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How to Write - Quotes by Famous Writers and Poets

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How To Write
Quotes by Famous Writers and Poets

"Now and again thousands of memories
converge, harmonize,
arrange themselves around a central idea
in a coherent form,
and I write a story."

Katherine Anne Porter

I was fretting too much over that opening sentence.
I worked on it scrupulously,
thinking that if I could only get the first sentense right,
the rest of the book would come easy.
That was a big mistake.

Weeks went by with my staring at blank paper
and getting nowhere.

One day I decided to just start writing
in the style of the Dick and Jane first grade readers.
Simple little words,
without bothering about style or polish -
just to get the story on paper.

I started writing,
"There is a little town on a hill called Santa Vittoria.
It is in Italy. The people in the town
grow grapes and make wine.
One day, not too long ago..."
and so on. It worked fine.

Soon I was writing like mad all day long.
The pages began to pile up and I felt better.

Robert Crichton

It is worth mentioning, for future reference,
that the creative power
which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book
quiets down after a time,
and one goes on more steadily.
Doubts creep in.

Then one becomes resigned.
Determination not to give in,
and the sense of an impending shape
keep one at it more than anything.

Virginia Woolf

"The act of writing
bears something in common
with the act of love.

The writer,
at this most productive moment,
just flows.

He gives of that which is uniquely himself,
he makes himself naked.
Recording his nakedness in the written word.

Herein lies some of the terror
which frequently
freezes a writer.

"Sidney M. Jourard

"I use the same approach on all works, whether poetry or prose: I tacitly assume that the first fifty ways
I try it are going to be wrong..."

" utilizo el mismo enfoque en todos los trabajos, sea poesía o prosa: Asumo tácito que las primeras cincuenta maneras seran incorrectas..."

James Dickey

You will write
if you will write without thinking of the result
in terms of a result,
but think of the writing in terms of discovery,
which is to say that creation must take place
between the pen and the paper,
not before in a thought or afterwards in a recasting...

It will come if it is there and if you will let it come."

Gertrude Stein

"This will only happen
after you've been writing and failing
for a good long time.
Then you develop a kind of critical sense
about what you write.

You can tell when something is good,
but it would be just as good
in somebodys work too.

You want to hold out for those things
only you could say."

James Dickey

"Once when I was working i
n a creativity worship in Iowa,
an older woman wanted desperately to write poetry
about her youth in rural corn country.

I asked her what she used to do
that she would like to write about.
Among her answers was "husking corn".

I told her to wait and I dashed out
and bought a half dozen ears of corn in a supermarket.

When I returned I had her sit as she used to
and encouraged her to visualize the setting.
With her eyes closed, and sitting as she remembered,
I had her husk corn.

In less than ten minutes she produced her first poem.
Within an hour she had written nearly a dozen.

Bob Samples

On Being a Poet

Quotes on the Courage to Create

Famous Writers Quotes

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