“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” ~Ray Bradbury
Stephen King has said there’s two things you must do if you wish to write, “read a lot and write a lot”, as we slip into spring and summer after a long (very long) winter don’t forget to take a book with you as you bask outside in the glorious sunshine and when you stop to smell the roses as they bloom (just don’t inhale a bee!) maybe pen a line or two about where they transport you to.
We hope you have a wonderful weekend and that you enjoy this Words volume on writing! Keep writing, and to lightly mangle a Lewis Carroll quote, just start writing and write till you get to the end. ~Jennie & Christy
“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ~Louis L’Amour
I write only because
There is a voice within me
That will not be still
“The words were on their way, and when they arrived, she would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like the rain.” ~Markus Zusak, The Book Thief
“I asked him once, “Why do you insist on remaining a writer? With your intelligence, with your culture, you could be successful at so many things. Writing may not be a normal activity for you.”
He happened to agree. “You are absolutely right,” he said. “I am not a natural writer. There are even times when I detest this torture. I achieve so little of my aims.”
His aims, needless to say, were immense. They were exactly at the center of the problem. “All right, ” I said, “why not do something else?”
“Never.” he said.
“Never? Tell me why.”
“The only time I know the truth is when it reveals itself at the point of my pen.”
“The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.” ~Margaret Atwood, from The Blind Assassin
“It is only when you open your veins and bleed onto the page a little that you establish contact with your reader. If you do not believe in the characters or the story you are doing at that moment with all your mind, strength, and will, if you don’t feel joy and excitement while writing it, then you’re wasting good white paper, even if it sells, because there are other ways in which a writer can bring in the rent money besides writing bad or phony stories.” ~Paul Gallico
“One night a friend lent me a book of short stories by Franz Kafka. I went back to the pension where I was staying and began to read The Metamorphosis. The first line almost knocked me off the bed. I was so surprised. The first line reads, “As Gregor Samsa awoke that morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. . . .” When I read the line I thought to myself that I didn’t know anyone was allowed to write things like that. If I had known, I would have started writing a long time ago. So I immediately started writing short stories.” ~Gabriel García Márquez
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” ~George Orwell
“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” ~Madeleine L’Engle
“A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.” ~Stephen King
“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” ~Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing
often it is the only
between you and
no woman’s love,
nothing can save
it keeps the walls
the hordes from
it blasts the
writing is the
god of all the
it knows no
it is the last
“All poets adore explosions, thunderstorms, tornadoes, conflagrations, ruins, scenes of spectacular carnage. The poetic imagination is not at all a desirable quality in a statesman.” ~W.H. Auden
“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.” ~Robert A. Heinlein
great writers are indecent people
they live unfairly
saving the best part for paper.
good human beings save the world
so that bastards like me can keep creating art,
if you read this after I am dead
it means I made it.
~Charles Bukowski, The People Look Like Flowers at Last
“I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.” ~Sylvia Plath
“A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere.” ~Joyce Meyer
“The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” ~Albert Camus
“When you read and understand a poem, comprehending its rich and formal meanings, then you master chaos a little.” ~Stephen Spender
“Ransack the language as he might, words failed him. He wanted another landscape, and another tongue.” ~Virginia Woolf, Orlando
“Words differently arranged have a different meaning, and meanings differently arranged have different effects.” ~Blaise Pascal
“You can make anything by writing.” ~C.S. Lewis
“The word experience is like a shrapnel shell, and bursts into a thousand meanings.” ~George Santayana
“I have become intrigued with the combining of seemingly unrelated ideas or images, or the drawing upon the many, sometimes dissimilar, meanings a word might have.” ~John Barton
“Now between the meanings of words and their sounds there is ordinarily no discoverable relation except one of accident; and it is therefore miraculous, to the mystic, when words which make sense can also make a uniform objective structure of accents and rhymes.” ~John Crowe Ransom
“Hear the meaning within the word” ~Shakespeare
“A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.” ~Ursula K. Le Guin
Be careful of words,
even the miraculous ones.
For the miraculous we do our best,
sometimes they swarm like insects
and leave not a sting but a kiss.
They can be as good as fingers.
They can be as trusty as the rock
you stick your bottom on.
But they can be both daisies and bruises.
Yet I am in love with words.
They are doves falling out of the ceiling.
They are six holy oranges sitting in my lap.
They are the trees, the legs of summer,
and the sun, its passionate face.
Yet often they fail me.
I have so much I want to say,
so many stories, images, proverbs, etc.
But the words aren’t good enough,
the wrong ones kiss me.
Sometimes I fly like an eagle
but with the wings of a wren.
But I try to take care
and be gentle to them.”
~ Anne Sexton
“Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.” ~Alice Walker
“I like to write when I feel spiteful. It is like having a good sneeze.” ~D.H. Lawrence
“We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.” ~Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange
This week’s Writing-Themed playlist includes selections from Eminem, Paul Simon, Tom T. Hall, and more…