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Human nature is not amenable to prediction based on the trends or tendencies prevailing at the time. It is amenable to startling creativity of the kind practiced by great artists, directors, writers, musicians, actors, who know how to touch a chord in humans everywhere.
The writer isn't made in a vacuum. Writers are witnesses. The reason we need writers is because we need witnesses to this terrifying century.
E. L. Doctorow
Reading and writing, like everything else, improve with practice. And, of course, if there are no young readers and writers, there will shortly be no older ones. Literacy will be dead, and democracy - which many believe goes hand in hand with it - will be dead as well.
Writers may be disreputable, incorrigible, early to decay or late to bloom but they dare to go it alone.
Originality is nothing but judicious imitation. The most original writers borrowed one from another.
When I was 17, I worked in a mentoring program in Harlem designed to improve the community. That's when I first gained an appreciation of the Harlem Renaissance, a time when African-Americans rose to prominence in American culture. For the first time, they were taken seriously as artists, musicians, writers, athletes, and as political thinkers.
As for what's the most challenging aspect of teaching, it's convincing younger writers of the importance of reading widely and passionately.
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!
It is unfortunate that so much of the history of Africa has been written by conquerors, foreigners, missionaries and adventurers. The Egyptians left the best record of their history written by local writers.
John Henrik Clarke
I look for strong people. I don't like people who'll say yes to everything I might bring up. I want people who can argue and disagree and have a point of view that's reflected in the magazine. My dad believed in the cult of personality. He brought great writers and columnists to 'The Standard.'
Since the founding of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other mainstays of what technology writers have come to call 'the social Web' or 'Web 2.0,' a sizable portion of humanity has learned to be together while apart, sacrificing intimacy for control and spontaneity for predictability.
The nation that complacently and fearfully allows its artists and writers to become suspected rather than respected is no longer regarded as a nation possessed with humor or depth.
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.
It's funny. People often compare me to other humor essayists. They're usually quite nice comparisons; I will accept those gladly. But I am always sort of appalled at the idea of being lumped with other, more chick-y female writers. And the truth is probably that neither comparison is accurate.
Some writers like to boil down headlines of liberal newspapers into fiction, so they say there shouldn't be communal riots, everybody should love each other, there shouldn't be boundaries or fundamentalism. But I think literature is more than that; these are political views which most of us hold anyway.
Everywhere I go, I'm asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a best seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
I don't think I'm morbid by nature. Serious writers have always written about serious subjects. Lighthearted material doesn't appeal to me, and I don't read it. I think I'm a realist, with a realistic sensibility of history and the tragedy of history.
Joyce Carol Oates
For short term relaxation, I take a hot tub. It's my best way to unblock writers' block, too. For a bit longer relaxation, I enjoy camping. Just being in the wilderness, with no phones or computers or anything I have to do really refreshes my spirit.
From my close observation of writers... they fall into two groups: 1) those who bleed copiously and visibly at any bad review, and 2) those who bleed copiously and secretly at any bad review.
I do have a lot of time for people in my life, and friendship is a very important subject for me. I think I'm unusual among the writers I know in that respect.
We Negro writers, just by being black, have been on the blacklist all our lives. Censorship for us begins at the color line.
Why would a lazy guy become a parent of five? Then again, why would creative people who inherently don't like change and criticism become writers, actors, or comedians? There's something about this process. I joke about it: My kids have made me a better person, and I only need, like, 34 more of them to be a really good guy.
In truth, even if they have an imperfect insight into their own methods, I still slightly mistrust writers of fiction who are assured literary critics; it makes me suspect that they favour the word over the world it should describe. Such scribes fall victim too easily to the solecism of equating style with morality.
I was a pretty good fighter. But it was the writers who made me great.
I think I draw most inspiration from writers like Richelle Mead and filmmakers like John Hughes. They both really understand the experience of being a teenager and how insistent and intense everything feels, but they're also smart, savvy, and fun.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
John F. Kennedy
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