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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.
The fact that I am a writer comes from the experience of being cut away from my roots and living in Venezuela, where I couldn't find a place for myself, for years and years.
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.
You feel a little weird, as a writer of scripted television for many years, to say you're a fan of reality TV. You feel like a traitor. But I am a total fan.
Any writer overwhelmingly honest about pleasing himself is almost sure to please others.
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.
A writer of fiction is really... a congenital liar who invents from his own knowledge or that of other men.
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.
It was very lucky for me as a writer that I studied the physical sciences rather than English. I wrote for my own amusement. There was no kindly English professor to tell me for my own good how awful my writing really was. And there was no professor with the power to order me what to read, either.
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.
Good evening, ladies and gentleman. My name is Orson Welles. I am an actor. I am a writer. I am a producer. I am a director. I am a magician. I appear onstage and on the radio. Why are there so many of me and so few of you?
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
At the beginning of my career as a writer, I felt I knew nothing of Chinese culture. I was writing about emotional confusion with my mother related to our different beliefs. Hers was based in family history, which I didn't know anything about. I always felt hesitant in talking about Chinese culture and American culture.
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.
My dad is a great writer. Naturally talented, naturally charming. He embodies that back-in-the-day cool.
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.
The reserve of modern assertions is sometimes pushed to extremes, in which the fear of being contradicted leads the writer to strip himself of almost all sense and meaning.
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.
As a child, I wanted only two things - to be left alone to read my library books, and to get away from my provincial hometown and go to London to be a writer. And I always knew that when I got there, I wanted to make loads of money.
Being a twin, and being my sister's twin, is such a defining part of my life that I wouldn't know how to be who I am, including a writer, without that being somehow at the centre.
The writer must earn money in order to be able to live and to write, but he must by no means live and write for the purpose of making money.
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.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Image of the Moment
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
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