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Subject:Re: Quotes on Writing From:Pam Tatge <pamt -at- STEINBECK -dot- SC -dot- TI -dot- COM> Date:Fri, 8 Oct 1993 15:30:51 CDT
(Okay, you can tell it's Friday and I'm avoiding my work...)
Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.
Writing is just having a sheet of paper, a pen, and not a shadow of an idea
of what you're going to say.
I have always been in a condition in which I cannot not write.
I always wanted to write a book that ended with the word "mayonnaise."
I never write metropolis for seven cents because I can get the same price for
city. I never write policeman because I can get the same money for copy.
What they do isn't writing at all--it's typing.
The biggest obstacle to professional writing is the necessity for changing
the typewriter ribbon.
Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness.
That is one last thing to remember: writers are always selling somebody out.
The writer must be universal in sympathy and an outcast by nature; only then
can he see clearly.
I like to write when I feel spiteful; it's like having a good sneeze.
Do not on any account attempt to write on both sides of the paper at once.
--W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman
A bad book is as much of a labour to write as a good book; it comes as sincerely
from the author's soul.
When I am dead, I hope it may be said:
`His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.'
The worst tragedy for a poet is to be admired through being misunderstood.
Long books, when read, are usually overpraised, because the reader wishes to
convince others and himself that he has not wasted his time.
The possession of a book becomes a substitute for reading it.
One cannot review a bad book without showing off.
>From the moment I picked up your book until I laid it down, I was convulsed
with laughter. Some day I intend to read it.
A successful book cannot afford to be more than ten percent new.
Books think for me.
No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft.
People do not deserve good writing, they are so pleased with bad.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
We like that a sentence should read as if its author, had he held a plough
instead of a pen, could have drawn a furrow deep and straight to the end.
--Henry David Thoreau
The first draft of anything is shit.
I publish a piece in order to kill it, so that I won't have to fool around
with it any longer.
Real seriousness in regard to writing is one of the two absolute necessities.
The other, unfortunately, is talent.
I know everything. One has to, to write decently.
I think the writer ought to help the reader as much as he can do without
what he wants to say; and I don't think it ever hurts the writer to sort of
stand back now and then and look at his stuff as if he were reading it instead
of writing it.
Easy reading is damned hard writing.
All morning I worked on the proof of one of my poems, and I took out a comma;
in the afternoon I put it back.
A writer lives in awe of words for they can be cruel or kind, and they can
change their meanings right in front of you. They pick up flavors and odors
like butter in a refrigerator.
She understood, as he did, that all writing was infernally boring and futile,
but that it had to be done out of respect for tradition.
--Stanislaw Lem (according to Steve Fouts)
(Pam Tatge/pamt -at- steinbeck -dot- sc -dot- ti -dot- com)