Monday, August 30, 2010

Writer Wisdom

To write something, you have to risk making a fool of yourself.
                                                                                   Anne Rice

The way I see it, perseverance is the heartbeat of writing. If you quit, it's over. Sounds a lot simpler than it is in reality, but writers are lucky in that they are part of a society of kindred spirits. There are many types of motivational fuel. I love reading wise quotes from veteran authors.

Author Bethany Roberts has a wonderful collection of writer quotes at her website. What I love most is that she has them listed in categories such as, instructional, on revision, on perseverance, on rejection letters, to amuse, on characters etc... I recommend taking the time to pop over to her site, but here are a few of my favorites.

Tom Clancy - The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.

Ursula K. LeGuin - Sure, it's simple, writing for kids...Just as simple as bringing them up.

Ernest Hemingway - I rewrote the ending of 'Farewell to Arms' 39 times before I was satisfied.

Will Shetterly - The great thing about revision is that it's your opportunity to fake being brilliant.

Robert Southy - It is with words as with sunbeams - the more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.

Katherine Paterson - As I look back on what I have written, I can see that the very persons who have taken away my time are those who have given me something to say.

Lloyd Alexander - Fantasy's hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it.

Burton Rascoe - What no wife (husband) of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working even when he's (she's) staring out the window.

Richard Bach - A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.

Ralph Waldo Emerson - In art the hand can never execute anything higher than the heart can inspire.

E. L. Doctorow - Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.

Elmore Leonard - My most important piece of advice to all you would-be writers: when you write, try to leave out all the parts readers skip.

Do any of you have famous writer words of wisdom to share?


  1. Yes and persistence will eventually pay off! I kinda like this one from Nora Roberts:

    “If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.”

  2. That's an excellent one, Kaily! I need to hang it above my computer. I'll bet there are many great ones from Nora Roberts. She's definitely a wise and classy lady.