Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.
Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed.
I know you've heard it a thousand times before. But it's true - hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don't love something, then don't do it.
If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.
If you enjoy living, it is not difficult to keep the sense of wonder.
Writers like teeth are divided into incisors and grinders.
Far better to live your own path imperfectly than to live another’s perfectly.
I suspect that every teacher hears the same complaints, but that, being seldom a practicing author, he tends to dismiss them as out of his field, or to see in them evidence that the troubled student has not the true vocation. Yet it is these very pupils who are most obviously gifted who suffer from these disabilities, and the more sensitively organized they are the higher the hazard seems to them. Your embryo journalist or hack writer seldom asks for help of any sort; he is off after agents and editors while his more serious brother-in-arms is suffering the torments of the damned because of his insufficiencies. Yet instruction in writing is oftenest aimed at the oblivious tradesman of fiction, and the troubles of the artist are dismissed or overlooked.
It may be that the root of the trouble is youth and humility. Sometimes it is self-consciousness that stems the flow. Often it is the result of misapprehensions about writing, or it arises from an embarrassment of scruples: the beginner may be waiting for the divine fire of which he has heard to glow unmistakably, and may believe that it can only be lighted by a fortuitous spark from above. The particular point to be noted just here is that this difficulty is anterior to any problems about story structure or plot building and that unless the writer can be helped past it there is very likely to be no need for technical instruction at all.
The grain of truth in the fin de siècle notion, though, is this: the author of genius does keep till his last breath the spontaneity, the ready sensitiveness, of a child, the ‘innocence of eye’ that means so much to the painter, the ability to respond freshly and quickly to new scenes, and to old scenes as though they were new; to see traits and characteristics as though each were new-minted from the hand of God instead of sorting them quickly into dusty categories and pigeonholing them without wonder or surprise; to feel situations so immediately and keenly that the word ‘trite’ hardly has any meaning for him; and always to see ‘the correspondences between things’ [I’ll write about this soon] of which Aristotole spoke two thousand years ago. This freshness of response is vital to the author’s talent.
A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.
That's not writing, that's typing.
Truman Capote (on Jack Kerouac)
With time and patience, the mulberry leaf becomes satin. With time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown.
From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.
If suffering brought wisdom, the dentist’s office would be full of luminous ideas.
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan, 'press on' has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race.
If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field, I would pick the trait of persistence. Determination. The will to endure to the end, to get knocked down seventy times and get up off the floor saying. "Here comes number seventy-one!"
Richard M. Devos
I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.
True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.
Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction.
Imagination is more important than knowledge
I try to write parts for women that are as complicated and interesting as women actually are.
I don't care who you are. When you sit down to write the first page of your screenplay, in your head, you're also writing your Oscar acceptance speech.
I am continually fascinated at the difficulty intelligent people have in distinguishing what is controversial from what is merely offensive.
If you wish to be a writer; write!
[Hemingway] has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.
William Faulkner (on Hemingway--who has a return quote you should check out)
You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.
F Scott Fitzgerald
How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?
Charles De Gaulle
If you want to be a writer, write.
The muscles of writing are not so visible, but they are just as powerful: determination, attention, curiosity, a passionate heart.
Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.
Every English poet should master the rules of grammar before he attempts to bend or break them.
Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?
Ernest Hemingway (on Faulkner--who has a return quote if you didn't see it)
When a thought takes one's breath away, a grammar lesson seems an impertinence.
Thomas W. Higginson
To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
I think it's brought the world a lot closer together, and will continue to do that. There are downsides to everything; there are unintended consequences to everything. The most corrosive piece of technology that I've ever seen is called television - but then, again, television, at its best, is magnificent.
My mouth is full of decayed teeth and my soul of decayed ambitions.
A good deal of literary criticism serves only to reinforce a caste system which is as old as the intellectual snobbery which nurtured it.
If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.
While it is impossible to make a competent writer out of a bad one, and while it is equally impossible to make a great writer out of a good one, it is possible, with lots of hard work, dedication, and timely help, to make a good writer out of a merely competent one.
Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work and enriching your own life as well,. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.
Television is the soma of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.
There’s only us, There’s only this, Forget regret, Or life is your to miss.
Grammar, which knows how to control even kings.
If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.
Maybe that's just what happens; you start out wanting to change the world through language, and end up thinking it's enough to tell a few jokes.
We have art in order not to die of the truth.
Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.
People who say they like to write but do not like to read are like people who say they only like to exhale.
D. de la Perriere (an instructor who may have been quoting someone else; I'm not sure)
A man's grammar, like Caesar's wife, should not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity.
Edgar Allan Poe
The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.
Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it's just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it.
Blue cheese contains natural amphetamines. Why are students not informed about this?
Mark E. Smith
I still can't decide which is more fun - reading or writing.
Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it.
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.
Remember to always be yourself. Unless you suck.
People love a happy ending. So every episode, I will explain once again that I don't like people. And then Mal will shoot someone. Someone we like. And their puppy.
Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.
E. B. White
You must want to enough. Enough to take all the rejections, enough to pay the price of disappointment and discouragement while you are learning. Like any other artist you must learn your craft—then you can add all the genius you like.
Phyllis A. Whitney
[Ulysses is] the work of a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples.
Virginia Woolf (about Ulysses)
So you see, imagination needs moodling - long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering.