Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ten Writing Advice Quotes


Ten of my favourite quotes on how to be a writer:


A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.
- Richard Bach


Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, social networking, talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.
- E. L. Doctorow (with apologies; I added the bit about social networking)


Try to leave out all the parts readers skip.
- Elmore Leonard


If you’re going to make a living at this business - more importantly, if you’re going to write anything that will last - you have to realise that a lot of the time, you’re going to be writing without inspiration. The trick is to write just as well without it as with. Of course, you write less readily and fluently without it; but . . . amateurs think that if they were inspired all the time, they could be professionals. Professional know that if they relied on inspiration, they’d be amateurs.
- Philip Pullman


Never give up. Just absolutely never give up.
- Shane Warne. He was talking about cricket but the principle applies...


Write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.
- Neil Gaiman


Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.
- Stephen King


Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
- Anton Checkhov


Writing is mostly rewriting.
- don't know who said this; probably lots of people


You fail only if you stop writing.
- Ray Bradbury





There were obviously many more I could have added. Do you have any favourites of your own to share?

21 comments:

  1. The Richard Bach and Elmore Leonard ones grabbed me.

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  2. These are great, Simon. Very inspiring and Persperistent! I've come across a few I like in addition to these.

    "When you can't create, you can work." Henry Miller (The Pullman quote is more entertaining lol)

    "Remember when people tell you something's wrong or doesn't work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong." - Neil Gaiman (an important point)

    "Quantity produces quality. If you write only a few things, you're doomed." - Ray Bradbury

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    1. I think we've each seen that last one play out through our years of W1S1!

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  3. Excellent quotes. I agree with them all.

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    1. Glad you found them useful, Patsy.

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  4. Great stuff, Simon. My personal favorite is from Galaxy Quest: "Never give up, never surrender!"

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    1. Yep, that about sums it all up nicely.

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  5. Tried to pick a favourite quote from the list but couldn't as they're all so good. I have the same trouble with picking favourite authors, or flavours of Ben & Jerry's too.

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    1. Best to have them all I always think ;-)

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  6. These are all great! The Elmore Leonard quote is new to me and it particularly struck me as being worth keeping in mind. I've always been partial to Ezra Pound's simple suggestion to "make it new".

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    1. It's hard to keep them in mind while actually writing, but, yes, the Leonard one sticks with me, too.

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  7. Laura Mollett/Sagana2/06/2013

    If you don't mind a comment from someone not doing w1s1 right now (hey I'm procrastinating editing my nano novel)...

    these two (in video/comic forms) are my current favorite writing quotes:

    http://zenpencils.com/comic/50-neil-gaiman-make-good-art/
    http://vimeo.com/24715531

    I think particularly the Ira Glass quote (the 2nd link) is where I have issues - it's not inspiration. I've got lots of ideas. I just get discouraged trying to figure out how to make them work... and then don't work.

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    1. Great to have you here! I shall go and watch those videos - thanks.

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  8. Fab quotes. No one should ever give up especially when the muse is sleeping. I say keep on keeping. There will always be characters who sometimes give you trouble because they are complex and secretive....and then cowabonga you hit their nerve with a stroke of a key and they come bursting forth. Happens every time. Even if it takes days, weeks, and even months.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

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  9. Thank you for the great Friday quotes! I find it interesting that I LOVE these quotes now, but I probably wouldn't have picked them as my favorites twenty years ago. :) Back then I thought it was all about passion and inspiration. LOL!

    Charity shared a really inspiring blog post written by Sean D’Souza. I think it goes along with what these quotes are saying. Check it out: http://baneofyourresistance.com/2013/02/07/is-your-writing-stuck-because-your-brain-has-plateaued/

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    1. Thanks for that; I shall check it out!

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  10. Absolutely needed; thanks!

    How does the saying go? It's 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. My light bulb just clicked on this year and said, "Hey, honey, this is _work_ you're doing." Which makes the Rs a bit easier to swallow and the publications/acceptances that much sweeter.

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    1. You're absolutely right. Nothing wrong with being an occasional dabbler, of course, but if you want to get anyway you need to work at it.

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  11. I love Stephen King's 'the rest of us just go to work' but all are great. Never stop.

    My sculpture professor asked how many of us were going to continue after we received our BFA. All hands went up. He said that 50% quit making art after one year and only 10% were still making any kind of art after two years. He didn't say what the percentage was after 25 years but I know it's low. So never stop, you can only get better.

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    1. Interesting. I'm sure we all have times when we feel like jacking it in but, yes, as you say, you can only get better...

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