These have been up (piecemeal) on Writing About Writing's Facebook Page
over the last few weeks. I thought I'd share them in one post.
Planning to write is not writing. Outlining…researching…talking to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.
Never write about a place until you're away from it, because that gives you perspective.
I write the first sentence and trust in God for the next.
Writing a poem is discovering.
If you know what you are going to write when you're writing a poem, it's going to be average.
However great a man's natural talent may be, the art of writing cannot be learned all at once.
Jean Jacques Rousseau
You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country.
I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
The secret of popular writing is never to put more on a given page than the common reader can lap off it with no strain whatsoever on his habitually slack attention.
I try to leave out the parts that people skip.
Nothing you write, if you hope to be any good, will ever come out as you first hoped.
Look for all fancy wordings and get rid of them…Avoid all terms and expressions, old or new, that embody affectation.
You must write every single day of your life…You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads….may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.
Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.
The idea is to get the pencil moving quickly…Once you've got some words looking back at you, you can take two or three - throw them away and look for others.
If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.
To be clear is the first duty of a writer; to charm and to please are graces to be acquired later.
…your reader is at least as bright as you are.
I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.
Henry David Thoreau
Writing is an adventure.
Know something, sugar? Stories only happen to people who can tell them.
... only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things.
It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
A writer lives, at least, in a state of astonishment. Beneath any feeling he has of the good or evil of the world lies a deeper one of wonder at it all. To transmit that feeling, he writes.
Whether or not you write well, write bravely.
The writer's duty is to keep on writing…
Never trust the artist. Trust the tale.
The first draft of anything is shit
Use the right word and not its second cousin.
Real writers are those who want to write, need to write, have to write.
Robert Penn Warren
You only learn to be a better writer by actually writing.
Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time…The wait is simply too long.
Leonard S. Bernstein
I seat myself at the typewriter and hope, and lurk.
The business of the novelist is not to relate great events, but to make small ones interesting.
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