I am so disappointed that I am not yet finished with my mystery novel A Bull By The Horns. I fully intended to have it published by now, but with a snag I’ve come up against in the plot, there is a good chance I won’t even have it finished until early 2015. At least I have the comfort of knowing that I’m not the only writer who’s ever had to slog through the hard parts of this “job” that I love.
“Nothing you write, if you hope to be any good, will ever come out as you first hoped.”
American dramatist and screenwriter
“When I stepped from hard manual work to writing, I just stepped from one kind of hard work to another.”
Irish dramatist and memoirist.
Which philosophy do you ascribe to?
A best-seller is the gilded tomb of a mediocre talent.
Logan Pearsall Smith
Sir, no man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money.
Surely all authors must do this, right? I know I do. Otherwise, where would be the joy in doing it?
“I write what I would like to read–what I think other women would like to read. If what I write makes a woman in the Canadian Mountains cry and she writes and tells me about it, especially if she says, “I read it to Tom when he came in from work and he cried, too,” I feel I have succeeded.”
Kathleen Norris, on the publication of her 78th book
Yes, I twaddled quite a bit when I first started writing, and still do the same today sometimes. But better to twaddle than not to twaddle at all.
Looking back, I imagine I was always writing. Twaddle it was, too. But better far to write twaddle or anything, anything, than nothing at all.
Modernist writer Katherine Mansfield 1888 – 1923
Hopefully Georg Christoph Lichtenberg was simply being satirical below. If not, I believe he is entirely wrong. You can change people’s perspectives by what you write, if you do it right.
A book is a mirror; if an ass peers into it, you can’t expect an apostle to peer out.
Scientist and satirist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg 1742-1799
While I’m not sure I entirely agree with Maxwell Perkins, there are times when I do.
There is nothing so important as the book can be.
Maxwell Perkins, editor for Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Wolfe 1884 – 1947
Sherlock Holmes may only be a figment of Arthur Conan Doyle’s imagination, but he plugged into reality with the statement below. Which really good books of your very own did your writing life start with? I collected the Hardy Boys and Bobbsey Twins series as a child, which is when I started writing. I’m sure there were more books before then, but my best early memories are of my mom making up her very own stories for me at bedtime.
One story in particular sticks out. It was about a poodle that somehow got lost and the scene that lingers is the one where the poor dog had to pee and was embarassed at having to hide behind a bush to do so. Hmm, I wonder if that’s why I had a shy bladder all through grade school?
It is a great thing to start life with a small number of really good books which are your very own.
Sherlock Holmes, 1887 to infinity and beyond
Whether you are in the public library or surrounded by book-lined shelves in your own home, there is something comfortably cave-like to be found.
“The walls of books around him,
dense with the past,
formed a kind of insulation
against the present world
and its disasters”
Ross MacDonald, author of the Lew Aurthur detective series
I would add to the quote below that ANY hour spent in bed with a book is a win. Especially on cold winter days like today.
“Only one hour in the normal day
is more pleasurable
than the one hour spent in bed
with a book before going to sleep,
and that is the hour spent in bed
with a book after being
called in the morning.”
Rose MacCauley, Author of Abbots Verney (published 1906)
I usually need to find a great first line and first paragraph before moving on with my story, but it’s not unusual for me to find out later that the first paragraph wasn’t the beginning after all. It seems great minds agree.
The last thing that we find in making a book is to know what we must put first.
Blaise Pascal, French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and Christian philosopher (19 June 1623 – 19 August 1662)