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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.
A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends.
Comedy can be, especially in a writer's room, really aggressive, kind of a very male-dominated room, and it would be hard for women. It's not a nurturing place. It's not like a lot of women are going to say, I can't wait to live that lifestyle and be in a writer's room until 2 or 3 a.m.
The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His problem is to find that location.
Journalist: a person without any ideas but with an ability to express them; a writer whose skill is improved by a deadline: the more time he has, the worse he writes.
I think a writer's job is to provoke questions. I like to think that if someone's read a book of mine, they've had - I don't know what - the literary equivalent of a shower. Something that would start them thinking in a slightly different way, perhaps. That's what I think writers are for.
Not having any real direction, one writer would lead me to another.
The writer's secret is not inspiration - for it is never clear where it comes from - it is his stubbornness, his patience.
I don't mind expressing my opinions and speaking out against injustice. I would be doing this even if I wasn't a writer. I grew up in a household that believed in social justice. I have always understood myself as having an obligation to stand on the side of the silenced, the oppressed, and the mistreated.
There is no secret to success except hard work and getting something indefinable which we call 'the breaks.' In order for a writer to succeed, I suggest three things - read and write - and wait.
I wanted to be a soccer player, and I became the best of the best, the number one, better than Maradona, better than Pele, and even better than Messi - but only at night, nighttime, during my dreams. When I wake up, I realized that I have wooden legs and that I'm doomed to be a writer.
In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicable.
Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?
There is something really horrific for any human being who feels he is being consumed by other people. I'm talking about a writer's critics, who don't address what you've written, but want to probe into your existence and magnify the trivia of your life without any sense of humor, without any sense of context.
The writer probably knows what he meant when he wrote a book, but he should immediately forget what he meant when he's written it.
There are events which are so great that if a writer has participated in them his obligation is to write truly rather than assume the presumption of altering them with invention.
A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist.
Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.
Storytelling is ultimately a creative act of pattern recognition. Through characters, plot and setting, a writer creates places where previously invisible truths become visible. Or the storyteller posits a series of dots that the reader can connect.
Art, whatever form it takes, requires hard work, craftsmanship and creativity. As a writer, I know my grammar, cadence, the music of prose, and the art of the narrative.
F. Sionil Jose
I am not a consecutive writer.
Style is that which indicates how the writer takes himself and what he is saying. It is the mind skating circles around itself as it moves forward.
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.
The great advantage of being a writer is that you can spy on people. You're there, listening to every word, but part of you is observing. Everything is useful to a writer, you see - every scrap, even the longest and most boring of luncheon parties.
I always tell people that I became a writer not because I went to school but because my mother took me to the library. I wanted to become a writer so I could see my name in the card catalog.
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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