by Ryan Johnson
If you can’t annoy somebody, there’s little point in writing.
Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.
T S Eliot
The waste basket is the writer’s best friend.
Novelists… fashioning nets to sustain and support the reader as he falls helplessly through the chaos of his own existence.
One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper pattern at the right moment.
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
William Somerset Maugham
Here I am paying big money to you writers and what for? All you do is change the words.
Writers are always selling somebody out.
What would there be in a story of happiness? Only what prepares it, only what destroys it can be told.
To be able to write a play a man must be sensitive, imaginative, naive, gullible, passionate; he must be something of an imbecile, something of a poet, something of a liar, something of a damn fool.
Robert E. Sherwood
Writing is the incurable itch that possesses many.
True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, as those who move easiest have learned to dance.
If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.
Say all you have to say in the fewest possible words, or your reader will be sure to skip them; and in the plainest possible words or he will certainly misunderstand them.
Publication – is the auction of the Mind of Man.
Solitude and quiet are highly desirable, but the lack of them is no barrier to writing…The will to work builds all the seclusion that one needs.
I believe some people are just too damn smart to write fiction.
Every word born of an inner necessity – writing must never be anything else.
That’s not writing, that’s typing.
(on Jack Kerouac)
One should never write down or up to people, but out of yourself.
Keep a diary and one day it’ll keep you.
Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies.
It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.
If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.
Any fool can write a novel but it takes real genius to sell it.
J G Ballard
Writing is learning to say nothing, more cleverly every day.
For me, poetry is an evasion of the real job of writing prose.
Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will.
Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.
E L Doctorow
I do not like to write – I like to have written.
Every writer I know has trouble writing.
Books want to be born: I never make them. They come to me and insist on being written, and on being such and such.
I’m like a big old hen. I can’t cluck too long about the egg I’ve just laid because I’ve got five more inside me pushing to get out.
The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn’t require any.
I have always noticed that in portraits of really great writers the mouth is always firmly closed.
Every great and original writer, in proportion as he is great and original, must himself create the taste by which he is to be relished.
Every writer is a narcissist. This does not mean that he is vain; it only means that he is hopelessly self-absorbed.
Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.
Rainer Maria Rilke
Every great writer is a writer of history, let him treat on almost any subject he may.
Walter Savage Landor
I asked Ring Lardner the other day how he writes his short stories, and he said he wrote a few widely separated words or phrases on a piece of paper and then went back and filled in the spaces.
When we see a natural style we are quite amazed and delighted, because we expected to see an author and find a man.
Manuscript: something submitted in haste and returned at leisure.
I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.
Peter De Vries
Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.
You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.
F Scott Fitzgerald
If you want to get rich from writing, write the sort of thing that’s read by persons who move their lips when they’re reading to themselves.
Style and Structure are the essence of a book; great ideas are hogwash.
There are three reasons for becoming a writer: the first is that you need the money; the second that you have something to say that you think the world should know; the third is that you can’t think what to do with the long winter evenings.
Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.
The first draft of everything is shit