Friday, September 14, 2007

Writers on Writing


Photo: George Orwell
'Outside of a dog, a man's best friend is a book. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.'
Groucho Marx

'The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.'
John Steinbeck

'Most people won't realise that writing is a craft. You have to take your apprenticeship in it like anything else.'
Katherine Ann Porter

'Writers don't need love; all they require is money.'
John Osborne

'Reading groups, readings, breakdowns of book sales all tell the same story: when women stop reading, the novel will be dead.'
Ian McEwan

'All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.'
George Orwell

15 comments:

Nancy P said...

A writer with a gun. The very definition of a bad idea.

G'morning! No guns here. It's going to be a very booky day, hence the quotes. A luncheon at the downtown KC library with a group of those book-readin' women, then a party to celebrate the 20th anniversary (and new owners) of The Raven Bookstore in Lawrence, Ks.

I have a chunk of my book due today. Hmmm.

Nancy P said...

Oh, and may we just say, "Speak for yourself, George!" lol! I definitely agree with the last part of his quote though. "A long illness" perfectly describes it sometimes. New writers should ignore this comment!

Beth said...

Enjoy your bookish day, Nancy - it sounds wonderful!

Funny how most of the quotes you read about writing are dire, full of warnings and musings about the sanity of writers...

Not scared off yet -

And good luck with your chunk.

Nancy P said...

I know! Never EVER listen to an old writer who's in the middle of writing a novel. "Dire" is our middle name.

Nancy P said...

Beth, that's a really pretty photo on your blog today.

Beth said...

"Old" writer?!? How about experienced...seasoned...veteran...successful... :-)

Thank you! It's one of my favorites. I had the setting on the camera wrong, which gave the white parts an ethereal quality. Sometimes good things come out of mistakes!

Kelly McCullough said...

That does make it sound awfully dire. I'm more of, "shh don't tell the world I get paid fer plain' make believe, it's a sekrit" kind writer myself.

Nancy P said...

Lol, Beth. Some days it's "seasoned," some days it's "old."

You have the right attitude, Kelly! Of course, you are young, grasshopper. (Snicker)Seriously, that's a great attitude.

GreenMinute said...

I'd like to quote Meville. But, well you know, he didn't say anything I remember. So I'll add to Nancy's line of quotes just this:

The true motive for the creation of all fiction is the author trying to say: I once knew love.

Beth said...

Oooh, interesting, green. Have to consider that one for a while. You always make me think...

Not that others don't, but green always does... :-)

FARfetched said...

I liked Isaac Asimov's comment about writing: "people see writers leaning back with their eyes closed as a sign of feckless sloth, just because we snore a little in the process."

Mrs. Fetched saw a quote that she said explained a lot about me: "When a writer is staring out a window, he's working."

katiebird said...

The Raven Bookstore has been around 20 years? I remember the grand opening! (And I'm still on their mailing list)

FAR - "When a writer is staring out a window, he's working."

I think this is true for computer programmers too.

Nancy P said...

Melville, lol, green. That's like (in a far distant way), when people say to me, "I've never heard of you. What name do you write under?"

"J.K. Rowling," sez I.

FARfetched said...

JK Rowling? *splorf* lololol

KB, sure computer programmers too. Why not? But then again, they may just as well be coming up with ways to torture the tech writers.

boran2 said...

That's a great collection of quotes, Nanacy. (Groucho is one of my favorites.)