaps because many are idealists and publishing is so frustrating, writers are particularly vulnerable to believing in those who offer hope in exchange for cash. Writers know life is tough and we all want to think of an easier way. Maybe for a rare few, there is. If you count on that, you are a chump and somebody is going to take your money and break your heart.
You have made some notes, read some writing books, and done some research. Mostly what you've done is talk about writing a book. An idea for a book is not a book; it is a waste of time. There is no singular thing that makes someone a writer, but there is one thing that makes someone a joke--talking about writing a book without doing any work.
I often think publishing a book is like doing a poo. Once it's ready for the world, you have to relinquish that control and let nature take its course. A few will be impressed by your creation, others will be disgusted. Plus, no one will enjoy your success and achievement in producing it as much as you did.
If you wrote something for which someone sent you a cheque, if you cashed the cheque and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.
Write from the heart. A book without a pulse is like a person without a spirit. Linda Radke, President of Five Star Publications
In the end, what makes a book valuable is not the paper it’s printed on, but the thousands of hours of work by dozens of people who are dedicated to creating the best possible reading experience for you.
It began to falter not when the book publishers who loved books gave way to those who preferred profits to reading. It happened when publishers and editors cut back on their drinking. If there is one national flower in book publishing, it is the martini.
You may receive a pie, eat it and forget. You may receive champagne, drink it and forget. But when you receive a book, you can open it again and again.
Now, Max, I have told you many times that you are my publisher, and permanently, as far as one can fling about the word in this too mutable world....The idea of leaving you has never for one single moment entered my head.