Sunday, February 13, 2005

On Writing: Quotes

~ At times writing is a draining of the soul, but once drained, the lowly brain is employed to stand in. This is such a time, wherein I can only pontificate with the words of others. While pondering over a growing list of possible subject matter to put on display in this forum, I was drawn to a book upon the shelf above me. The book, Barnes & Noble Book of Quotations, is a reference I have used from time to time. Out of curiosity, I turned to the section featuring quotes regarding writing. What follows is a smattering of some of them, lead off by one I made up on the fly.
  1. Writing is sometimes quoting writers, while quoting writers is not writing. - the Pointmeister
  2. It has been said that writing comes more easily if you have something to say. - Sholem Asch
  3. Get black on white. - Guy de Maupassant
  4. A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of answers. - Karl Kraus
  5. There is but one art, to omit. - Robert Louis Stevenson
  6. Your manuscript is both good and original; but the parts that are good are not original, and the parts that are original are not good. - Samuel Johnson
  7. The waste basket is a writer's best friend. - Isaac Bashevis Singer
  8. How can I know what I am thinking till I see what I say? - E.M. Forster
  9. I think with my right hand. - Edmund Wilson
  10. When I am dead, I hope it may be said: 'His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.' - Hilare Belloc
  11. You have to throw yourself away when you write. - Marshall Perkins
  12. I have only made this letter rather long because I have not had the time to make it shorter. - Blaise Pascal
  13. Publication is a self-invasion of privacy. - Maxwell McLuhan
  14. Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
  15. (Writing) - the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair. - Mary Heaton Vorse

~ Here is my personal favorite of the lot.

16. The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in shockproof shit detector. This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it. - Ernest Hemingway

~No. 30

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