My wife took a look at the first version of something I was writing not long ago and said,
“Dammit, man, that’s high school stuff.”
I have to tell her to wait until the seventh draft, it’ll work out all right.
I don’t know why that should be so, that the first or second draft of everything
I write reads that way.
Words are like kisses—
they can express everything or
Getting it wrong is part of
getting it right.
. . . novelists . . . have, on average, about the same IQs as the cosmetic consultants at Bloomingdales’s department store. our power is patience. We have discovered that writing allows even a stupid person to seem halfway intelligent, if only that person will write the same thought over and over again, improving it just a little bit each time. It is a lot like inflating a blimp with a bicycle pump. Anyone can do it. All it takes is time.
—Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday, 128
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.