Got nothing for you today. The holiday weekend drained me. Instead, let’s hear what a few other writers have to say about writing, shall we?



Only bad writers think that their work is really good.
~Anne Enright

Read widely and with discrimination. Bad writing is contagious.
~PD James

Don’t try to anticipate an “ideal reader” – there may be one, but he/she is reading someone else.
~Joyce Carol Oats

Never use the word “then” as a conjunction – we have “and” for this purpose. Substituting “then” is the lazy or tone-deaf writer’s non-solution to the problem of too many “ands” on the page.
~Jonathan Franzen (Uh oh…)

My breakthrough with the first book came through persistence, because a lot of publishers turned it down.
~J.K. Rowling

Pace is crucial. Fine writing isn’t enough. Writing students can be great at producing a single page of well-crafted prose; what they sometimes lack is the ability to take the reader on a journey, with all the changes of terrain, speed and mood that a long journey involves. Again, I find that looking at films can help. Most novels will want to move close, linger, move back, move on, in pretty cinematic ways.
~Sarah Waters

You need a certain amount of nerve to be a writer.
~Margaret Atwood 

Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.
~Mark Twain 

You cannot write for children They’re much too complicated. You can only write books that are of interest to them.
~Maurice Sendak


Steven Pressfield, The War of Art/Stargardener/flickrcc

Steven Pressfield, The War of Art/Stargardener/flickrcc

If you can’t think of what to write, tough luck; write anyway. If you can think of lots more when you’ve finished the three pages, don’t write it; it’ll be that much easier to get going next day.
~Philip Pullman

Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.
~Zadie Smith

I have pretty thick skin, and I think if you’re going to be in this business, if you’re going to be an actor or a writer, you better have a thick skin.
~John Irving 

Very few editors worry about heresy – their goals are much too commercial, thank goodness.
~Chelsea Quinn Yarbro

If you have to read, to cheer yourself up read biographies of writers who went insane.
~Colm Tóibín

Try to leave out the part readers tend to skip.
~Elmore Leonard

The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think.
~Harper Lee 

Louis Pasteur said, ‘Chance favors the prepared mind.’ If you’re really engaged in the writing, you’ll work yourself out of whatever jam you find yourself in.
~Michael Chabon

As far as I’m concerned, the entire reason for becoming a writer is not having to get up in the morning.
~Neil Gaiman



As usual, Neil Gaiman nails it.


Hope to see you all on Wednesday for IWSG!