Words of Writers’ Wisdom

The current issue of  the Authors Guild Bulletin has a column, “Along Publishers Row” by Campbell Geeslin that has a number of great comments and remarks that I want to share with all of the writers out there!

We might find some wisdom here. For example:

Jessamyn West believed “Writing is so difficult that I often feel that writers, having had their hell on earth, will escape all punishment hereafter.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald said: “An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterwards.”

Raymond Carver had this to say: “I made the story just as I made a poem, one line and then the next, and the next. Pretty soon I could see a story–and I knew it was my story, the one I had been wanting to write.”

The late Sinclair Lewis said, “It is impossible to discourage the real writers–they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.”

Poet W.H. Auden would put it this way, “It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.”

Finally…Peruian writer Daniel Alarcon would say in an essay he wrote for his book, The Secret Miracle; The Novelist’s Handbook. “The novel is an almost infinitely malleable form, and its flexibility is the key to its survival and relevance: still, even today, there are those who attempt to make sense of the world–its terror, humor, and beauty–through the reading and writing of novels. Oftentimes writing can feel overwhelmingly lonely, a fool’ errand, and it’s gratifying to be reminded that at any given moment, there are thousands of others, working in hundreds of languages all over the weorld, engaged in much the same pursuit. They, like all of us, have good days, bad days, and days where it is more useful to sit quietly and read, let the writing itself wait.”

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  • Thanks, John, for passing on comments shared by Campbell Geeslin in his recent column — especially the quote by Alarcon. Let me add my favorite from Dylan Thomas:

    Not for the proud man apart
    From the raging moon I write
    On these spindrift pages
    Nor for the towering dead
    With their nightingales and psalms
    But for the lovers, their arms
    Round the griefs of the ages,
    Who pay no praise or wages
    Nor heed my craft or art.

    It’s from “In My Craft or Sullen Art.” –Tino

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Words of Writer's Wisdom

The current issue of  the Authors Guild Bulletinhas a column, “Along Publishers Row” by Campbell Geeslin that has a number of great comments and remarks that I want to share with all of the writers out there!

We might find some wisdom here. For example:

Jessamyn West believed “Writing is so difficult that I often feel that writers, having had their hell on earth, will escape all punishment hereafter.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald said: “An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmasters of ever afterwards.”

Raymond Carver had this to say: “I made the story just as I made a poem, one line and then the next, and the next. Pretty soon I could see a story–and I knew it was my story, the one I had been wanting to write.”

The late Sinclair Lewis said, “It is impossible to discourage the real writers–they don’t give a damn what you say, they’re going to write.”

Poet W.H. Auden would put it this way, “It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.”

Finally…Peruian writer Daniel Alarcon would say in an essay he wrote for his book, The Secret Miracle; The Novelist’s Handbook. “The novel is an almost infinitely malleable form, and its flexibility is the key to its survival and relevance: still, even today, there are those who attempt to make sense of the world–its terror, humor, and beauty–through the reading and writing of novels. Oftentimes writing can feel overwhelmingly lonely, a fool’ errand, and it’s gratifying to be reminded that at any given moment, there are thousands of others, working in hundreds of languages all over the weorld, engaged in much the same pursuit. They, like all of us, have good days, bad days, and days where it is more useful to sit quietly and read, let the writing itself wait.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

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