writer

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+ 330 I had to produce a complete page - or two or three - in one day. I took a lot of pride in my work, and I hated to do a mediocre job. Evidently, some of the writers enjoyed my work best of all for that very reason. Joe Shuster


+ 242 If you want to be a writer, write. Epictetus


+ 409 Freedom to learn is the first necessity of guaranteeing that man himself shall be self-reliant enough to be free. Such things did not need as much emphasis a generation ago, but when the clock of civilization can be turned back by burning libraries, by exiling scientists, artists, musicians, writers and teachers; by disbursing universities, and by censoring news and literature and art; an added burden, an added burden is placed on those countries where the courts of free thought and free learning still burn bright. If the fires of freedom and civil liberties burn low in other lands they must be made brighter in our own. If in other lands the press and books and literature of all kinds are censored, we must redouble our efforts here to keep them free. If in other lands the eternal truths of the past are threatened by intolerance we must provide a safe place for their perpetuation. Franklin D. Roosevelt


+ 339 When I was a child I used to read books by Gerald Durrell, who founded Jersey Zoo. He had a job collecting animals for zoos and for a long time that is what I wanted to do. Later when I was a teenager I had a fantastic English teacher called Mrs. Stafford. Her enthusiasm made me decide to be a writer. Melvin Burgess


+ 353 I am the one to whom you wrote in care of the Belgian Academy... Read no newspapers, try to find a few friends who think as you do, read the wonderful writers of earlier times, Kant, Goethe, Lessing, and the classics of other lands, and enjoy the natural beauties of Munich's surroundings. Make believe all the time that you are living, so to speak, on Mars among alien creatures and blot out any deeper interest in the actions of those creatures. Make friends with a few animals. Then you will become a cheerful man once more and nothing will be able to trouble you. Albert Einstein


+ 292 I am not sure that I exist, actually. I am all the writers that I have read, all the people that I have met, all the women that I have loved, all the cities I have visited. Jorge Luis Borges


+ 204 Why do writers write? Because it isn't there. Thomas Berger


+ 283 The number one thing I am earnestly attracted to is intelligence. Writers are thus the pinnacle of intelligence. While actors are great and awesome, writers literally create new worlds from scratch. What is sexier than that? Personally, I don't know why every person out there isn't dating a writer. Rachel Bloom


+ 267 For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word. Catherine Drinker Bowen


+ 259 The only reason for being a professional writer is that you just can't help it. Leo Rosten


+ 306 Reading usually precedes writing and the impulse to write is almost always fired by reading. Reading, the love of reading, is what makes you dream of becoming a writer. Susan Sontag


+ 282 The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any. Russell Baker


+ 311 I don't think it is possible to give tips for finding one's voice; it's one of those things for which there aren't really any tricks or shortcuts, or even any advice that necessarily translates from writer to writer. All I can tell you is to write as much as possible. Poppy Z. Brite


+ 253 I get up in the morning, torture a typewriter until it screams, then stop. Clarence Budington Kelland


+ 255 Life is what happens to a writer between drafts. Damon aka Dennis R. Miller …who spent 25 years completing his novel The Perfect Song.


+ 318 People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it. Harlan Ellison


+ 283 You can't say, I won't write today because that excuse will extend into several days, then several months, then… you are not a writer anymore, just someone who dreams about being a writer. Dorothy C. Fontana


+ 248 Writing is physical work. It's sweaty work. You just can't will yourself to become a good writer. You really have to work at it. Will Haygood


+ 287 To be a writer is to sit down at one's desk in the chill portion of every day, and to write; not waiting for the little jet of the blue flame of genius to start from the breastbone – just plain going at it, in pain and delight. To be a writer is to throw away a great deal, not to be satisfied, to type again, and then again, and once more, and over and over.... John Hersey


+ 240 The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything. John Irving


+ 236 A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing. Eugene Ionesco


+ 276 Hardly anybody ever writes anything nice about introverts. Extroverts rule. This is rather odd when you realise that about nineteen writers out of twenty are introverts. We are been taught to be ashamed of not being 'outgoing'. But a writer's job is ingoing. Ursula K. LeGuin


+ 222 You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won't be able to take a break from being a writer. Stephen Leigh


+ 329 At night, when the objective world has slunk back into its cavern and left dreamers to their own, there come inspirations and capabilities impossible at any less magical and quiet hour. No one knows whether or not he is a writer unless he has tried writing at night. H. P. Lovecraft


+ 212 The secret of becoming a writer is to write, write and keep on writing. Ken MacLeod


+ 301 One hasn't become a writer until one has distilled writing into a habit, and that habit has been forced into an obsession. Writing has to be an obsession. It has to be something as organic, physiological and psychological as speaking or sleeping or eating. Niyi Osundare


+ 266 There's no such thing as writer's block. That was invented by people in California who couldn't write. Terry Pratchett


+ 216 The measure of artistic merit is the length to which a writer is willing to go in following his own compulsions. John Updike


+ 289 I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork. Peter de Vries


+ 238 I just sit at a typewriter and curse a bit. P. G. Wodehouse


+ 330 Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up. Jane Yolen


+ 206 Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the Internet.


+ 341 I got to thinking about the point in every freelancer's life where he has to decide whether he wants to A, have a social life, and do art in his spare time, or B, do art, and have a social life in his spare time. It has always seemed to me that if you have any hope of making a living as an artist – writer, musician, whatever – you absolutely must learn to tell people to leave you alone, and to mean it, and to eject them from your life if they don't respect that. This is necessary not because your job is more important than anyone else's – it isn't – but because a great many people will think of you as not having a job. 'Oh, how wonderful – you can work whenever you want to!' Well, yes, to a point, but generally 'whenever you want to' had better be most of the time, or else you won't have a roof over your head. Poppy Z. Brite


+ 197 Most writers can write books faster than publishers can write checks. Richard Curtis


+ 331 Writing isn't generally a lucrative source of income; only a few, exceptional writers reach the income levels associated with the best-sellers. Rather, most of us write because we can make a modest living, or even supplement our day jobs, doing something about which we feel passionately. Even at the worst of times, when nothing goes right, when the prose is clumsy and the ideas feel stale, at least we're doing something that we genuinely love. There's no other reason to work this hard, except that love. Melissa Scott


+ 269 The only two kinds of books could earn an American writer a living are cookbooks and detective novels. Rex Stout


+ 201 A writer doesn't solve problems. He allows them to emerge. Friedrich Durrenmatt


+ 231 Writers seldom write the things they think. They simply write the things they think other folks think they think. Elbert Hubbard


+ 289 Fiction writers, present company included, don't understand very much about what they do - not why it works when it's good, not why it doesn't when it's bad. Stephen King


+ 286 Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing. It’s the difference between a pencil sketch and a lush oil painting. As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors. Rhys Alexander


+ 283 Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating by them. Yet if I were asked to name the most important items in a writer’s make-up, the things that shape his material and rush him along the road to where he wants to go, I could only warn him to look to his zest, see to his gusto. Ray Bradbury


+ 260 Young writers shouldn't be afraid of striving to emulate their favorites. It's a good way to learn, as long as you move on from it and don't publish too many of the results. Poppy Z. Brite


+ 282 They're fancy talkers about themselves, writers. If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talk about writing or themselves. Lillian Hellman


+ 260 The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof shit detector. Ernst Hemingway


+ 263 My most important piece of advice to all you would-be writers: when you write, try to leave out all the parts readers skip. Elmore Leonard


+ 284 For anyone who is: just keep writing. Keep reading. If you are meant to be a writer, a storyteller, it’ll work itself out. You just keep feeding it your energy, and giving it that crucial chance to work itself out. By reading and writing. Robin McKinley


+ 190 One has to live a life that creates a writer. Erno Paasilinna


+ 258 We writers have this saying 'Kill your darlings'... but I suppose you family men don't agree with it. Mike Pohjola


+ 372 Most beginning writers - and I was the same - are like chefs trying to cook great dishes that they've never tasted themselves. How can you make a great - or even an adequate - bouillabaisse if you've never had any? If you don't really understand why people read mysteries - or romances or literary novels or thrillers or whatever - then there's no way in the world you're going to write one that anyone wants to publish. This is the meaning of the well-known expression "Write what you know." Daniel Quinn


+ 241 Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen. Willa Cather


+ 282 The writer's only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one... If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the Ode on a Grecian Urn is worth any number of old ladies. William Faulkner


+ 254 There is no idea so brilliant or original that a sufficiently-untalented writer can't screw it up. Raymond Feist


+ 268 The writer's genetic inheritance and her or his experiences shape the writer into a unique individual, and it is this uniqueness that is the writer's only stuff for sale. James Gunn


+ 280 If you’re going to be a writer, the first essential is just to write. Do not wait for an idea. Start writing something and the ideas will come. You have to turn the faucet on before the water starts to flow. Louis L’Amour


+ 189 No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. Robert Frost


+ 285 The writer who cares more about words than about story – characters, action, setting, atmosphere – is unlikely to create a vivid and continuous dream; he gets in his own way too much; in his poetic drunkenness, he can't tell the cart – and its cargo – from the horse. John Gardner


+ 249 There is no mistaking the dismay on the face of a writer who has just heard that his brain child is a deformed idiot. L. Sprague de Camp


+ 240 If a writer wrote merely for his time, I would have to break my pen and throw it away. Victor Hugo


+ 300 Who are you really? An amazing lecture given by Alan Watts a British philosopher, writer, and speaker. He wrote more than 25 books and numerous articles on subjects such as personal identity, the true nature of reality, higher consciousness, meaning of life.


+ 263 The writer must earn money in order to be able to live and to write, but he must by no means live and write for the purpose of making money. Karl Marx


+ 242 The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it. Karl Marx


+ 266 Without Jerusalem, the land of Israel is as a body without a soul. Elhanan Leib Lewinsky; Hebrew writer & Zionist leader (1857-1910)


+ 236 Without Jerusalem, the land of Israel is as a body without a soul. Elhanan Leib Lewinsky, Hebrew writer and Zionist leader


+ 219 A writer should have the precision of a poet and the imagination of a scientist. Vladimir Nabokov


+ 314 As you can see, we've had our eye on you for some time now, Mr. Anderson. It seems that you've been living two lives. In one life, you're Thomas A. Anderson, program writer for a respectable software company. You have a Social Security number, you pay your taxes, and you... help your landlady carry out her garbage. The other life is lived in computers, where you go by the hacker alias "Neo" and are guilty of virtually every computer crime we have a law for. One of these lives has a future, and one of them does not. Agent Smith


+ 248 My favorite writers are all Jews - David, Solomon, Matthew, Mark - well, you get the picture. Zig Ziglar


+ 92 I do not know what makes a writer, but it probably isn't happiness. William Saroyan, The Bicycle Rider In Beverly Hills


+ 107 Elie Wiesel was a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor.


+ 110 Sustaining the World

by Avraham Shoar

In his youth, the writer, Avraham Shoar, was the chavruta (study partner) of Rav Kook in the beis medrash of Lutzin. He tells that young Avraham Yitzchak’s diligence was extraordinary. If a short amount of time passed without learning Torah, he felt real anguish: a actual physical pain:

One day (tells Avraham Shoar), he told me: “I have decided that two nights a week, we should learn mishmar (extended learning). Two nights a week, let us learn until dawn.”

I remember one such mishmar night, typical of the character of this extraordinary man. We were learning Chulin from the Talmud together. We were engaged in halachic dispute. I stood my ground, and we argued at length until we at last came to a shared understanding.

It was late. We were learning at the bimah. Around us was silence. In the adjoining dormitory, all the students were already asleep. Before us, burning above the holy ark, was the ner tamid—the eternal light. And we took a short rest from our toil and sat and conversed.

He said to me in a secretive voice: “Do you know, perhaps just the two of us are now sustaining the entire world. Perhaps the Holy One, blessed be He, is judging the world right now. And mankind’s sins are being considered, and they outweigh the good.

“Now the angel Michael, the one defender out of a thousand, picks up the words of our Torah learning and places them on the scale, and our words of Torah help outweigh the other side. If so, we have merited to sustain the entire world. And we are still just children. This is the first year that I am wearing tefillin, and as for you, you are not even bar mitzvah.”

As he spoke, I was lifted to the highest worlds. I could see, almost with my own eyes, the heavenly host: the fiery scale, the angels and cherubim. They were weighing the acts of humanity, and behold, they placed upon the scale the page of Chulin that we were learning, with the commentaries of Rashi, Tosafot and the Maharsha. And this page gave merit to the entire world.”

As I sat, submerged in my visions, Avraham Yitzchak’s voice continued. I heard him say with great simplicity: “A day will come when and I will be great in Torah. And then...” He touched me so that I would turn to him, and I saw his face burning, his eyes brilliant and sparkling like fiery coals set in milk. And he whispered: “I will go to the land of Israel, to the holy city of Jerusalem, and I will found a yeshiva there, like Kerem Beyavneh. And students from all over the world will gather there, and ‘from Jerusalem will come forth Torah.’”

These were the youthful dreams of Rav Kook.

These were his desires and yearnings when he had just become bar mitzvah.

Malachim Kivnei Adam, pp. 4-5