Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Gotta love a good quote

No hard thinking for me today, if you don't mind. Here's are a couple of quotes from writers, for writers, for writing. You may or may not agree with all of them, some are more for amusement. Take what you like from them. The Gaiman quotes are from his online journal, some foudn through The Quotable Neil. The rest, excluding the Churchill quote, I don't know where I found that, are quoted in John Dufresne's book, The Lie that tells a Truth.

I like quotes. I collect them. Heck, I hoard them. But I'm generous, so here you go:

You have to write if you're going to be a writer. Because Elves won't do the work for you. --Neil Gaiman (plenty more where this came from)

All the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams. --Elias Canetti

If you want to be a writer, write. You may have to get a day job to keep body and soul together (I cheated, and got a writing job, or lots of them, to feed me and pay the rent). If you aren't going to be a writer, then go and be something else. It's not a god-given calling. There's nothing holy or magic about it. It's a craft that mostly involves a lot of work, most of it spent sitting making stuff up and writing it down, and trying to make what you have made up and written down somehow better. --Neil Gaiman

When a writer is born into a family, that family is doomed. --Czeslaw Milosz

The problem with fiction is that it has to be plausible. That's not true with non-fiction. --Tom Wolfe

What is remembered is what becomes reality. --Patricia Hampl

Writer's block is a luxury most people with deadlines don't have. --Diane Ackerman

Inspiration is to work every day. --Charles Baudelaire

Writing like a mad thing. Wishing that time were more, well, rubbery… Everything would be okay if we just had rubberier time. If you could lean against a week so it would have ten or fifteen or thirty days in it. That's all we need. --Neil Gaiman

If you hear a voice within you saying you are no painter, then paint by all means, lad, and that voice will be silenced, but only by working. --Vincent Van Gogh

Habit is the denial of creativity and the negation of freedom; a self-imposed straightjacket of which the wearer is unaware. --Arthur Koestler

All writers, I think, are to one extent or another, damaged people. Writing is our way of repairing ouselves. --J. Anthony LukasWhen I'm not working I sometimes think I know something but when I'm working, it is quite clear I know nothing. --John Cage

Any artist must expect to work amid the total, rational indifference of everybody else to their work. --Ursula K. Le Guin

It does help, to be a writer, to have the sort of crazed ego that doesn't allow for failure. The best reaction to a rejection slip is a sort of wild-eyed madness, an evil grin, and sitting yourself in front of the keyboard muttering "Okay, you bastards. Try rejecting this!" and then writing something so unbelievably brilliant that all other writers will disembowel themselves with their pens upon reading it, because there's nothing left to write. Because the rejection slips will arrive. And, if the books are published, then you can pretty much guarantee that bad reviews will be as well. And you'll need to learn how to shrug and keep going. Or you stop, and get a real job. --Neil Gaiman

‘You're a writer? I've got an idea for a book you can write.’ This is right up there with ‘If you all just hand over your wallets nobody's going to get hurt. Except for any writers amongst you. We really hate writers,’ on the list of things writers generally hope not to hear. --Neil Gaiman

(Writing American Gods) was a bit like wrestling a bear. Some days I was on top. Most days, the bear was on top. --Neil Gaiman

Lacking bear pepper-spray, I walked home across the garden last night singing very loud bear songs, which went something along the lines of, "Lalala, I am singing very loudly to alert the bear to my presence, Lalala because most of the websites I've found talk about making noise and giving bears lots of time to get away, Lalala also I do not want to startle a bear at all because according to everything I've read on the subject bears do not like being startled." You don't have to worry about rhymes with bears. They don't mind about rhymes. Or tunes. Or scansion. Frankly, hypothetical bears are a very easy sort of audience. --Neil Gaiman

Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public. --Winston Churchill

Big Deadline is still a thing of madness. The other two little deadlines at its feet chivvy and squeak and grunt and bare their sharp little teeth. Several smaller deadlines howl impatiently from the bushes outside.Argh. --Neil Gaiman

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