Good writing occurs because a writer passionately desires to say something. . . .
Students do not need more abstract advice about how to write.
They need somehow to have their feelings kindled.
I once stayed in a hotel, next door to a well-known writer.
He never talked about writing.
Each night I heard his typewriter,
hour after hour,
Everyone else in the hotel was asleep.
The sound of that machine reminds me, still,
that what writers do is write.
If there is a secret about writing,
I haven’t found it yet.
All I know is to sit down,
clear your mind,
Writing is most of all an exercise in determination,
first to get the job done,
second to get the job done right.
No iron can stab the heart with such force
as a period put just at the right place.
If you would not be forgotten
As soon as you are dead and rotten,
Either write things worth reading,
Or do things worth the writing.
Everything is copy.
Genius gives birth,
If you love words, love to read,
and have read all of your life,
you’ve already had a
full-time course in writing.
If you want to write, if you want
to create, you must be the
most sublime fool that God
ever turned out and sent
rambling. You must write every
single day of your life. You
must read dreadful dumb
books and glorious books,
and let them wrestle in
beautiful fights inside your
head, vulgar one moment,
brilliant the next. You must lurk
in libraries and climb the stacks
like ladders to sniff books like
perfumes and wear books like
hats upon your crazy heads.
I wish you a wrestling match
with your Creative Muse that
will last a lifetime.