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One of the greatest things about writing as a profession is that the words of Tolstoy, Chesterton and Dostoyevsky have lived for a hundred years and are just as powerful today. Their words have changed me just as much as the people I actually met.
One of the big breakthroughs, I think for me, was reading Robert A. Heinlein's four rules of writing, one of which was, 'You must finish what you write.' I never had any problem with the first one, 'You must write' - I was writing since I was a kid. But I never finished what writing.
George R. R. Martin
Self-knowledge is essential not only to writing, but to doing almost anything really well. It allows you to work through from a deep place - from the deep, dark corners of your subconscious mind.
Writing is about culture and should be about everything. That's what makes it what it is.
As an American man of the 1990s writing about a Japanese woman of the 1930s, I needed to cross three cultural divides - man to woman, American to Japanese, and present to past.
I usually start writing a novel that I then abandon. When I say abandon, I don't think any writer ever abandons anything that they regard as even a half-good sentence. So you recycle. I mean, I can hang on to a sentence for several years and then put it into a book that's completely different from the one it started in.
Putting words on paper regularly is part of the necessary discipline of writing. A journal is a great way to do that.
And I've always loved commercials. I like working out how to organically weave a brand's message into the writing process. It's like an improv show, where comics ask the audience to throw out a word and a skit is built around it.
I picked up the guitar at 11, but even before then, I was writing songs on the organ.
Any doctor will admit that any drug can have side effects, and that writing a prescription involves weighing the potential benefits against the risks.
Diplomacy in a sense is the opposite of writing. You have to disperse yourself so much: the lady who comes in crying because she's had a fight with the secretary; exports and imports; students in trouble; thumbtacks for the embassy.
Writing songs out of my faith was a real natural progression. I grew up singing in my dad's choir and singing with my family. Christian music became the music that I identified myself with and was a way that I expressed my faith. Even at a public school I would take my Christian music in and play it for my friends.
Steven Curtis Chapman
There are 30,000 days in your life. When I was 24, I realized I'm almost 9,000 days down. There are no warm-ups, no practice rounds, no reset buttons. Your biggest risk isn't failing, it's getting too comfortable. Every day, we're writing a few more words of a story. I wanted my story to be an adventure and that's made all the difference.
Writing for children is an art in itself, and a most interesting one.
For years, there was no man in the house when my husband was off on law cases in the Far East. Without writing, I would have been bored and unfaithful, maybe both, and the children would have been hideously over-protected.
Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.
Robert A. Heinlein
The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary.
J. K. Rowling
If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.
I pretty much drink a cup of coffee, write in my journal for a while, and then sit at a computer in my office and torture the keys. My one saving grace as a writer is that, if I'm having trouble with the novel I'm writing, I write something else, a poem or a short story. I try to avoid writer's block by always writing something.
The moment a man sets his thoughts down on paper, however secretly, he is in a sense writing for publication.
Most critical writing is drivel and half of it is dishonest. It is a short cut to oblivion, anyway. Thinking in terms of ideas destroys the power to think in terms of emotions and sensations.
There's a gap somehow between empathy and activism. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of 'soul force' - something that emanates from a deep truth inside of us and empowers us to act. Once you identify your inner genius, you will be able to take action, whether it's writing a check or digging a well.
Sue Monk Kidd
I come to writing the same way I come to teaching, which is that my goal is always to create life-long readers.
Writing is self employment, so you can make your own schedule.
I like and I love everything that has to do with cinema: writing, directing, editing, creating music, and even acting.
C. S. Lewis
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