Dance above the surface of the world. Let your thoughts lift you into creativity that is not hampered by opinion.
In order to write the book you want to write, in the end you have to become the person you need to become to write that book.
Discipline allows magic. To be a writer is to be the very best of assassins. You do not sit down and write every day to force the Muse to show up. You get into the habit of writing every day so that when she shows up, you have the maximum chance of catching her, bashing her on the head, and squeezing every last drop out of that bitch.
Living is about capturing the essence of things. I go through my life every day with a vial, a vial wherein can be found precious essential oils of every kind! The priceless, fragrant oils that are the essence of my experiences, my thoughts. I walk inside a different realm from everybody else, in that I am existing in the essence of things; every time there is reason to smile, I hold out my glass vial and capture that drop of oil, that essence, and then I smile. And that is why I have smiled, and so you and I may be smiling at the same time but I am smiling because of that one drop of cherished, treasured oil that I have extracted. When I write, I find no need to memorize an idea, a plot, a sequence of things: no. I must only capture the essence of a feeling or a thought and once I have inhaled that aroma, I know that I have what I need.
I hope I don't write TOO many books! When I look at authors who have written too many books, I wonder to myself When did they live? I certainly want to write BECAUSE I live! I know I don't want to write in order to live! My writing is an overflow of the wine glass of my life, not a basin in which I wash out my ideals and expectations.
I hope that someday when I am gone, someone, somewhere, picks my soul up off of these pages and thinks, I would have loved her.
To me, quotes function as the sunscreen against a writers brilliance. As soon as I cannot stand to look at the magnificence of the acropolis of pure thought the writer managed to doll out in the cognizant chaos - I quote him, and by doing so I am discharged and freed. On the other hand, even while I do acknowledge that some things cannot be quoted, I vehemently distrust any writer whose army of quotes does not consist of impeccable warriors but the sort of bootless canon fodder that caused one to write in the first place, wishing to circumlocute that strappant lot. No writer can ever recover from bad quotes. I check the army of quotes, and if it has no sporting chance against a simple pack of butter then I will simply never ever read this person. One often hears short stories are the benchmark of great writers, but if you ask me, I'd rather first look at their quotes.
The first fact of the world is that it repeats itself. I had been taught to believe that the freshness of children lay in their capacity for wonder at the vividness and strangeness of the particular, but what is fresh in them is that they still experience the power of repetition, from which our first sense of the power of mastery comes. Though predictable is an ugly little world in daily life, in our first experience of it we are clued to the hope of a shapeliness in things. To see that power working on adults, you have to catch them out: the look of foolish happiness on the faces of people who have just sat down to dinner is their knowledge that dinner will be served. Probably, that is the psychological basis for the power and the necessity of artistic form...Maybe our first experience of form is the experience of our own formation...And I am not thinking mainly of poems about form; I’m thinking of the form of a poem, the shape of its understanding. The presence of that shaping constitutes the presence of poetry.
I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they're going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there's going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don't know how many branches it's going to have, they find out as it grows. And I'm much more a gardener than an architect.
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.
Mostly, we authors must repeat ourselves - that's the truth. We have two or three great and moving experiences in our lives - experiences so great and moving that it doesn't seem at the time anyone else has been so caught up and so pounded and dazzled and astonished and beaten and broken and rescued and illuminated and rewarded and humbled in just that way ever before.Then we learn our trade, well or less well, and we tell our two or three stories - each time in a new disguise - maybe ten times, maybe a hundred, as long as people will listen.
Writing, music, sculpting, painting, and prayer! These are the three things that are most closely related! Writers, musicians, sculptors, painters, and the faithful are the ones who make things out of nothing. Everybody else, they make things out of something, they have materials! But a written work can be done with nothing, it can begin in the soul! A musical piece begins with a harmony in the soul, a sculpture begins with a formless, useless piece of rock chiseled and formed and molded into the thing that was first conceived in the sculptor's heart! A painting can be carried inside the mind for a lifetime, before ever being put onto paper or canvass! And a prayer! A prayer is a thought, a remembrance, a whisper, a communion, that is from the soul going to what cannot be seen, yet it can move mountains! And so I believe that these five things are interrelated, these five kinds of people are kin.
There are lots of guys out there who write a better prose line than I do and who have a better understanding of what people are really like and what humanity is supposed to mean – hell, I know that.
I think the reason why I don't read so much, is because as I have observed, whole books all boil down to a drop of essence. You can read a book full of ten thousand words and at the end, sum it up in one sentence; I am more for the one sentence. I am more for the essence. It's like how you need a truckload of roses to extract one drop of rose oil; I don't want to bother with the truckload of roses because I would rather walk away with the drop of rose oil. So in my mind, I have written two hundred books. Why? Because I have with me two hundred vials with one drop of essence in each!
The internet is killing the art of writing. The big publish button begs you to publish even before you go back and make one single edit, and as if this was not enough, you have instant readers who praise your writing skills!-
What I've learned about writing is that sometimes less is more, while often more is grander. And both are true.
There is nothing harder to estimate than a writer's time, nothing harder to keep track of. There are moments—moments of sustained creation—when his time is fairly valuable; and there are hours and hours when a writer's time isn't worth the paper he is not writing anything on.
... The Book is more important than your plans for it. You have to go with what works for The Book ~ if your ideas appear hollow or forced when they are put on paper, chop them, erase them, pulverise them and start again. Don't whine when things are not going your way, because they are going the right way for The Book, which is more important. The show must go on, and so must The Book.
The task of the artist at any time is uncompromisingly simple — to discover what has not yet been done, and to do it.
Literature might be called the art of story, and story might in turn be called a universal language, for every culture we know of has a tradition of storytelling. No doubt stories have touched your life, too, from bedtime stories you may have heard as a child to news stories you see on TV or read in a newspaper. We might even say that a major goal of living is to created the story of our own lives, a story we hope to take pleasure and pride in telling.
Sooner or later every writer evolves his own definition of a story.Mine is: A reflection of life plus beginning and end (life seems not to have either) and a meaning.
I realize that some of you may have come in hopes of hearing tips on how tobecome a professional writer. I say to you, If you really want to hurt yourparents, and you don't have the nerve to be a homosexual, the least you cando is go into the arts. But do not use semicolons. They are transvestitehermaphrodites, standing for absolutely nothing. All they do is show you'vebeen to college.
I prefer to be on the side of losers, the misunderstood or lonely people rather than writing about the strong and powerful.
I write because there is a madness within me to express my thoughts in words. I write because I feel passionately about certain feelings and there is this yearning within me to express these feelings in words. I am not comfortable meeting a lot of people. I like solitude. I like thinking and I dont like talking much.
When life seems like an uphill task do not ever give up on yourself or on life! Travel to a new place, learn a new language, embrace a new culture, play a musical instrument, read a good book, watch the sunrise, experience the sunset, go for a swim in the river, hug a tree, sit near the lake, or climb a mountain! You will fall in love with life all over again!
...writers are a savage breed, Mr. Strike. If you want life-long friendship and selfless camaraderie, join the army and learn to kill. If you want a lifetime of temporary alliances with peers who will glory in your every failure, write novels.
There is no greater feeling of accomplishment than to create a world that solely exists in your imagination and be able to pull someone into this hidden place inside of my thoughts. To make someone care for a person that has manifested from my dreams, to make them hate me for putting them in danger, and for them to ask to be taken on another journey with me when it is all said and done is why I write.