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For a country to have a great writer is like having a second government. That is why no regime has ever loved great writers, only minor ones.
You have to work hard to get to the top of your game. I think every writer has doubts! I still do all the time.
The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.
And as a writer, one of the things that I've always been interested in doing is actually invading your comfort space. Because that's what we're supposed to do. Get under your skin, and make you react.
Whether you are a writer or an actor or a stage manager, you are trying to express the complications of life through a shared enterprise. That's what theatre was, always. And live performance shares that with an audience in a specific compact: the play is unfinished unless it has an audience, and they are as important as everyone else.
It's part of a writer's profession, as it's part of a spy's profession, to prey on the community to which he's attached, to take away information - often in secret - and to translate that into intelligence for his masters, whether it's his readership or his spy masters. And I think that both professions are perhaps rather lonely.
John le Carre
A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.
The goal, I suppose, any fiction writer has, no matter what your subject, is to hit the human heart and the tear ducts and the nape of the neck and to make a person feel something about the characters are going through and to experience the moral paradoxes and struggles of being human.
One of the things you do as a writer and as a filmmaker is grasp for resonant symbols and imagery without necessarily fully understanding it yourself.
We like to think about how smart we are. But I think talent as a writer is hard-wired in, it's all there, at least the basic elements of it. You can't change it any more than you can choose whether to be right handed or left handed.
Humor has to surprise us; otherwise, it isn't funny. It's a death knell for a writer to be labeled a humorist because then it's not a surprise anymore.
I grew up with another pretty darn good writer: Glenn Frey of the Eagles. We were very good friends, and we kind of studied it together.
Writing is a very strenuous thing - it's like banging your head against a wall. At the end of the day, acting is better, just because nobody ever asked me if I wanted a Pellegrino in the writer's room.
I always considered myself a minor writer. My province is small, and I try to explore it very, very thoroughly.
For a true writer, each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.
I learned that the only way you are going to get anywhere in life is to work hard at it. Whether you're a musician, a writer, an athlete or a businessman, there is no getting around it. If you do, you'll win - if you don't, you won't.
Of course, there are those critics - New York critics as a rule - who say, 'Well, Maya Angelou has a new book out and of course it's good but then she's a natural writer.' Those are the ones I want to grab by the throat and wrestle to the floor because it takes me forever to get it to sing. I work at the language.
The most difficult thing about living as a writer is precisely 'having to write.' Pretending to be a writer is easy. Living freely, reading many books, going on frequent trips, cultivating minor eccentricities... but genuinely being a writer is difficult, because you have to write something that will convince both yourself and readers.
I don't know about other writers, but for myself, to write I must be relatively quiet - it's very difficult to write with the telephone and the doorbell ringing and conversation going on; I'm not that good a writer to write through all that!
Most people dream a dream when they are asleep. But to be a writer, you have to dream while you are awake, intentionally. So I get up early in the morning, 4 o'clock, and I sit at my desk and what I do is just dream. After three or four hours, that's enough. In the afternoon, I run. The next day, the dream will continue.
When I started writing, I did have some idealised notion of my dad as a writer. But I have less and less of a literary rivalry with him as I've gone on. I certainly don't feel I need his approval, although maybe that's because I'm confident that I've got it.
Above all, a query letter is a sales pitch and it is the single most important page an unpublished writer will ever write. It's the first impression and will either open the door or close it. It's that important, so don't mess it up. Mine took 17 drafts and two weeks to write.
I think to be writer you have to enjoy being alone. I was a loner as a teenager and was always drawn to characters in books and films who were at the fringes.
My parents are both really, really funny, and my little sister is a really good painter, and my other sister is a really good writer.
I've never minded solitude. For a writer, it's a natural condition. But caring for a dementia sufferer leads to a peculiar kind of loneliness.
C. S. Lewis
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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