Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quotation of the Week: Your Turn!

I thought it might be fun this week to open the blog for YOUR submissions of notable quotations from writers/on writing. Comment away! Thanks in advance for participating!


Jessica Lynne Henkle said...

"People are always complaining that the modern novelist has no hope and that the picture he paints of the world is unbearable. The only answer to this is that people without hope do not write novels. Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I'm always highly irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it's very shocking to the system. If the novelist is not sustained by a hope of money, then he must be sustained by a hope of salvation, or he simply won't survive the ordeal."

--From Flannery O'Connor's essay, "The Nature and Aim of Fiction," included in her book of occasional prose, _ Mystery & Manners_.

Really, I would type that entire book up here if I could. It's a source of inspiration to me, time and again.

Sparky said...

What a fabulous quotation. Thank you. I will use it in my teaching.

Theresa Milstein said...

I begin a lot of my posts with a quote. Here are some of my favorites:

“I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter.”- James Michener

“An incurable itch for scribbling takes possession of many, and grows inveterate in their insane breasts.” - Juvenal, Satires

“When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen. But if you have not a pen, I suppose you must scratch any way you can.” - Samuel Lover, Handy Andy, 1842

“The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it.” - Jules Renard, "Diary," February 1895

"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it." - Henry David Thoreau

“When words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain.” - William Shakespeare

Tara said...

"A book is a part of life, a manifestation of life, just as much as a tree or a horse or a star."
—Henry Miller

Jill said...

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." -
Ernest Hemingway

Erika D. said...

These are great! Please keep 'em coming!

Ariel.com said...

"An ounce of obedience is worth a pound of protection."
Dr. Woodrow Kroll

"You weren't put on earth to be remembered. You're put here to prepare for eternity"
Rick Warren

"unless you assume a God, the question of life's purpose is meaningless"
Bertrand Russel, atheist


Preben B said...

Hi Erika,
Quotations are a great idea. This is my favourite:
"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 awaits always before or behind."
- Catherine Drinker Bowen, (1897-1973)
Best wishes
Preben(fan of yours) Danish blogger, linking to Practicing Writing!

Lori said...

Writing is a dog's life, but the only one worth living.

Gustave Flaubert


A good [short story] would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized now, and uneasy with the fit.

David Sedaris


I don't teach writing. I teach patience. Toughness. Stubborness. The willingness to fail. I teach the life. The odd thing is most of the things that stop an inexperienced writer are so far from the truth as to be nearly beside the point. When you feel global doubt about your talent, that *is* your talent. People who have no talent don't have any doubt.

Richard Bausch


That kind of thinking [that writers must alleviate their guilt for leading a creative life] is based on the idea that the creative life is somehow self-indulgent. Artists and writers have to understand and live the truth that what we are doing is nourishing the world. William Carlos Williams said, "It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there." You can't eat a book, right, but books have saved my life more often than sandwiches. And they've saved your life... But we don't say, oh, Maya Angelou should have silenced herself because other people have other destinies. It's interesting, because artists are always encouraged to feel guilty about their work. Why? Why don't we ask predatory bankers how they alleviate their guilt?

Ariel Gore


Running a close second [as a writing lesson] was the realization that stopping a piece of work just because it's hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea. Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it, and sometimes you're doing good work when it feels like all you're managing is to shovel shit from the sitting position.

Stephen King

I kinda collect these. Can you tell?

Erika D. said...

Great additions. Thanks for being a fan, Preben! And thanks to you, Lori, for sharing some of your "collection"!