Surely there are potentially brilliant artists out there who have thought about painting, maybe even taken classes and studied art history, form, and color, but until they put brush to canvas and expressed what’s inside them, they are not artists. The same is true of writers. Writers write. Heart, mind, and soul to pen, pen to paper. That is how to be a writer.
If you want to write, you can.
Fear stops most people from writing,
not lack of talent, whatever that is.
Who am I?
What right have I to speak?
Who will listen to me if I do?
You’re a human being,
with a unique story to tell,
and you have every right.
If you speak with passion,
many of us will listen.
We need stories to live, all of us.
We live by story.
Yours enlarges the circle.
Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.
One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper patterns at the right moment.
If a publisher declines your manuscript, remember it is merely the decision of one fallible human being, and try another.
~ Sir Stanley Unwin
Touch the true voice of feeling and it will create its own style and vocabulary.
Write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you! Edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
You just have to go on when it is worst and most helpless. There is only one thing to do with a novel and that is go straight on through to the end of the damn thing.
The more you read, the less apt you are to make a fool of yourself with your pen or word processor.
Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.
~F. Scott Fitzgerald
All through my career I’ve written 1,000 words a day – even if I’ve got a hangover. You’ve got to discipline yourself if you’re professional. There’s no other way.
Your work needn’t be modelled after the already successful; rather, it must be well made within the principles that shape our art. Anxious, inexperienced writers obey the rules. Rebellious, unschooled writers break rules. Artists master the form.
Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself.
What is a writer? Someone who writes. Planning to write is not writing. Researching is not writing. Talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.
~E L Doctorow
Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential.
Writing comes more easily if you have something to say.
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.
Bum glue – glue your bum to a chair and keep going, and never give up. Writing is about time spent with words until eventually they become your friends and begin to co-operate with your gifted storyteller’s mind. Writing is about time and practice.
Write only what you alone can write.
Find a subject you care about and which in your heart you feel others should care about. It is the genuine caring, and not your games with language, that will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.
Tell all the truth ~ but tell it slant.
A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.
~Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style
Have compassion for yourself when you write. There is no failure – just a big field to wander in.
You must keep sending work out. You must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success but only if you persist.
A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.
It’s like Scott in the Antarctic. You simply keep walking. Don’t look at the horizon — look at your feet. Just keep walking.
Words need to be crafted, not sprayed. They need to be fitted together with infinite care.
What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.
Writing only truly becomes writing in revision.
No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.
If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.
We of the craft are all crazy.
GO OUT and MAKE IT
A WEEK WORTH WRITING ABOUT.
.All images Copyright © 2013 VR Barkowski. All rights reserved.