Writing philosophy Quotes


Discipline allows magic. To be a writer is to be the very best of assassins. You do not sit down and write every day to force the Muse to show up. You get into the habit of writing every day so that when she shows up, you have the maximum chance of catching her, bashing her on the head, and squeezing every last drop out of that bitch.

we write every day, we fight every day, we think and scheme and dream a little dream every day. manuscripts pile up in the kitchen sink, run-on sentences dangle around our necks. we plant purple prose in our gardens and snip the adverbs only to thread them in our hair. we write with no guarantees, no certainties, no promises of what might come and we do it anyway. this is who we are.

And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.

Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it's about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well. It's about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. ...this book...is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you're brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.
Drink and be filled up.

Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody not greatly in fault themselves to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest.

Mansfield Park

Jane Austen

Mansfield Park

Non-fiction can distort; facts can be realigned. But fiction never lies.

Fiction is a solution, the best solution, to the problem of existential solitude.

The Corrections

Jonathan Franzen

The Corrections

Keep working. Keep trying. Keep believing. You still might not make it, but at least you gave it your best shot. If you don’t have calluses on your soul, this isn’t for you. Take up knitting instead.

He would write it for the reason he felt that all great literature, fiction and nonfiction, was written: truth comes out, in the end it always comes out. He would write it because he felt he had to.

We write to make sense of it all.

If the novel is dead, I'm a necrophiliac.

I'm not a writer. Ernest Hemingway was a writer. I just have a vivid imagination and type 90 WPM.

I never waited for my Irish Cream coffee to be the right temperature, with a storm happening outside and my fireplace crackling ... I wrote every day, at home, in the office, whether I felt like it or not, I just did it.

There are two moments worthwhile in writing, the one when you start and the other when you throw it in the waste-paper basket.

Because here’s the thing: No matter how much one tells stories of magical beasts or impossible worlds, in the end, it is always the world of here and now one is writing about. The better one understands that world, the more powerful the stories will be.

It is immoral not to tell.

The writer's business is to find the shape in unruly life and to serve her story. Not, you may note, to serve her family, or to serve the truth, but to serve the story.

هناك آلاف يكتبون القصص والشعر ويؤلفون..أي إنسان عادي باستطاعته أن يروي تجربة شخصية مرت به أو حادثة رآها أو تصورها بطريقة تجذب الانتباه وتخضع لمقاييس الفن، ولكن، لماذا لا يصبح كل هؤلاء أدباء كبارا، لماذا نجد الكبار في كل بلد أو جيل آحاد أو حتى معدودين .. السبب أن هناك فارقا كبيرا بين كاتب القصة أو المسرح الناجح وبين الفنان الكبير الذي يغير بإنتاجه معتقدات الناس ويترك العالم على غير ما جاءه، السبب في رأيي هو خيط الفكر أو الفلسفة الذي لابد من وجوده ..... فالفكر هو روح الفن

Writers are like supreme beings. We can create worlds in a matter of days and we can destroy them just as fast.

One hasn't become a writer until one has distilled writing into
a habit, and that habit has been forced into an obsession.
Writing has to be an obsession. It has to be something as organic,
physiological and psychological as speaking or sleeping or eating.

Writing starts with living.

The historian records, but the novelist creates.

You know, the immortality of the soul, free will and all that -- it's all very amusing to talk about up to the age of twenty-two, but not after that. Then one ought to be giving one's mind to having fun without catching the pox, arranging one's life as comfortably as possible, having a few decent drawings on the wall, and above all writing well. That's the important thing: well-made sentences...and then a few metaphors. Yes, a few metaphors. They embellish a man's existence.

I want people to react to my work, to think, to question, to challenge, to cry and laugh and feel.

(In reply to the question, 'Would you like some suggestions for a plot for your next book?')
There are three problems with getting plot suggestions from other people. The first is that ideas are the easy part of writing; finding the time and energy to get them down on paper is the hard part. I have plenty of ideas already. Which brings me to the second problem: the ideas that excite you, the ones you think would make a terrific book, are not necessarily the same ideas that excite me. And if a writer isn't excited about an idea, she generally doesn't turn out a terrific book, even if the idea is terrific. And the third problem with my using your suggestions is that, theoretically, you could sue me if I did, and that tends to make publishers nervous, which makes it hard to sell a book. So thank you, but no.

Poetic license is not a license to scribe recklessly.

If you're a writer, write. And always strive for excellence.

We will need to find people who will provide a safe writing space for us, where criticism comes late and love and delight come early.
—from Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing

You can be a good painter if you study Cézanne's vision. Whoever dares to copy Van Gogh falls inevitably into the hell of imitators. For this painter didn't care about masterpieces, or even good paintings... but about what is beyond all painting, all art.

It is the storyteller's task to elicit sympathy and a measure of understanding for those who lie outside the boundaries of State approval.

I don't see why escapist literature shouldn't also be a work of art.

I conceive that the right way to write a story for boys is to write so that it will not only interest boys but strongly interest any man who has ever been a boy. That immensely enlarges the audience.

Writing isn't about making money, getting famous, or making friends. It's about doing what you love the best you know how. It's about making a heart pound in fear, shrink from rage, weep with understanding, or soar with excitement. It's about making worlds and living in them deeply enough someone else can join you there. It's about life changed to words, words changed to life, over and over and over again. It's about giving.

Fiction gives us a reach into the lives of individuals that would otherwise be but a closed door. If we are gifted with a desire to tell tales, then we should tell them . . . if only to reach but a few.

Try as we might, we write what we write

If you were to stare at this box of matches, you could extract entire worlds out of it. If you search for tastes in a book, you will certainly find them because it was said: seek and ye shall find. But a critic should not rifle, search. Let him sit back with folded arms, waiting for the book to find him. Talents should not be sought with a microscope, a talent should let people know about itself by striking at all the bells.

Each day a raid on the inarticulate--T.S. Eliot

I wonder if I'll meet one person that knows enough people that can get me recognized as a writer. Oh I already have he lives in my mirror.

I’ve never thought of writing as the mere arrangement of words on the page but the attempted embodiment of a vision; a complex of emotions; raw experience. The effort of memorable art is to evoke in the reader or spectator emotions appropriate to that effort.

Every serious novel is, beyond its immediate thematic preoccupations, a discussion of the craft, a conquest of the form, a conflict with its difficulties and a pursuit of its felicities and beauty.

I am a commercial writer and I'm proud of that. I am writing things to be put in the bookstore next month. I think it is a mistake to try to write for the ages.

I believe that art is the highest expression of the human spirit. ~ I believe that we yearn to transcend the merely finite and ephemeral; to participate in something mysterious and communal called culture – and that this yearning is as strong in our species as the yearning to reproduce the species. ~ Through the local or regional, through our individual voices, we work to create art that will speak to others who know nothing of us. In our very obliqueness to one another, an unexpected intimacy is born.

Q: What do you think is magical about fiction?

DFW: ... The first line of attack for that question is that there is this existential loneliness in the real world. I don't know what you're thinking or what it's like inside you and you don't know what it's like inside me. In fiction I think we can leap over that wall itself in a certain way... There's another level... A really great piece of fiction for me may or may not take me away and make me forget that I'm sitting in a chair. There's real commercial stuff can do that, and a riveting plot can do that, but it doesn't make me feel less lonely... There's a kind of Ah-ha! Somebody at least for a moment feels about something or sees something the way that I do. It doesn't happen all the time. It's these brief flashes or flames, but I get that sometimes. I feel unalone--intellectually, emotionally, spiritually. I feel human and unalone and that I'm in a deep, significant conversation with another consciousness in fiction and poetry in a way that I don't with other art.

There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never been told.

Writing is a wonderful voyage of discovery. So sit down and write, and see where your mind can take you...

There’s a difference between the ‘art’ of writing and the ‘craft’ of writing. Art is subjective, its beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, but craft is objective. There is a right way and a wrong way to craft.

Through the years the swirl of a pen, click of a key, and the idea of a story have been my deepest passion. I never just decided to become a writer. I was born to be a writer. I knew it from childhood.

Dedicating a writing session to someone is like sending a prayer for them out into the world. I will never know if my writing, my dedication to them, my prayer for them made any difference in their lives. But I know it makes a difference in mine.

Not all fiction writers are evil, just the ones good at their job. After all, it's not a decent book if it can't make you cry.

Every day we live, we are writing our own secret book.

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