Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quoth the Writer

It's been a while since we've had a nice quote round-up. Hope you enjoy these.

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium -- Norbert Platt

The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction.  -- Mark Twain

A metaphor is like a simile. -- Unknown

Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind. -- Catherine Drinker Bowen

I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top. -- Unknown English professor, Ohio University

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it. -- Hannah Arendt

The expression "to write something down" suggests a descent of thought to the fingers whose movements immediately falsify it. -- William Gass

Writing is a struggle against silence. -- Carlos Fuentes

Writers are not just people who sit down and write. They hazard themselves. -- EL Doctorow

What do you think? Which ones do you like? Got any other good ones?

21 comments:

Dawn Malone said...

Oooo, that comment from the professor was harsh! Hopefully it included some constructive feedback along with the insult.
One of my favorites is 'Perseverance, the secret of all triumphs', by Victor Hugo.

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Mark Twain never fails. I love his irony. Here's another of his gems:
"Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very;' your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be." ~Mark Twain

Barbara Watson said...

The first quote by Platt hits home for me. It's why I write, I think.

Vijaya said...

I'll second Barbara ...

Mirka Breen said...

Always awed by the quotations on quotations lists. Now it occurs to me that you know you've 'arrived' when one of your utterings makes it to Great Quotations' somewhere...

Andrea Mack said...

I like that quote about double living. Actually, depending on how many characters are in your novel, it could be triple or quadruple.

Marcia said...

Dawn -- I know, wasn't it? I figure the student must have had a sense of humor, or that quote would never have seen the light of day. I'm betting the student became a writer. :)

Cynthia -- I wonder if "very" was Twain's pet word?

Barbara and Vijaya -- Yes, I think so too -- other than just for the love of story, of course.

Mirka -- Ah, another writer's dream: to be quotable.

Andrea -- Me, too, and I've heard other writers say this. The chance to live other lives is a big attraction for writers AND readers, I guess.

Jaye Robin Brown said...

I like the Hannah Arendt quote the most I think.

annebingham said...

Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind. -- Catherine Drinker Bowen

Only twice? Drinker Bowen'd never make it in today's market...

Marcia said...

Jaye -- I like that one a lot, too. It says "show; don't tell," but it goes much deeper than that, too.

Anne -- Y'know, I thought pretty much the same thing. I love the quote because it acknowledges that we live multiple lives, but even as I was first reading it I thought that twice really doesn't go far enough.

Emily R. King said...

The "metaphor is like a smile" made me smile. :)

Ruth Donnelly said...

Oh, how I love quotes about writing! The Norbert Platt one is so true.

Marcia said...

Emily -- I really like that one, too.

Ruth -- It really makes you stop and wonder just how important writing is, period, doesn't it? If we aren't getting into a writing mode and pausing for thought, what are we missing?

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I really liked this one: Writing is a struggle against silence. -- Carlos Fuentes

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Yes to EL Doctorow's quote. I definitely hazard myself.

Diane J. said...

Great list! A few of my faves:
"Stick to the freaking first idea and make it work."
- Janet Evanovich in How I Write
Posted by Diane J. at 9:09 AM

"My advice is not to wait to be struck by an idea. If you're a writer, you sit down and damn well decide to have an idea. That's the way to get an idea."
- Andy Rooney


"Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very;" your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be."
~Mark Twain
Haha, I just noticed Cynthia commented with this quote. It's a good one.

Ruth Schiffmann said...

This is a great bunch of quotes. I particularly like the Catherine Drinker Bowen line.

Marcia said...

Sharon -- Being someone who doesn't talk a lot, I've often thought that, too.

Stina -- I know, I just love how strong and unexpected the word "hazard" is in that quote.

Diane -- I love the idea quotes. I'm presenting at a conference in the fall on that subject, and I'm going to use these and look for more. Thanks!

Ruth -- Yes, each book is kind of double living; you live here AND there.

Sara Hill said...

I like the Fuentes and Arendt quotes best.

And Unknown is a comic genius. :)

Marcia said...

Sara -- LOL. Isn't she, though? ;)

cleemckenzie said...

Great writing quotes! Thanks, Marcia. I can't choose which one appeals to me most.