My friend Jack and I were on the phone a few days ago talking, as we
usually do, about each other's columns. He writes an OP-ED for a newspaper.
He said in a half-joking manner, "Why don't you point out other people's
wisdom, rather than your own?"
Jack laughed in a booming crackle "Pomerantz, you are one of the smartest
guys I know. However, once in a awhile, you need to do a column about
He still laughed, "Why don't you just share other people's wisdom on
writing in your writing column this month? You know, let someone else share
their insights instead of you."
Then he said, a minute after I received his IM, "You don't have to thank
I said " OKAY, I won't." We started to laugh in unison. However, I will
give credit where credit is due. Thanks Jack for the great idea !
Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the
hidden auditorium of his skull.
~ Rod Serling (Creator of the Twilight Zone)
Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're
~ Ray Bradbury
Most beginning writers - and I was the same - are like chefs
trying to cook great dishes that they've never tasted themselves. How
can you make a great - or even an adequate - bouillabaisse if you've
never had any? If you don't really understand why people read mysteries
- or romances or literary novels or thrillers or whatever - then there's
no way in the world you're going to write one that anyone wants to
publish. This is the meaning of the well-known expression "Write what
~ Daniel Quinn
Writing is a lot like sex. At first you do it because you like it.
Then you find yourself doing it for a few close friends and people you
like. But if you're any good at all...you end up doing it for money.
~ Unknown (some credit Joe Eszterhas, screen writer of Showgirls &
The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every
time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would
never do anything.
~ John Irving (The World According to Garp)
Fiction writers, present company included, don't understand very
much about what they do - not why it works when it's good, not why it
doesn't when it's bad.
~ Stephen King
My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the
best and simplest way.
~ Ernest Hemingway
People on the outside think there's
something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight
and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it
isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and
that's all there is to it.
~ Eight Time Hugo winner Harlan Ellison
If you are pointing out one of the things a story is about, then
you are very probably right; if you are pointing out the only thing a
story is about you are very probably wrong - even if you're the author.
~ Neil Gaiman (author of American Gods, Stardust and the Sandman Graphic
When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, a
sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then
gradually, I write one page and then another. One day's works is all I
can permit myself to contemplate.
~ John Steinbeck
I don't think it is possible to give tips for finding one's voice;
it's one of those things for which there aren't really any tricks or
shortcuts, or even any advice that necessarily translates from writer to
writer. All I can tell you is to write as much as possible.
~ Poppy Z. Brite
Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a
letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry.
Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the
muscles seize up.
~ Jane Yolen
I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.
~ E. B. White (Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web)
Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones,
in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.
~ Tom Stoppard
To be a writer is to sit down at one's desk in the chill portion
of every day, and to write; not waiting for the little jet of the blue
flame of genius to start from the breastbone - just plain going at it,
in pain and delight. To be a writer is to throw away a great deal, not
to be satisfied, to type again, and then again, and once more, and over
~ John Hersey
Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do
we see people living, or for that matter, creating by them. Yet if I
were asked to name the most important items in a writer's make-up, the
things that shape his material and rush him along the road to where he
wants to go, I could only warn him to look to his zest, see to his
~ Ray Bradbury
If you're going to be a writer, the first essential is just to
write. Do not wait for an idea. Start writing something and the ideas
will come. You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to
~ Noted Western writer Louis L'Amour
And when you win an award, say this....He (her husband) didn't
write the book, I did... So I don't need to thank him!
~ Nora Roberts on winning the Quill Award for The Book of the Year 2007
Reach for the STARS!
~ Bennet Pomerantz (Okay, I was trying it out!)