Favorite Quotations ~  Writing & Writers, 8 Writing Nonfiction: Turning Thoughts into Books

"Write as if you are dying." ~ Annie Dillard

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My characters talk to one another, and when it reaches a certain pitch of excitement I jump out of bed and run and trap them before they are gone. ~ Ray Bradbury

At its most basic we are discussing a learned skill (writing), but do we not agree that sometimes the most basic skills can create things far beyond our expectations? We are talking about tools and carpentry, about words and style... but as we move along, you'd do well to remember that we are also talking about magic. ~ Stephen King

As a rule, songwriting is painful to me; it's a tabula rasa in which I have to deal with who I am and what I think. ~ Sting

I caution writers all the time to slow down and pay more attention to the work in front of them than to the end result. I don't think you write one book and get anywhere. I think you write five books and then maybe you are finally on the right path. ~ Sue Grafton

I am not quite sure how writing changes things, but I know that it does. It is indirect--like the trails of earthworms aerating the earth. It is not always deliberate--like the tails of glowing dust dragged by comets. ~ Erica Jong

I should write for the mere yearning and fondness I have for the beautiful, even if my night's labors should be burnt every morning and no eye shine upon them. ~ John Keats

I have written every poem, every novel, for the same purpose--to find out what I think, to know where I stand. ~ May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude

If you write something and they all tell you it is bad -- editors, critics, everybody -- think it over and you may become convinced that they are right (though you are not to be ashamed or discouraged for a minute, but keep on writing). ~ Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write

There are significant moments in everyone’s day that can make literature. That’s what you ought to write about. ~ Raymond Carver, On Being a Writer

A problem with a piece of writing often clarifies itself if you go for a long walk. ~ Helen Dunmore, Writer's Book of Days

The work of a writer, his continuing work, depends for breath of life on a certain privacy of heart. ~ Tennessee Williams

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