Inspiration From My Peers

Being mid-way through editing my new novel, and without a clue in my head as to a subject for posting this week, I'm taking a cue from my dear friend Ginger Simpson and re-hashing some inspirational, and thought provoking quotes from other writers. Not the enigmatic musings of the likes of Steinbeck and Hemingway, but contemporary authors, some of whom still struggle through the maze that is publishing today and may offer the rest of us jewels of wisdom. I'm keeping mine short though!

'Authors with a mortgage never get writer's block.' - Mavis Cheek
'It's a kind of zen question: if you write a book and no one reads it, is it really a book?' - Lee Child
If you believe you can make a living as a writer, you already have enough ego.' - David Brin
'My books aren't trying to fathom the mysteries of human existence. I'm an entertainer.' - Bernard Cornwall
'Writing shouldn't come between the reader and what's being described. It should be as transparent as possible.' - Diana Athill
'The art of writing is to explain the complications of the human soul with the simplicity that can be universally understood.' - Allan Sillitoe
'What creates a writer is huge, psychological dysfunction.' - Kathy Lette
'It is perfectly okay to write garbage--as long as you edit brilliantly.' - C J Cherryh
'What the detective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order.' - P D James
'I once asked a young dissertation writer whether her suddenly grayed hair was due to ill health or personal tragedy; she answered: “It was the footnotes".' - Joanna Russ
'Writing is not a job description.  A great deal of it is luck.  Don't do it if you are not a gambler because a lot of people devote many years of their life to it.  I think people become writers because they are compulsive wordsmiths.' - Margaret Atwood
'The only reason for being a professional writer is that you just can't help it.' - Leo Rosten [Russian author who died in 1997]

And a couple for the as yet unpublished-
'The long-lived books of tomorrow are concealed somewhere amongst the so-far unpublished MSS of today.' - Philip Unwin
'There’s only one difference between published and unpublished writers and it is this – the first group see their work in print on the shelves of Waterstone’s or Tesco or online at Amazon; the second group are yet to have physical evidence of the hours, weeks, years spent fashioning words into their patterns.  You are already a writer.’ - Kate Mosse


These are worth saving. Thanks for sharing, Anita.
Anita Davison said…
Hi Gemi,

I liked the last one by Kate Mosse
Petrea Burchard said…
There are as many ways to be a writer as there are ways to describe the writer's life. Well quoted, Anita.

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