"I tell aspiring writers that you have to find what you MUST write. When you find it, you will know, because the subject matter won’t let you go. It’s not enough to write simply because you think it would be neat to be published. You have to be compelled to write. If you’re not, nothing else that you do matters."
—Rick Riordan (via writingquotes)
Writers write but they should also read. I read everything, which is a significant part of my writing process. I believe heartily in taking notes. For nonfiction, I take copious notes. Everywhere — in the book, in a separate notebook, on Post-Its.
I write at all hours, but my best writing gets done when I have the least distractions which is either early in the morning or in the middle of the night. I try mightily to get every last bit of doubt or concern about anything else out of my head while I’m writing a draft and then go back to it when I have some sense and some energy and I can revise.
Revision is the heart of my work and the most enjoyable and the most irritating part of being a writer. I revise most things I write a half-dozen times — even blogs — before I am satisfied with word choice and structure and order. Outlines can be really helpful for big projects, but I am not wedded to them."
"To expect too much is to have a sentimental view of life and this is a softness that ends in bitterness."
—Flannery O’Connor, from The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor (via aubade)
"When I grew up, people just told me stories. You are telling a story even before you are aware of yourself as a gendered self. You are aware of what story is there, somewhere, needing to be told. For me that was enough."
"If I waited for perfection I would never write a word."
— Margaret Atwood
Do not wait for validation
the language at war with currency.
Feast instead on self possession
The stories of the ones before us,
The dreams of our descendants.
Narratives that remind our hearts how to soar.
No one is coming to proclaim your talent rough or refined.
You are your only true nemesis,
a house divided against its productivity.
Do not wait to write.
Not for love, nor money;
Not for attention nor glory.
Do it to heal &
because you are compulsive &
because the story claws at your attention &
because those words weigh down the gut,
& wring them from your core
until you can’t do anything but devour experience
or starve for want of stories
to give your language life.
Live deeply in moments that give to you
the broadest horizons
& make for yourself worlds that
delicately remind us
how powerful it is to reach beyond the limits we
dream for ourselves while we are yet
Forget this advice
& anyone else’s.
You are the best author of your destiny,
is noise you’ve read
to keep from writing.
Genuflect only at the altar of creation.
Not a single thing
will ever match the importance of