Writer Quotes by Francine Prose, Nick Cave, V. S. Naipaul, Steven Brust, Isadora Duncan, Isabel Allende and many others.
Long before the idea of a writer’s conference was a glimmer in anyone’s eye, writers learned by reading the work of their predecessors. They studied meter with Ovid, plot construction with Homer, comedy with Aristophanes; they honed their prose style by absorbing the lucid sentences of Montaigne and Samuel Johnson.
I became a script writer with absolutely no idea of how to write a script whatsoever. I still feel a bit of an outsider in that regard. If I can maintain that approach to screenwriting, it can continue to be enjoyable.
I’m the kind of writer that people think other people are reading.
All literature consists of whatever the writer thinks is cool. The reader will like the book to the degree that he agrees with the writer about what’s cool.
The first essential in writing about anything is that the writer should have no experience of the matter.
The fact that I am a writer comes from the experience of being cut away from my roots and living in Venezuela, where I couldn’t find a place for myself, for years and years.
As a science fiction and fantasy writer, I used to love writing bleak, grimdark futures full of bleak, grimdark people. But I’ve found that as the world around me darkens, all I really want to do is grasp for more light.
My father was weaned on books. I’m halfway between being weaned on books and weaned on television. And if you’re weaned on television, you’re not as good a writer as if you were weaned on books.
The writer must earn money in order to be able to live and to write, but he must by no means live and write for the purpose of making money.
You know Nashville, there’s people that are ten times more talented than me, ten times better singer than me, song writer than me, but for some reason you get the ball and now – and now you run with it. And you do the best you can.
Oddly, in a sense, I still have more confidence as a director than my ability as a writer. Somehow, directing is just really easy. It’s just about being really honest about how you feel about what you’re seeing.
Coming from Canada, being a writer and Jewish as well, I have impeccable paranoia credentials.
I’d always liked to write, but I never wanted to be a writer, because it seemed a sissy occupation. It is. To this day, I find it terribly easy. And so, rather than trying to hunt up a text, I just wrote one.
If you’re a studio writer, the funny better be on the page.
Many people worked hard in order to create ‘Crash Landing on You.’ I am grateful to the writer, the directors, and all the production staff.
I’ve got America’s best writer for $300 a week.
To answer that I have to describe what I think is my responsibility as a thriller writer: To give my readers the most exciting roller coaster ride of a suspense story I can possibly think of.
Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?
We’re past the age of heroes and hero kings… Most of our lives are basically mundane and dull, and it’s up to the writer to find ways to make them interesting.
I have to understand what my strengths and limitations are, and work from a true place. I try to do this as best I can while still protecting my writer self, which more than ever needs privacy.
For any writer, the ability to look at a sentence and see what’s superfluous, what can be altered, revised, expanded, and, especially, cut, is essential. It’s satisfying to see that sentence shrink, snap into place, and ultimately emerge in a more polished form: clear, economical, sharp.
Miller is not really a writer but a non-stop talker to whom someone has given a typewriter.
A good writer is basically a story teller, not a scholar or a redeemer of mankind.
My mom worked as a pharmacist, but she is one of the best storytellers I know. My sister is a gospel and opera singer and my brother, who passed away, was a writer.
I bought the rights to this book, ‘The Ploughmen,’ by a Montana writer named Kim Zupan, and I’ve written the screenplay, and I really feel pretty strong about it. It’s really hauntingly beautiful. It’s got some suspense and great drama, but it’s a real character thing.
I guess my music career is my personal life. You know, I’ve always been a writer who wants to write about my experiences. And so this experience being added to that, I – I want to live extraordinary experiences. And when I give advice to people, I want it to be sage advice.
I seriously doubt I would ever have written the first story had I not been a lawyer. I never dreamed of being a writer. I wrote only after witnessing a trial.
Above all, a query letter is a sales pitch and it is the single most important page an unpublished writer will ever write. It’s the first impression and will either open the door or close it. It’s that important, so don’t mess it up. Mine took 17 drafts and two weeks to write.
The first time I went to Helene Hanff’s apartment at 305 East 72nd Street, it was 1977, and I was a 16-year-old girl who wanted to be a writer.
Nabokov, who I loved more than any other writer when I was young, had such contempt for dialogue. When I was younger, I never wrote a word of dialogue because of him. I thought it was a childish part of a novel.
I am so excited to announce that I have written a book. I have actually written it myself with no ghost writer, just me! I never thought it would be possible but I have done it.
Until the 20th century it was generally assumed that a writer had said what he had to say in his works.
I do not know that any writer has supposed that on this earth man will ultimately be able to live without food.
For a creative writer possession of the ‘truth’ is less important than emotional sincerity.
I felt like I had a really bad case of writer’s block… Music is so therapeutic for me that if I can’t get it out, I start feeling bad about myself – a lot of self-loathing.
I’m not a very good writer. I’m working at it.
It’s funny, in a way the actor is a writer. It’s not like the two things are so separate as to be like apples and oranges. The writer and the actor are one.
The writer’s duty is to keep on writing.
I know a lot of crime writers feel very underrated, like they’re not taken seriously, and they want to be just thought of as writers rather than ghettoised as crime writers, but I love being thought of firmly as a crime writer.
Literary imagination is an aesthetic object offered by a writer to a lover of books.
Shakespeare, who is probably the greatest writer and poet of the English language, lived in a time that was politically very conservative and it’s reflected in his writings.
I never considered myself a writer. I’m a teacher. In a way, I feel kind of… kind of guilty for all the people who are writers who hope to be on the best-seller list someday, who live for that and don’t get it, and it came to me as a kind of free gift, like God coming to Abraham and announcing, ‘I’ve chosen you!’
Success comes to a writer as a rule, so gradually that it is always something of a shock to him to look back and realize the heights to which he has climbed.
We like to think about how smart we are. But I think talent as a writer is hard-wired in, it’s all there, at least the basic elements of it. You can’t change it any more than you can choose whether to be right handed or left handed.
The Architect is just one of a series of works which examine the confrontation of innocence and experience, illustrating the complex ethics of power that exist between reader and writer, critic and artist, the human and the divine.
I always, always wanted to be a writer.
Truth be told, I didn’t want to be on T.V. I was going to be a writer or producer or a director, and at the end of my sophomore year, my department chairman put me up for a job doing weekend weather in Syracuse, New York.
As a writer, I’m more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened.
I’m definitely a writer. I don’t even know how to freestyle.
I was never a quick writer, but composed with great care and efforts.
Any writer overwhelmingly honest about pleasing himself is almost sure to please others.
Before I ever heard about ’60 Minutes,’ I had been a writer, a columnist for ‘Life’ magazine and for ‘Newsweek’ – that was about as high as you could get in column writing. I care about my writing. I’m not a quack-quack TV journalist.
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp-post what it feels about dogs.
Being a professional writer is not an easy way to make a living.
For a writer, they say write what you know. As a performer, you find it in yourself, in your heart. You relate to the character. You try to live it, try to have it be real for you.
I am a writer perhaps because I am not a talker.
Writing is a very strenuous thing – it’s like banging your head against a wall. At the end of the day, acting is better, just because nobody ever asked me if I wanted a Pellegrino in the writer’s room.
The biography of a writer – or even the autobiography – will always have this incompleteness.
I think that, as a writer, while it’s your job to construct stories, you have to navigate your way through them with your heart.
The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn’t require any.
The highest compliment one can give a writer is not to say that one wholeheartedly agrees with his observations, but that he provoked – really, forced – difficult thinking about consequential matters and internal questioning of one’s own assumptions, often without quick or clear resolution.
The imprisoning of a writer is the same as the burning of a book.
A novel’s whole pattern is rarely apparent at the outset of writing, or even at the end; that is when the writer finds out what a novel is about, and the job becomes one of understanding and deepening or sharpening what is already written. That is finding the theme.
One of the odd things about being a writer is that you never reach a point of certainty, a point of mastery where you can say, ‘Right. Now I understand how this is done.’
I lead a very conventional life. I don’t lead a writer’s life. And I think that can be a source of suspicion and irritation to some people. This was more true when I was living in California, when I didn’t lead a writer’s life at all.
Whenever I work with different artists, I expand as a song writer, as a producer, and I always want to try and find the bridge between my world and their world.
A writer uses a pen instead of a scalpel or blow torch.
I am not a good enough writer to have an agenda or come up with a message and try to put it into a song. It’s more like you write what comes to you… You try to reflect the mood of the songs.
I was a writer for hire. I wrote to pay the bills.
Connie Heermann is a Freedom Writer teacher. I believe she represents the best of what dedicated teachers can be because she chose to serve her students, not her school board.
There’s a practical problem about time and energy, and a more subtle problem of what it does to a writer’s head, to continually analyze why they write, where it all comes from, where it’s going to.
I’m a writer who likes to be influenced.
Beauty breeds beauty; truth triggers truth. The cure for writer’s block is therefore to read.
I will say that the prison regime is rather a good one for a writer because you have plenty of time to write.
The idea of writer as sage is pretty much dead today. I would certainly feel very uncomfortable in the role.
This sort of encouragement is vital for any writer. And lastly the publication of Touching the Flame, which was on hold for two years and went through a few publishers before finding a stable home.
I wrote every day. I don’t think I could have written ‘Just Kids’ had I not spent all of the 80s developing my craft as a writer.
The writer of originality, unless dead, is always shocking, scandalous; novelty disturbs and repels.
At the beginning of my career as a writer, I felt I knew nothing of Chinese culture. I was writing about emotional confusion with my mother related to our different beliefs. Hers was based in family history, which I didn’t know anything about. I always felt hesitant in talking about Chinese culture and American culture.
It feels as though a very disproportionate number of main characters are writers, because that’s what the writer knows. Fair enough. But nothing bothers me more in a movie than an actor playing a writer, and you just know he’s not a writer. Writers recognize other writers. Ethan Hawke is too hot to be a writer.
My relatives used to laugh when I talked of being a writer.
In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.
I discovered early in my movie work that a movie is never any better than the stupidest man connected with it. There are times when this distinction may be given to the writer or director. Most often it belongs to the producer.
The homosexual community wants me to be gay. The heterosexual community wants me to be straight. Every writer thinks, I’m the journalist who’s going to make him talk. I pray for them. I pray that they get a life and stop living mine!
An incinerator is a writer’s best friend.
I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature.
You know, as a writer, I’m more of a listener than a writer, cuz if I hear something I will write it down.
Now I would say I’m absolutely a feminist writer.
When I was at the ‘Philadelphia Inquirer,’ I was promoted nine times in my first 13 years. I ultimately went from general assignment to beats on St. Joe’s and Temple, to backup writer, to NBA writer, to NBA columnist, to, ultimately, in 2003, to general sports columns.
The writer is more concerned to know than to judge.
Fidel Castro’s most scandalous show trial was not mounted against a political figure but against a writer: Heberto Padilla. In 1971, after 38 days of detention, Mr. Padilla was forced to ‘confess’ at the Cuban writers’ union to the charges of ‘subversive activities.’
People love pretty much the same things best. A writer looking for subjects inquires not after what he loves best, but after what he alone loves at all.
A writer without a pen would be like a duck without water!
A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.
If you want to be a writer, don’t worry so much about writing. Read as much as you can. Read as many different writers as you can. Soak up the styles.
I think self-doubt, as grim as it can be, makes me a better writer. Stasis and hubris would probably be the death knell for my career.
When James Bond presses the watch and the car explodes, the writer doesn’t go into the science of it. One should leave it to the leap of faith. I have tried to explain as much as possible, and what I can’t, I have left it to people’s imagination.
I think the true artist – musician, dancer, writer, actor – a true artist is able to sort of articulate pain and tragedy, in a way that sort of expresses what the listener or the beholder may have been feeling but was less able to communicate.
Le Corbusier is an outstanding writer. His ideas achieved their impact in large measure because he could write so convincingly. His style is utterly clear, brusque, funny and polemical in the best way.
There’s something about the idea of writing, and thinking about writing as a form of prayer – the way as a writer you call out into the world and throw your words into the world. You’re not praying to a god, but you’re almost conjuring a reader to arrive. That’s what books do: they’re an invitation to readers.
When a man becomes a writer, I think he takes on a sacred obligation to produce beauty and enlightenment and comfort at top speed.
You have to be good. And keep getting better. For every writer taken on, another is dropped. A paradox: you have to rise to stay level.
I’m so disturbed when my women students behave as though they can only read women, or black students behave as though they can only read blacks, or white students behave as though they can only identify with a white writer.
There’s no reason you shouldn’t, as a writer, not be aware of the necessity to revise yourself constantly.
I wanted nothing less than to be a fiction writer when I was a kid. If you had told me I would be an artist or novelist when I grew up, I would have laughed in your face.
You have a strange relationship with calamity when you’re a writer: you write about it; as an artist, you objectify and fetishize it. You render life into material, and that’s a creepy thing to do.
And I think a good writer’s gonna make it interesting. From the first paragraph it will all be interesting. Just work at it and work at it and work at it.
I would advise any beginning writer to write the first drafts as if no one else will ever read them – without a thought about publication – and only in the last draft to consider how the work will look from the outside.
That has always seemed to me one of the stranger aspects of literary fame: you prove your competence as a writer and an inventor of stories, and then people clamour for you to make speeches and tell them what you think about the world.
It is insight into human nature that is the key to the communicator’s skill. For whereas the writer is concerned with what he puts into his writings, the communicator is concerned with what the reader gets out of it. He therefore becomes a student of how people read or listen.
I’m either going to be a writer or a bum.
I can only assume that your editorial writer tripped over the First Amendment and thought it was the office cat.
I am not a political writer. I agree with Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell, who are social writers. I can’t write in that fashion. I am not good enough for that. What I am interested in is family dramas and why we are doing bad things to each other and what our motives are.
I’m not a writer where I feel particularly blessed by great inspiration every day. I don’t. I have to work really hard at it to try and say the things I’m concerned with.
The interesting thing about fiction from a writer’s standpoint is that the characters come to life within you. And yet who are they and where are they? They seem to have as much or more vitality and complexity as the people around you.
More than a half, maybe as much as two-thirds of my life as a writer is rewriting. I wouldn’t say I have a talent that’s special. It strikes me that I have an unusual kind of stamina.
One of the things I love, and I’m a voracious reader as well as a writer, is books that surprise me, that are not predictable.
It’s always incredible though when you feel like the writer knows the character intimately and can see their life sprawling away outside of the show.
My idea is always to reach my generation. The wise writer writes for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterward.
My idea of a writer: someone interested in everything.
I always imagined a writer was someone who lived in an attic in Paris, but my mum instilled in me a belief that I could do anything – so I ended up writing my first novel while working nights as a news reporter.
There is an invisible aspect of being a writer; none of it is about you. It’s about your work, and that’s what it should be.
I am a writer. I could not afford to take 15 months off from my writing career to play detective.
I’m a writer more than I am a talker.
I’m a writer, so I like nuances.
As a story writer, you have work with sharp but relatively small tools, the picks of metaphor, the shovel blade of images, the trowel of point of view, and then you delicately lift and brush in the revision with love and care knowing that one slip, and you might damage an extremely delicate thing.
My aunt got me interested in journalism – she found an old typewriter, had it worked over, put it on the dining room table, gave me a stack of paper and said, ‘Play like you’re a writer.’
Books are something social – a writer speaking to a reader – so I think making the reading of a book the center of a social event, the meeting of a book club, is a brilliant idea.
The idea that you’re not a writer until you’re published is a lie.
A true critic ought to dwell upon excellencies rather than imperfections, to discover the concealed beauties of a writer, and communicate to the world such things as are worth their observation.
I find myself wanting to make music at the dining room table or in the bedroom – I’m kind of a mobile writer, so I sort of move around the house. But the attic is definitely where I can make the most noise. While everyone on the lower floors screams ‘Earthquake!’ But no! It’s just my bass!
I’m a writer. In Latin America, they say I’m a Latin-American writer because I also write in Spanish and my books are translated, but I am an American citizen and my books are published here, so I’m also an American writer.
My father was the editor of an agricultural magazine called ‘The Southern Planter.’ He didn’t think of himself as a writer. He was a scientist, an agronomist, but I thought of him as a writer because I’d seen him working at his desk. I just assumed that I was going to do that, that I was going to be a writer.
Given that external reality is a fiction, the writer’s role is almost superfluous. He does not need to invent the fiction because it is already there.
I am writing things on my own, but I really believe co-writing makes you a better writer.
I’ve been a writer for years, but it was mainly as a function of trying to be a director, so I just got work as a writer. I want to keep directing.
George Orwell is a pinnacle writer, for his combination of moral insight and literary writing.
Because I’m such a creative person, and I’ve always got my nose in a book, I suppose it was only a matter of time before non-fiction turned into fiction again. But I never consciously set out to become a writer and I never thought I’d be doing the things I’m doing today.
People are always saying that I must have been the class clown, with all these voices. No, I was way too shy to be the class clown; I was a class clown’s writer.
After the writer’s death, reading his journal is like receiving a long letter.
Dictatorship and authentic literature are incompatible… The writer is the natural enemy of dictatorship.
For me, the glory of my first 25 years as a writer was I could put things off as long as I wanted.
I really believe that a writer is someone who has trained their mind to misbehave.
I’m not a writer because I want to make money. I’m a writer because I’m a very slow thinker, but I do care about thinking, and the only way I know how to think with any kind of finesse is by telling stories.
I always serve the writer first because I’m English trained, even though I’m American.
A very wise author once said that a writer writes for himself, and then publishes for money. I write for myself and publish just for the reader.
I would hate to be a new artist or writer in town today. But somehow the cream continues to rise. If there’s one who’s great, he just jumps out of the pack like you can’t believe.
A writer should have this little voice inside of you saying, Tell the truth. Reveal a few secrets here.
I’ve been a writer for 42 years and, yes, it is a full time job for me. Not a hobby, but serious work.
Salman Rushdie, indeed any writer who abuses the prophet or indeed any prophet under Islamic law, the sentence for that is actually death.
I think I began to like writing a lot more, and to be a better writer, when I did it for a while alone. It made me a little more confident about my style.
You have to believe in yourself and only trust your own vision and instincts. If I’d listened to what other people thought about my work in the first 10 years that I was a writer, I never would have made it to begin with.
This was something that was obsessing me and creating a writer’s block. To get involved and get stuck in, get the proper information about what’s going on has really helped.
For a writer, the Book Festival is interesting because you bump into all these other writers whose work you know, whose names you know, and you have a chance to put a person with the name and the work.
I don’t consider myself a very good talker or writer but a pretty good filmmaker.
I am a writer who came of a sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.
If I weren’t a writer, I think I might have thrown myself more enthusiastically into advertising. But, it’s difficult to imagine being a diligent copywriter. It would be quite exasperating for me.
I knew from the age of seven that I was meant to be a writer.
A writer of fiction is really… a congenital liar who invents from his own knowledge or that of other men.
Medicine is probably one of the best backgrounds for a writer to find stories. I always think cops and docs have the best background because we see so much of human behavior, such a range of human emotions.
I love writing on trains. The joy of being a writer is it’s all in your head; you don’t need materials apart from the laptop. It’s like taking your work home with you, so you can feel grounded in your own insane writerly realities wherever you are.
I never get writer’s block, but I do have days where I crawl under the duvet.
I think I had actually served my apprenticeship as a writer of fiction by writing all those songs. I had already been through phases of autobiographical or experimental stuff.
‘Analyze This’ is a good movie because Robert De Niro and Billy Crystal are really good. But without the material to put on the play, of course, they couldn’t be good. For me, it starts with the writing. I always think that the writer is doing the vast majority of the director’s work, in a sense.
I am a writer. I suppose I think that the highest gift that man has is art, and I am audacious enough to think of myself as an artist – that there is both joy and beauty and illumination and communion between people to be achieved through the dissection of personality.
I still can’t quite believe it. Although there was something about the fact that it was a first-time writer, a first-time producer, and a first-time director all at the same time.
The true function of a writer is to produce a masterpiece and no other task is of any consequence.
As a male writer, women are always what men pursue, and their world is always a mystery. So I always tried to present as many views as possible on women’s worlds.
Humor has to surprise us; otherwise, it isn’t funny. It’s a death knell for a writer to be labeled a humorist because then it’s not a surprise anymore.
I am not a consecutive writer.
I may not have become a good writer, but I managed to make a living out of writing.
Writing is very much an emotional process; it requires you to be very in touch with your feelings. That is the opposite of what you’re taught as a medical doctor. We’re supposed to be detached and logical. Maybe because I started off as a writer and then became a doctor, I’m able to integrate those two.
What helps writers, and ultimately, obviously, helps the actors – who should serve the words that the writer puts on the page – is if the character has damages, because then the writers can cultivate and excavate, like a dentist going into a tooth.
A writer’s main tool is his memory – his own memory, the collective memory of his people. And the strongest memory is the one that is created by a wound to the heart.
An autobiography can distort; facts can be realigned. But fiction never lies: it reveals the writer totally.
I don’t think that women necessarily always write like women. I was a writer on the ‘Comedy Central Roasts’ for a while, and I always wrote the jokes that people assumed the men would write.
The joy for me as a writer is that, despite the fact I spend most of my life on my own in a room eating too much chocolate and drinking too much tea, eventually they let me out into the world.
I began running on an everyday basis after I became a writer. As being a writer requires sitting at a desk for hours a day, without getting some exercise you’d quickly get out of shape and gain weight, I figured.
Only a writer who has the sense of evil can make goodness readable.
I believe the wedding vows are sacred and precious, and it’s been one of my goals as a writer to portray the kind of marriages I’ve seen modeled in my family – my parents and grandparents, who all celebrated fifty-year anniversaries and well-beyond.
A novel is a collision of ideas. Three or four threads may be floating around in the writer’s consciousness, and at a single moment in time, these ideas collide and produce a novel.
The Seventies were an interesting time to be a reader or writer of fantasy. Tolkien was the great master. Lin Carter was resurrecting wonders of British and American fantasy from the early twentieth century in his Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series.
A writer doesn’t write about just anything. He writes about things he has an affinity for.
To note an artist’s limitations is but to define his talent. A reporter can write equally well about everything that is presented to his view, but a creative writer can do his best only with what lies within the range and character of his deepest sympathies.
When you’re a writer you no longer see things with the freshness of the normal person. There are always two figures that work inside you.
I wouldn’t not want to be a director and write as I wouldn’t not to want to be a writer and direct movies.
One of my favorites is ‘Parks and Recreation.’ Great show; awesome writing; beautiful, diverse cast. They also have a very diverse writer’s room, which I love.
Every writer hopes or boldly assumes that his life is in some sense exemplary, that the particular will turn out to be universal.
The writer isn’t made in a vacuum. Writers are witnesses. The reason we need writers is because we need witnesses to this terrifying century.
‘The Ballad of Black Tom’ was written, in part, during the latest round of arguments about H. P. Lovecraft’s legacy as both a great writer and a prejudiced man. I grew up worshipping the guy, so this issue felt quite personal to me.
Depending on what I’m working on, I come to the writing desk with entirely different mindsets. When I change form one to the other, it’s as if another writer is on the scene.
It’s a luxury being a writer, because all you ever think about is life.
I think plays, like books, are endemic. They grow out of the soil of the writer and the place he’s writing about. I think, you just can’t move them about, you know.
I’m a writer of fiction. I try to write about my time, but it’s dangerous if I’m seen as an investigative writer. I manipulate and change and control.
I feel incredibly successful. I make a living as a writer and am able to help support a big family, my church, my bleeding-heart causes.
A great writer creates a world of his own and his readers are proud to live in it. A lesser writer may entice them in for a moment, but soon he will watch them filing out.
There is a force of exultation, a celebration of luck, when a writer finds himself a witness to the early morning of a culture that is defining itself, branch by branch, leaf by leaf, in that self-defining dawn, which is why, especially at the edge of the sea, it is good to make a ritual of the sunrise.
Those who prefer their English sloppy have only themselves to thank if the advertisement writer uses his mastery of the vocabulary and syntax to mislead their weak minds.
‘Nathan for You’ was my first time being in a writer’s room, really.
The career of a writer is comparable to that of a woman of easy virtue. You write first for pleasure, later for the pleasure of others and finally for money.
If you exile a writer, however free the country he is sent to, there will always be a sense of internal constraint.
You’re isolated as a writer, so I always envied people who could get up early and drive to work and fit into society.
No writer must be measured by a word or paragraph. He is to be measured by his work – by the tendency, not of one line, but by the tendency of all.
I wanted to be a writer from my early teenage years, but I never told anyone. Writers, in my opinion, were god-like creatures, and to say I was striving to be a writer would be incredibly arrogant.
Then I read Little Women, and of course, like a lot of really young girls, I was very taken with Jo – Jo being the writer and the misfit.
For me as a writer, Albanian is simply an extraordinary means of expression – rich, malleable, adaptable. As I have said in my latest novel, ‘Spiritus,’ it has modalities that exist only in classical Greek, which puts one in touch with the mentality of antiquity.
‘True Romance’ was definitely, in part, still me finding my voice as a writer. I was nervous, and I was a lot more shy. The album sounds bruised.
It took me six novels before I felt confident of my voice as a writer.
The reserve of modern assertions is sometimes pushed to extremes, in which the fear of being contradicted leads the writer to strip himself of almost all sense and meaning.
I wear a lot of different hats – from writer to producer and artist. We all do 5 or 6 jobs, everything from creating our own graphic design to actually recording and the whole bit.
I don’t want to make a comfortable film. I’m not interested in that. I’m not interested in answering people’s questions; I’m interested in posing questions. I’m interested in sparking a conversation between two people about what something means. That’s enough for me, as a writer and as a director.
Social media is a giant distraction to the ultimate aim, which is honing your craft as a songwriter. There are people who are exceptional at it, however, and if you can do both things, then that’s fantastic, but if you are a writer, the time is better spent on a clever lyric than a clever tweet.
Any writer, I suppose, feels that the world into which he was born is nothing less than a conspiracy against the cultivation of his talent.
I don’t think it’s the writer’s job to give answers or to give opinions. In fact, when a writer has answers, I think the work ends up being corrupted. It becomes didactic. What a book does is share a consciousness and invite people to explore the questions as best as you can.
Ignorance is bliss as a writer, I think.
While working on my first five books, I kept wishing I was writing a novel. I thought until you wrote a novel, you weren’t taken seriously as a writer. It used to trouble me a lot, but nothing troubles me now, and besides, there has been a change. I think short stories are taken more seriously now than they were.
Behind every writer stands a very large bookshelf.
It is impossible to read for pleasure from something to which you are both father and mother, born in such travail that the writer despises the thing that enslaved him.
I’m not a writer who teaches. I’m a teacher who writes.
I wasn’t trying to be an outlaw writer. I never heard of that term; somebody else made it up. But we were all outside the law: Kerouac, Miller, Burroughs, Ginsberg, Kesey; I didn’t have a gauge as to who was the worst outlaw. I just recognized allies: my people.
Sit down and put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.
I think that if you have a knack for storytelling, and you work really hard at it, you’ll have a chance to tap into something deep. But the fact remains that good sentences are hard won. Any writer worth a lick knows constructing a sentence, a paragraph, or a chapter is hard work.
‘Top Boy,’ for some people, was very controversial because it seemed to be portraying black people in a certain light that they thought to be stereotypical. However, what I would say is that the writer went and lived in Hackney in East London for a long time and did his research really well.
My ambition, a long time ago, was to be a film music writer. A compromise then was to be the guy who wrote songs for a band and played slide guitar. Then the singer didn’t turn up for an audition, and I was the only one who knew the words. That was it – bingo! Life took a different course.
Reading asks that you bring your whole life experience and your ability to decode the written word and your creative imagination to the page and be a co-author with the writer, because the story is just squiggles on the page unless you have a reader.
I think you can be taught to write. You can’t be taught to be a good writer. For that, you have to bring something to it, yourself, something that can’t be given to you.
I hold any writer sufficiently justified who is himself in love with his theme.
If you are killed because you are a writer, that’s the maximum expression of respect, you know.
It really helped me as a writer to understand how other writers think.
I’m not really a mass market writer.
I write because I write – as anyone in the arts does. You’re a painter because you feel you have no choice but to paint. You’re a writer because this is what you do.
I haven’t had trouble with writer’s block. I think it’s because my process involves writing very badly. My first drafts are filled with lurching, cliched writing, outright flailing around. Writing that doesn’t have a good voice or any voice. But then there will be good moments.
You know, that’s kind of the thing, I can’t freestyle and I used to always wonder why I couldn’t, and when I would try once out of every six months, but I was always a great writer!
For a writer, life is always too short to write. I will just try my best during what remains of my life.
Whether you believe it or not, you have to understand the politics. In every script, there is a political bend that the writer has included. Whether you like it or not, is on you. But it’s very important to know that politics.
The writer should never be ashamed of staring. There is nothing that does not require his attention.
There isn’t any distinction between a reader and a writer – reading is so much a part of it.
I started out as a writer and a director. I started acting because I wanted to know how to relate to the actors. When people ask me what I do, I don’t really say that I’m an actor, because actors often wait for someone to give them roles.
I graduated from Second City Los Angeles. It helped me tremendously, not only in my roles in films but in helping shape me into a writer as well. In improv, you will fail sometimes, so it teaches you to be brave and try anything. The worst that can happen is nobody laughs.
The ear is the only true writer and the only true reader.
We love to start from a real place, whether it’s us or our friends or working on a story from a writer’s friend.
You have to have a somewhat cold heart to be a writer.
I always tell people that I became a writer not because I went to school but because my mother took me to the library. I wanted to become a writer so I could see my name in the card catalog.
Between the two dream coasts, we’re just called flyover country… If you aren’t known as an amorphous Eastern Seaboard writer, you’re dismissed as a regional author.
The reader knows the writer better than he knows himself; but the writer’s physical presence is light from a star that has moved on.
A writer of fiction lives in fear. Each new day demands new ideas and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not.
With two books a year, I don’t have time for writer’s block.
You want to be a writer, don’t know how or when? Find a quiet place, use a humble pen.
There are three reasons for becoming a writer: the first is that you need the money; the second that you have something to say that you think the world should know; the third is that you can’t think what to do with the long winter evenings.
I think the best thing I ever did was, years before I got the ‘Late Night’ show, when I first got out to Los Angeles to be a television writer, the first thing I did was I signed up to take improvisational classes… And I studied that for years, and I really loved it.
It seems that the fiction writer has a revolting attachment to the poor, for even when he writes about the rich, he is more concerned with what they lack than with what they have.
Becoming a writer wasn’t a choice (there would have been far more worthwhile things to do); it was the best, most fruitful way of being a bit ill.
I realize that I am typically vulnerable only when and where and how much it suits me. I can choose my writer words and even go back and edit.
Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind.
I’m interested in memory because it’s a filter through which we see our lives, and because it’s foggy and obscure, the opportunities for self-deception are there. In the end, as a writer, I’m more interested in what people tell themselves happened rather than what actually happened.
There is nothing more distressing or tiresome than a writer standing in front of an audience and reading his work.
The fact people think that when you sell a lot of books you are not a serious writer is a great insult to the readership. I get a little angry when people try to say such a thing.
The good thing about not speaking the language is you just listen. You listen to everyone, every producer, every writer.
I was a writer. I couldn’t sell anything, and the comedians were among the dumbest people I had ever met. They’d all say to me, ‘The average man won’t understand it.’ You know, they’re superior to the average man.
The quality of what is said inevitably influences the way in which it is said, however inexperienced the writer.
A humorist has to be taken seriously before he’s considered a real writer.
If a writer is to tell his own story – tell it slowly, and as if it were a story about other people – if he is to feel the power of the story rise up inside him, if he is to sit down at a table and patiently give himself over to this art – this craft – he must first have been given some hope.
When a book leaves your hands, it belongs to God. He may use it to save a few souls or to try a few others, but I think that for the writer to worry is to take over God’s business.
The writer is the visionary of his people… He anticipates, he warns.
The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His problem is to find that location.
There’s no such thing as a writer’s block. If you’re having trouble writing, well, pick up the pen and write. No matter what, keep that hand moving. Writing is really a physical activity.
I am neither a writer nor a theorist. For a person who creates things to utter too many words means to regulate himself – a frightening prospect.
The catchword I use with my classes is: The authority of the writer always overcomes the skepticism of the reader.
Letters have to pass two tests before they can be classed as good: they must express the personality both of the writer and of the recipient.
If you are going to be a writer, you have to have self-belief, every writer gets rejections, they say the difference between a successful and unsuccessful writer is an unsuccessful writer gives up, if you keep going you will succeed.
For me, screenwriting is all about setting characters in motion and as a writer just chasing them. They should tell you what they’ll do in any scene you put them in.
Writer’s block! It doesn’t exist. You just long for ideas to go away so you have an idea of peace.
I didn’t go out of my way to get into this movie stuff. I think of myself as a writer.
When I went in, my editor said, ‘I hope you don’t think you’re a writer.’ And I said, ‘I hope you don’t think I’m a journalist.’ And, uh, turned out we were both right.
Denys Cowan and Dwayne Turner’s visions of Wakanda as an ersatz African Epcot Center opened my eyes to the unexploited possibilities; these men, both of whom are African American, together with writer Peter B. Gillis, created an African Asgard of sorts, and I just went, ‘Oh, my.’
I think if I hadn’t become a writer I would just have suppressed that part of my personality. I think I would have put it in a box that I never opened.
My biggest excuse to others and myself was that I had writer’s block, as if it was some kind of illness.
I wanted to be a writer since I was a little girl – long before I was a musician and a songwriter.
I’m lucky enough to work with, I think, the greatest writer there’s ever been, Shakespeare. Whose collected works would always be under my pillow if I was only ever allowed one book to keep, and who never bores me.
I’m a novelist, editor, short story writer. I also teach, and I freelance sometimes as an arts consultant. Most of my books have been published by Warner Books, now known as Grand Central Books.
Writing changed my life. It has an existential dimension, and that’s the same for every writer. Every artist has a moment of awakening, of happening upon an idea that grabs hold of you, regardless of whether you are a painter or a writer.
I trained as a writer before I became a lawyer. I was headed for a life as an English professor, but that just wasn’t me. I’m not a scholar; I didn’t have a scholar’s attitude toward literature.
My way of dealing with the world has always been to make fun of it and observe it but not take part in it. That’s how I became a writer. But when you have kids, suddenly you have to be part of things. It leads almost to a breakdown because your whole defense mechanism is now really destructive.
The more books we read, the clearer it becomes that the true function of a writer is to produce a masterpiece and that no other task is of any consequence.
In journalism just one fact that is false prejudices the entire work. In contrast, in fiction one single fact that is true gives legitimacy to the entire work. That’s the only difference, and it lies in the commitment of the writer. A novelist can do anything he wants so long as he makes people believe in it.
No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.
I wouldn’t do a project if it weren’t a story I wanted to tell. That’s rewarding in itself, as a writer, if you’re working on a story that you enjoy telling.
I think, in some ways, there’s a point as a television writer that ‘executive producer’ is the natural credit you get, and it can be a vanity title, or you can make of it what you want.
The reason a writer writes a book is to forget a book and the reason a reader reads one is to remember it.
A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.
History is imperfect and biased, and it always, always has omissions. The most common omissions are the bits that the writer of that history took for granted that his readers would know.
I think a businessman can be an artist just as much as a writer or a sculptor, so I’m real proud of what the company has become.
For 35 years, I was a writer. I wrote a lot of jokes. Some of them weren’t funny. Some of them weren’t appropriate. Some of them were downright offensive. I understand that.
A writer is unfair to himself when he is unable to be hard on himself.
Your worst enemy as a writer – especially one working online a lot of the time – is obscurity.
Every writer I know has trouble writing.
I’m a dad, I’m a husband, I’m an activist, I’m a writer and I’m just a student of the world.
To me the only real star of the movie is the writer. And I work with writers very closely, from outline to first draft and on to the seventh draft, whatever it takes. Then my job is to support the director to make the best movie we can. Some producers try to go past them, but my job is to support them.
I decided I would go to Chicago and try my luck as a writer after those eight months as a fireman.
I brought all the instincts of a writer with me into the monastery.
Every reader finds himself. The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself.
Inside of all the makeup and the character and makeup, it’s you, and I think that’s what the audience is really interested in… you, how you’re going to cope with the situation, the obstacles, the troubles that the writer put in front of you.
I had no ambition to be a writer because the books I read were too good, my standards were too high.
To do justice to a lifelong dream of being a writer, I must give it the intense concentration and focus I gave to track. To do both with excellence is not possible. It is with a sense of sadness and joyous anticipation that I leave track and move on.
A writer may tell me that he thinks man will ultimately become an ostrich. I cannot properly contradict him.
I don’t have writer’s block, really. I do have times when I can’t get the lead, and that is the only part of the story which I have serious trouble with. I don’t write a word of the article until I have the lead. It just sets the whole tone – the whole point of view.
Take any writer you want in the 19th century: they wrote with quill pens, dipping a piece of goose feather in ink and writing. And yet we read those novels today, and if we’re sensitive to them, we respond to them with an immediacy that is stronger than anything written today on a word processor.
You become a better writer by writing. You become a better travel writer by writing about travel.
If you’re a writer, write. You just keep writing. And if you’re a filmmaker, you keep doing what you can to keep telling your stories; you don’t stay on the one. Keep moving forward and doing what you can to tell whatever story you can tell, be it via writing, be it via filming it.
There are events which are so great that if a writer has participated in them his obligation is to write truly rather than assume the presumption of altering them with invention.
I consider criticism merely a preliminary excitement, a statement of things a writer has to clear up in his own head sometime or other, probably antecedent to writing; of no value unless it come to fruit in the created work later.
When I left for college, I put Miami behind me and tried to have a life of the mind. I got a graduate degree. I traveled. I even married a fellow writer, whose only real estate was a dingy one-bedroom apartment in Paris, where we lived.
Life can’t defeat a writer who is in love with writing, for life itself is a writer’s lover until death.
A writer’s job is to tell the truth.
The writer, when he is also an artist, is someone who admits what others don’t dare reveal.
The creative act is not pure. History evidences it. Sociology extracts it. The writer loses Eden, writes to be read and comes to realize that he is answerable.
Easy reading is damn hard writing. But if it’s right, it’s easy. It’s the other way round, too. If it’s slovenly written, then it’s hard to read. It doesn’t give the reader what the careful writer can give the reader.
My dad is a great writer. Naturally talented, naturally charming. He embodies that back-in-the-day cool.
I thought I’d definitely be a writer, whatever I did.
Yes, but another writer I read in high school who just knocked me out was Theodore Dreiser. I read An American Tragedy all in one weekend and couldn’t put it down – I locked myself in my room. Now that was antithetical to every other book I was reading at the time because Dreiser really had no style, but it was powerful.
Fast food is hugely important in the life of a comedy writer. All we do is order in, and what we’re going to eat is hotly debated.
I think my best quality as a writer is the ability to craft complicated, nuanced, interesting characters.
As coaches, we learn to accept criticism for our decisions. If a writer says you shouldn’t have gone for it on fourth-and-one, we understand that’s part of the job. We expect it.
Chicago is the Great American City, and it was really great to live there during a time of economic expansion and opportunity and growth. I felt like I was living at the center of the world. Unlike New York, no one expects you to be a professional writer.
My identity is based around being a writer. I can’t not write. It’s a compulsion.
I won’t talk or deal with a young writer unless I sense he has utterly given his life over to it. It’s a waste of my time. If they don’t feel ‘called’ – why in God’s name would you do this?
Reading a newspaper is like reading someone’s letters, as opposed to a biography or a history. The writer really does not know what will happen. A novelist needs to feel what that is like.
I’ve learned to accept that I’m a children’s writer, even if it’s not what I set out to become. It’s what I should have been all along, and I’ll stay in this role as long as I’m a writer.
If I’d had more time or been a better writer, I would have tried to put the same ideas and experiences into a novel. But I didn’t so I slapped it up on the Web.
When I was seven and told my mom, ‘I’m gonna be a writer,’ she said, ‘Oh, that’s a terrible idea. You’ll live in misery and die teaching other people’s children badly.’ My parents wanted the safer path for me, and I think they failed miserably achieving that.
There are three things that make a person a writer: inspiration, perspiration and desperation.
For a writer only one form of patriotism exists: his attitude toward language.
I read ‘The Conspiracy Against the Human Race’ and found it incredibly powerful writing. For me as a reader, it was less impactful as philosophy than as one writer’s ultimate confessional: an absolute horror story, where the self is the monster.
From Graham Greene, I learnt how to be an accessible writer who grapples with our doubts as sentient individuals.
The more you live, the better writer you are.
I am hoping that I can be known as a great writer and actor some day, rather than a sex symbol.
I have an editor in my head, that’s why I can’t read Harry Potter, because Rowling is such a lousy writer.
I was a government employee in the morning and a writer in the evening.
I’ve known since I was five that I wanted to be a writer.
A writer’s job is to give the reader a larger vision of the world.
I think my job is to try and be as honest as I can with what is in my mind and how I feel – I think that’s what you’re supposed to do, if you’re a good writer. So I try to do that. I know I do that. I do do that.
Everything a writer learns about the art or craft of fiction takes just a little away from his need or desire to write at all. In the end he knows all the tricks and has nothing to say.
A good writer can set a thriller anywhere and make it convincing: the trick is to evoke the setting in such a way that it highlights the crime or unsettles the reader.
As a musician and a guitar player, I can noodle as well as anybody. But from my background as a session musician, I always try to play what is called for by the lyric and listening to the song. As a writer, that’s what I do, too.
Words are the basic tools, if you are a writer. But why? Why do you choose one set of tools rather than another?
It is the sincere desire of the writer that our citizens should early understand that the genuine source of correct republican principles is the bible, particularly the New Testament or the Christian religion.
If you just take me as a fiction writer, then you’re probably going to find me fairly limited.
I am a writer because writing is the thing I do best.
Have a picture in mind of the kind of career you want, the kind of writer you want to be. This will help you make tough decisions when you reach crossroads – choosing an agent, deciding to accept deals.
What writer wants to make compromises with story? Story is the only reason you’re in it.
You know you lose a lot of social skills if you’re a writer. You spend too long alone. And its forced me to address that.
From the moment I wrote ‘Leaf Storm’ I realized I wanted to be a writer and that nobody could stop me and that the only thing left for me to do was to try to be the best writer in the world.
The writer is someone who tears himself to pieces in order to liberate his neighbor.
I’m not a fast writer, and I find the process of writing a first draft to be painful and frustrating. Usually, I start with a character, a premise, and some image that gives me a particular feeling.
When you are doing stand-up comedy, you are the writer, producer, director, sometimes bouncer.
When you’re writing a book, with people in it as opposed to animals, it is no good having people who are ordinary, because they are not going to interest your readers at all. Every writer in the world has to use the characters that have something interesting about them, and this is even more true in children’s books.
Volume depends precisely on the writer’s having been able to sit in a room every day, year after year, alone.
As for critics, one mediocre writer is more valuable than ten good critics. They are like haughty, barren spinsters lodged in a maternity ward.
To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him and travel in his company.
If you’re a writer, you just keep following the path – keep going deeper and deeper into the things that interest you.
I’m first and foremost a writer. I followed my personal legend, my childhood dream of becoming a writer, but I can’t say why I’m one.
I’m a writer; as soon as I imagine what would happen if I found the fountain of youth, it turns into a dystopia in my head.
As a food writer, it’s my job to know each and every cuisine on this planet as well as I can.
I think I have grown impatient with just being a writer.
I’m basically an Upper West Side Jewish writer.
The only books I give up on are texts where the writer’s attention is concentrated so heavily on narrative questions that his or her use of language becomes careless.
If you’re a writer, you know that the stories don’t come to you – you have to go looking for them. The old men in the lobby: that’s where the stories were.
But I think there are a set of experiences that turn a potential writer into a working writer, and then there are places in your life were you start to recognize what you want to do.
I mean being a writer is like being a psychoanalyst, but you don’t get any patients.
The sentences I write have their roots in song and poetry, and take their bearings from music and painting, as much as from the need to impart mere information, or mirror anything. I am not a realist writer, even if I seem like one.
It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.
I could tell you which writer’s rhythms I am imitating. It’s not exactly plagiarism, it’s falling in love with good language and trying to imitate it.
Ultimately, I don’t think you can be a character who’s completely alien or divorced from your own personality. It’s probably true of every writer – it’s probably true of every filmmaker, every songwriter – that, ultimately, every character you create is a facet of yourself.
College had little effect on me. I’d have been the same writer if I’d gone to MIT, except I’d have flunked out sooner.
It’s a responsibility of the writer to get the reader out of the story somehow.
I am a writer… I am a genius of a writer; I have it in me. I am writing the best poems of my life; they will make my name.
The shelf life of the modern hardback writer is somewhere between the milk and the yogurt.
A writer never reads his work. For him, it is the unreadable, a secret, and he cannot remain face to face with it. A secret, because he is separated from it.
I wanted to be a writer first, and I struck out in the world to be a writer first, and then found stand-up as a more creative outlet, as a 3D way to be creative.
Plagiarism is one of the great academic sins. It has the power to destroy a scholar or writer and turn a lifetime’s work to dust.
I’ve sort of decided that I can settle for being just the artist, arranger, writer and part-time engineer. That seems like enough to do.
I had a mixture, my father was a career army man and my mother was a writer.
I knew I wasn’t a baseball writer. I was scared to death. I really was afraid to talk to players, and I didn’t want to go into the press box because I thought I was faking it.
Poetry is almost like my foundation for everything. I almost feel I am a better actor and writer because of it.
I didn’t want a ghost writer. I’ve got such a distinctive voice, people would smell a rat, I think.
The mystery form was very helpful for me as a beginning writer because mystery novels and suspense novels have a beginning, a middle and an end.
The other writer who had a very important early influence on me when I was about 17 was C.S. Lewis.
Your first duty as a writer is to write to please yourself. And you have no duty towards anyone else.
I’m not a writer. As for direction, I don’t have the guts to do that. Still you can never say never.
A writer wants something more than money for his work: he wants permanence.
A good journalist, as you know, is a great listener. And so’s a good writer. And I got to listen to people for almost 20 years. That serves me well, I hope, when I try to understand how a character might be feeling, or how they might react.
I don’t know if I am a good, average, or bad writer, but I write fast. Everything I observe, my experiences and imagination come together while writing.
Two wrongs may not make a right, but a thousand wrongs make a writer.
A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom.
I write music all the time. When I talk about having writer’s block, it’s more to do with lyrics than anything else.
You know, I look to myself mainly as a creative writer all my life and a medical doctor.
I am what I am as a writer because of Norman Lear and Spike Lee. Norman Lear in particular.
The Onion Field made a real writer. And then I knew it was over, I couldn’t be a cop anymore.
I’m not a writer on a mission, and I’m very suspicious of writers on missions, but I’m also not living a false life.
When a writer talks about his work, he’s talking about a love affair.
I am honorary President of the American Humanist Society, having succeeded the late, great science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in that utterly functionless capacity. We Humanists behave as well as we can, without any rewards or punishments in an Afterlife.
The process hasn’t changed, but the writer has developed. I still get up every morning and go to work.
All a writer has to do to get a woman is to say he’s a writer. It’s an aphrodisiac.
If you are a serious writer or just a normal one, in one way or another, you are writing in the service of freedom. All writers know, understand, or dream that their work will be in the service of freedom.
One thing about being a stand-up is it’s a one-man show. You gotta do everything. You’re the producer, writer, director, and the actor. You just gotta be out there and perform and give your all. It’s such an honest form of art that it just taught me so much, and it kind of prepared me for manhood at an early age.
I am, really, a great writer; my only difficulty is in finding great readers.
That is how you get to be a writer, incidentally: you feel somehow marginal, somehow slightly off-balance all the time.
A writer of fiction lives in fear. Each new day demands new ideas, and he can never be sure whether he is going to come up with them or not.
If I’ve done my work well, I vanish completely from the scene. I believe it is invasive of the work when you know too much about the writer.
Thinking about death makes you analyse what life is. Anxiety makes you curious, and curiosity leads to understanding. I wouldn’t be a writer without depression.
I’m not a lyric writer to make statements. What I enjoy doing is making paintings with lyrics, creating colorful images. I think that’s more what entertainment and music should be.
Words are the basic tools, if you are a writer.
And as a writer, one of the things that I’ve always been interested in doing is actually invading your comfort space. Because that’s what we’re supposed to do. Get under your skin, and make you react.
As a kid, I dreamt of becoming a writer. My most exciting pastime was reading novels; in fact, I would read anything I could find.
Siren voices tell me, ‘You don’t have to keep going on.’ And then you think, ‘I’m a writer. What do I do? Sit there watching my wife clean up?’ I don’t know. I like being a writer.
About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment.
I used to want to be a children’s writer, because I would have all these great ideas when I was little, and I’d write them and draw them, and turn them into class.
What description of clouds and sunsets was to the old novelist, description of scientific apparatus and methods is to the modern Scientific Detective writer.
As a writer I care about America, and care about its carelessness.
Music is where I have the most creative freedom, but I love producing. To me, that’s kind of where all the action is. You get a chance to have your hands in every aspect of a film. From picking a director, sometimes picking a writer, to the actors, the wardrobe, set design, editing, music, and marketing.
The Western poet and writer of romance has exactly the same kind of difficulty in comprehending Eastern subjects as you have in comprehending Western subjects.
Any adjective you put before the noun ‘writer’ is going to be limiting in some way. Whether it’s feminist writer, Jewish writer, Russian writer, or whatever.
Of course having a baby derails the writing process for some time. And I will be the first to say that I have essentially no social life, because there’s just nothing left after being a mom, professor, and writer. I used to be big into rock climbing. No more. A lot falls by the wayside.
If you want to be a writer, you have to learn to write in other people’s voices until you get the chance to write in your own.
But I think talent as a writer is hard-wired in, it’s all there, at least the basic elements of it. You can’t change it any more than you can choose whether to be right handed or left handed.
The writer’s language is to some degree the product of his own action; he is both the historian and the agent of his own language.
If technique is of no interest to a writer, I doubt that the writer is an artist.
Productivity is a relative matter. And it’s really insignificant: What is ultimately important is a writer’s strongest books.
A young musician plays scales in his room and only bores his family. A beginning writer, on the other hand, sometimes has the misfortune of getting into print.
If you only hear one side of the story, at some point, you have to question who the writer is.
I am the worlds laziest writer.
Why do I write? I have been called a writer of catastrophes, but that isn’t true. I am always looking for words of love. Hate will not save us. Only love.
I don’t think I would be a writer if I had stayed in Chile. I would be trapped in the chores, in the family, in the person that people expected me to be.
My being a writer and playing Scrabble are connected. If I have a good writing day, I’ll take a break and play online Scrabble. My favorite word as a child was ‘carrion,’ before I knew what it meant. I later created crossword puzzles, which was a lot about puns, and how words would create these strange, strange things.
It is comparatively easy to become a writer; staying a writer, resisting formulaic work, generating one’s own creativity – that’s a much tougher matter.
Good evening, ladies and gentleman. My name is Orson Welles. I am an actor. I am a writer. I am a producer. I am a director. I am a magician. I appear onstage and on the radio. Why are there so many of me and so few of you?
The hard necessity of bringing the judge on the bench down into the dock has been the peculiar responsibility of the writer in all ages of man.
Throughout African-American literature, the writer has, in a sense, been burdened by the necessity of pleading the case for the whole race. For example, writers of slave narratives tend to lose their individual voices, as they were expected to stand in for all other voices, which were absent.
Well, to be honest I think I’m a better short story writer than a novelist. Novels I find very hard, hours and hours, weeks and weeks, of conscious thought – whereas short stories slip out painlessly in a few days.
I don’t believe in writer’s block. Think about it – when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due? Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands.
Any writer worth the name is always getting into one thing or getting out of another thing.
The travel writer seeks the world we have lost – the lost valleys of the imagination.
A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.
Because I’ve spent most of my life with such a beautiful, talented, challenging female, I feel I’ve gained – and am still gaining – a great deal of knowledge about the feminine mystique and about personal relationships – knowledge which is so important to a writer.
In the fashion world, you have to make clothes to sell. You have to make clothes for the press. You have to make clothes for yourself. What I mean is, everything is an obligation. But a writer? A pure artist? Maybe he doesn’t make one lira – but he does what he wants.
If you know how to freestyle, you will never have writer’s block.
One thing I can tell you is this, that I am not a methodical writer.
It is not important for me as a writer that you leave a piece of writing of mine with either an agreement or even a resonance with what I have said. What is important is that you leave with the resonance of what you have felt and what you thought in reaction to that.
I never really wanted to be an actor. And that was the beginning of it, I began to write things down and eventually became a writer on a television show.
There is no secret to success except hard work and getting something indefinable which we call ‘the breaks.’ In order for a writer to succeed, I suggest three things – read and write – and wait.
I just have a thing for writers. Maybe it because I’m just so not a writer.
The writer who can’t do his job looks to his editor to do it for him, though he won’t dream of sharing his royalties with that editor.
The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can’t help it.
Turin is a city which entices a writer towards vigor, linearity, style. It encourages logic, and through logic it opens the way towards madness.
Film is not like a book; it’s not a writer’s baby at all. So many people have put in their talent, by that time that you feel grateful for what they’ve done, you don’t feel possessive about it in any way.
My guiltiest pleasure is Harry Stephen Keeler. He may have been the greatest bad writer America has ever produced. Or perhaps the worst great writer. I do not know. There are few faults you can accuse him of that he is not guilty of. But I love him.
When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.
I like the fact that by mimicking the way memory works, a writer can actually write in a fluid way – one solid scene doesn’t have to fall on another solid scene, you can just have a fragment that then dovetails into another one that took place 30 years apart from it.
I might add that you change as a person as you grow older, so you change as a writer, too.
I eventually want to do writing on all the films, but not necessarily to be the writer. Writing is a painful, painful thing; it really is.
Before I became a writer, I was running a jazz bar in the center of Tokyo, which means that I worked in filthy air all the time late into the night. I was very excited when I started making a living out of my writing, and I decided, ‘I will live in nothing but an absolutely healthy way.’
There is no mistaking the dismay on the face of a writer who has just heard that his brain child is a deformed idiot.
As a guest who doesn’t eat, drink or smoke, you leave much to be desired, but as a writer, you’re my girl.
If I hadn’t spent many years trying to be as compassionate as Mother Teresa, as positive a thinker as W. Clement Stone, as prolific a writer as Stephen King, and as good a speaker as many of the legends I have studied, I would not be as successful as I am today.
Whatever China I’d been born into, I would probably still have become a painter – I loved sketching portraits as a child, and began art classes at the age 7. But if China hadn’t been under Maoist rule, I might never have become a writer.
I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.
Why does ‘writer’ have no gender, but ‘actor’ has a gender? What is that?
I know who I am and what I’m doing in my life and what I’ve accomplished and continue to accomplish as a performer, as a writer, as an artist, as a person, as a human being.
You become a different writer when you approach a short story. When things are not always having to represent other things, you find real human beings begin to cautiously appear on your pages.
I do really enjoy Jay McInerney’s wine writing. He’s a good writer. He brings his fiction-writing skillset. He’s not afraid to put wine in kind of a racy context and speak very candidly about it.
Sometimes I felt as a writer I was purging, and it almost hurt to purge to that level. Now it doesn’t feel that way, maybe because I’m older. Maybe life has given me some punches, but it didn’t knock me down.
Tina Fey, a performer and head writer for ‘Saturday Night Live,’ has deftly adapted Rosalind Wiseman’s nonfiction dissection of teenage girl societal interaction, ‘Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends and Other Realities of Adolescence.’
I believe it is important to speak to your readers in person… to enable people to have a whole picture of me; I have to both write and speak. I view my role as writer and also as oral communicator.
I would still like to have that luxury, to be able to just sit and draw for hours and hours and hours. In a way, that’s what I do as a writer.
I used to want to be a writer or a painter, although I couldn’t paint very well.
Because I was a television writer for many years, I write very conversationally. I put things straight, and with a lot of humor.
The painter, sculptor, writer, and musician are protected by law. So are inventors. But the chef has absolutely no redress for plagiarism on his work; on the contrary, the more the latter is liked and appreciated, the more will people clamour for his recipes.
David O. Russell is probably my favorite filmmaker. He’s not only a great director, but he’s also a great writer.
I think I would have done very well as a writer in the Forties. I think the last time America was a great country was then or not long after. It was before Vietnam, before Watergate.
I’m more of a writer than an actor, and I used to say that I’m mostly an improviser, though I haven’t improvised in awhile.
In Britain, we need to start presenting the option of being a writer in front of black women. We need to present the idea of being a writer into poorer communities because the majority of black people in this country are working class. We need to let working-class people know that their voices are important.
Going off the road just leaves me more time to be a writer.
The writer crafts their ideal world. In my world, everyone has really long conversations or just picks apart pop culture to death and everyone talks in monologue.
You want to be a writer? Start writing. You want to be a filmmaker? Start shooting stuff on your phone right now.
There was a writer in the ’20s called Christopher Morley, who I remember a little bit of, who had some influence on me, but I couldn’t tell you what it was.
I’m a commercial writer, not an author. Margaret Mitchell was an author. She wrote one book.
Those golden minutes before you are completely awake, when your mind is just drifting, you have no censorship; you are ready to develop any kind of idea. That’s when I come up with the best and worst ideas. That is the privilege of being a writer – that you can stay in bed for an hour in the morning and it’s work time.
I became paralyzed as an artist with writer’s block.
Justin Theroux is the ideal team partner to have. He’s a writer. He’s a director.
I only sound intelligent when there’s a good script writer around.
Capra always wanted a screenwriter with him, even on the soundstage. The writer had to be there at his side.
I wanted to write a novel where the meaning is in the story and characters and the subliminal, in the shades and nuances. It’s exciting to develop that as a writer.
Look, in 1800 the sainted Thomas Jefferson arranged to hire a notorious slanderer named James Callender, who worked as a writer at a Republican newspaper in Richmond, Va. Read some of what he wrote about John Adams. This was a personal slander.
Generally, a writer of force is anywhere from 20 years to 200 years ahead of his generation.
In many a piece of music, it’s the pause or the rest that gives the piece its beauty and its shape. And I know I, as a writer, will often try to include a lot of empty space on the page so that the reader can complete my thoughts and sentences and so that her imagination has room to breathe.
Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.
The responsibility of a writer is to excavate the experience of the people who produced him.
A writer stops writing the moment he or she puts the last full stop to their text, and at that point the book is in limbo and doesn’t come to life until the reader picks it up and the reader flips the pages.
Limited points of view let the writer dispense – and the reader gather – information from various corners of the story. It all becomes a kind of dance, with the writer guiding the reader through the various twists and turns. The challenge is keeping readers in step, while still managing to surprise.
The writer wants to be understood much more than he wants to be respected or praised or even loved. And that perhaps, is what makes him different from others.
A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer.
At an early school, when I was about 5, they asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. Everyone said silly things, and I said I wanted to be an actress. So that was what I wanted to be, but what I was, of course, was a writer.
Unfortunately for my family, they have a writer in the family.
There are Behan experts in international universities, but we seem to have forgotten him here in Ireland. He was an extraordinarily gifted writer. His poetry alone is outstanding.
You have to dream intentionally. Most people dream a dream when they are asleep. But to be a writer, you have to dream while you are awake, intentionally.
It seems to me that there are two kinds of trickery: the ‘fronts’ people assume before one another’s eyes, and the ‘front’ a writer puts on the face of reality.
I started out with three creative jobs – painter, janitor and gag writer.
As a writer, you’re not even at the party when you work in film. At best, you’re the one laying out the canapes.
Really, anyone in the business who transitions into directing as a writer or editor or an actor or a cinematographer, at some point you have to kind of take a leap and say, ‘I’m committed to this.’
The importance to the writer of first writing must be out of all proportion of the actual value of what is written.
If you’re a singer you lose your voice. A baseball player loses his arm. A writer gets more knowledge, and if he’s good, the older he gets, the better he writes.
I did several interesting jobs, working in restaurants, I worked at a lab rat farm, feeding and watering all these rats. Then I got a full-time job as a technical writer for a large scientific research laboratory.
I like Rebecca Miller and her writing. She’s a tremendous writer and director.
I like being a writer.
I really had to develop a core. I had to figure out, at my core as a writer, what did I value? What was I about? And I had to love it and take pleasure in it.
I don’t have a writer’s room. I write all the shows myself. Ninety-one episodes a season, I’m sitting there at the computer writing and writing and writing because I want the voice to be authentic so that the audience is hearing from me and not other writers.
I was a writer. I just wasn’t a very good one. I was lucky enough to have a playwriting teacher who told me that I’d be a better actor than I would a playwright.
I wanted to become a writer. I enjoyed reading as a child.
Do you want to be an artist and a writer, or a wife and a lover? With kids, your focus changes. I don’t want to go to PTA meetings.
When I was young, I wanted, most of all, to be a writer of films and film music. But Middlesbrough in 1968 wasn’t the place to be if you wanted to do movie scores.
As a writer and former elected official, I believe in the power of words.
One of my rules is never explain. A writer is a lot like a magician, if you explain how the trick works then a lot of the magic turns mundane.
The good parts of a book may be only something a writer is lucky enough to overhear or it may be the wreck of his whole damn life and one is as good as the other.
The writer needs to react to his or her own internal universe, to his or her own point of view. If he or she doesn’t have a personal point of view, it’s impossible to be a creator.
Well I could have been just a writer. I had been a hair dresser. I could have stuck with that.
You have to remember that I was a bright but simple fellow from Canada who seldom, if ever, met another writer, and then only a so-called literary type that occasionally sold a story and meanwhile worked in an office for a living.
The important thing is to do what you most love in the best way. If you love literature, you could be a great writer and perhaps one day become a Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature.
As a writer, I absorb stories, allow them to churn within my own head and heart – often for years – until I find a way of telling them that fits both my time and temperament.
I’m an escapist kind of writer.
Nostalgia is a sweet place for a poet and writer to be in. But it’s an indulgence; a distraction. You can’t live in a distraction.
I’m a fast writer.
Being rich would be disastrous for me as a writer. I have always needed to write to pay the bills.
As a writer, a blank page will humble the hell out of you. It always does, and it always will.
Writing a story or a novel is one way of discovering sequence in experience, of stumbling upon cause and effect in the happenings of a writer’s own life.
And then I met Jerry and he’s such a creative fiction writer, and I don’t know if there’s ever been a team put together the way we are – where one person does the theological way out and suggestions, and the other person goes into the cave and does the fiction writing.
I don’t remember deciding to become a writer. You decide to become a dentist or a postman. For me, writing is like being gay. You finally admit that this is who you are, you come out and hope that no one runs away.
I honestly think anthropology is one of the most useful fields a fantasy writer can study, more so even than history.
I felt a failure because I couldn’t sustain myself from what I earned from my writing. My day jobs were what mattered, and it was hard to even get those because universities wouldn’t hire me as a real writer.
Using pseudonyms was such a part of the early feminist movement. We didn’t want to have this star system. We wanted attention on the ideas, not the persona of the writer.
I wrote my first book at 20, but my whole focus from about the age of 12 was to be a writer.
I had no idea that ‘Less Than Zero’ was going to be read by anyone outside of Los Angeles, and it’s – believe me, as the writer of the book I’m somewhat amused and intrigued by the idea that 25 years later it’s still out and people are still reading it.
Sometimes, what’s not said is just as important to the writing as what is said. As a writer, we have our voices heard. I think that, at oftentimes, the ability to allow the dialogue to recede properly into the world of the film is also a really valid sort of way to be a writer, I think.
When ‘If God Was a Banker’ became a success, it changed my entire perspective. I wanted to write more and wanted to be lot more successful as a writer.
I told my parents when I was 12 I’d be a writer.
I think that readers believe that a writer becomes friends with the people he interviews and writes about – and I think there are some writers who do that – but that hasn’t happened to me. I do think it’s dangerous because then you write the article to please them, which is a terrible error.
When I was a child, there was very little money, so I’ve always been concerned for my financial security, which has meant that finding myself as a writer was a bad move. The practical difference the money has made is that I can support myself by fiction. That is what I have been trying to do throughout my life.
With a book I am the writer and I am also the director and I’m all of the actors and I’m the special effects guy and the lighting technician: I’m all of that. So if it’s good or bad, it’s all up to me.
The writer probably knows what he meant when he wrote a book, but he should immediately forget what he meant when he’s written it.
The best thing about being a writer is it gives you readers who understand your deepest feelings and fears.
To begin impatiently is the worst mistake a writer can make.
Although I write screenplays, I don’t think I’m a very good writer.
A writer should express criticism and indignation at the dark side of society and the ugliness of human nature, but we should not use one uniform expression.
Philip Roth is a fabulous writer, but he pretty much stays within his own life. He’s so good – I mean, practically anything I’ve ever read of his I’ve really enjoyed. He just has tremendous talent. But I think he should have given himself a break and gone deeper into the society.
‘Between Shades of Gray’ is a story of astonishing force. I feel grateful for a writer like Ruta Sepetys who bravely tells the hard story of what happens to the innocent when world leaders and their minions choose hate and oppression. Beautiful and unforgettable.
No honest writer today can possibly avoid being influenced by Freud through his pioneering work into the Unconscious and by the influence of those discoveries on the scientific, philosophic, and artistic work of his contemporaries: but not, by any means, necessarily through Freud’s own writing.
Diverting the internal traffic between the Writer as Angel of Light and the Writer as Hustler is that scribbling child in a grown-up body wondering if anybody is listening.
The writer is the engineer of the human soul.
I am a compulsive writer.
If you want to be a professional writer then you need to write consistently. Inspiration strikes about once every blue moon which, for me, is once every two and a half to three months, which is when I’ll get really and truly inspired about something.
The main engagement of the writer is towards truthfulness; therefore he must keep his mind and his judgement free.
My goal as a writer is more to comfort than to disturb.
I think film and television – particularly film – you are very isolated as a writer. If you’re lucky, you have a good relationship with the director. Then you do make that development and come on set and be part of something. But ultimately, your work is kind of done by the time you come on set.
The number one secret of being a successful writer is this: marry an English major.
It must be extremely uncomfortable to live with a writer – all that preoccupation and brooding.
I’ve had aunts and uncles who not only haven’t read my books but could hardly believe that I was a writer.
I really wasn’t equipped to be a writer when I left Oxford. But then I set out to learn. I’ve always had the highest regard for the craft. I’ve always felt it was work.
I’m glad a genre writer has got a knighthood, but stunned that it was me.
Even the revolutionary writer will err if he fails to grasp the enormous effectiveness of occasional understatement.
I wrote the script of Patton. I had this very bizarre opening where he stands up in front of an American flag and gives this speech. Ultimately, I was fired. When the script was done, they hired another writer and that script was forgotten.
Failure has been my best friend as a writer. It tests you, to see if you have what it takes to see it through.
When you’re a writer, if you’re very lucky, you create these characters that you fall in love with, and you feel like they’re guiding you rather than you guiding them.
I am not a self-help writer. I am a self-problem writer. When people read my books, I provoke some things. I cannot justify my work. I do my work; it is up to them to classify it, to judge.
Every writer is a writer of the generation before.
I’m the luckiest writer on earth.
In the best possible scenario, whenever you get notes from people, they’re good notes, and they see things that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise, and they make you a better writer.
I was a writer before ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ and I’ll be a writer after it’s over. It’s what I want to do for the rest of my life.
You don’t know what you need when you’re a young writer. You can get small slivers of critical input, advice, comments, but if you’re deep in the perplexity of your own process, as you should be, sorting it out in your own way, nothing is going to guide you more than small gestures of encouragement.
I’m a better writer than a performer. Everyone wants to feel like they’re a bit of a polymath, and I certainly feel that.
No writer of a portion of the Bible was perfect. It was the direct and miraculous operation of the Holy Spirit that what they wrote is without mistake.
Having been an actor and a writer for so long – 20 years or so – I felt that it would be daft to go to one’s grave without having directed. It’s a natural extension of writing and acting, and so I knew it would happen one day.
It’s important, I think, for a writer of fiction to maintain an awareness of the pace and shape of the book as he’s writing it. That is, he should be making an object, not chattering.
I love historical fiction because there’s a literal truth, and there’s an emotional truth, and what the fiction writer tries to create is that emotional truth.
If you wish to be a writer, write.
Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have them relate to other characters living with him.
If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.