An editor is an accomplice, looking in from the outside. That objective view is essential. We don't write in a vacuum, and we don't publish in a vacuum.
Then in my early teens, when the home computer bubble was blowing, I had one of the first, an Acorn Atom, and used to write primitive adventures on that.
Oftentimes, especially in the context of an acoustic song, I'm motivated to write by some amount of melancholy.
I do try to separate my personal activism - showing up at a demonstration or something - from what I write.
There is not a special imposition on writers to be activists. All that does is encourage writers to write propaganda. Propaganda can be written by anybody, including dictators.
In addition I wanted to write a Southern novel, because I'm a Southerner.
If you listen to the songs I write, they are the most ADHD songs ever. They have five hooks in one and it all happens in three minutes.
I would write ads for deodorants or labels for catsup bottles if I had to.
Only Agatha Christie can write like Agatha Christie.
Writers - all writers, even screenwriters - like to make their mark. I don't think many screenwriters can write. They pass as writers.
Ninety-five percent of all writers who write do not get published, but 100 percent of all writers write because they have a voice in their head. The vast majority of writers simply write because they have to.
I'm kind of a little allergic to that whole, 'Let's go to L.A. and write a bunch of hits.'
There are events which are so great that if a writer has participated in them his obligation is to write truly rather than assume the presumption of altering them with invention.
Write in recollection and amazement for yourself.
Whenever I write lyrics and an Americanism slips in, I always cut it straight out. I can't use the word 'babe,' for instance. It makes me cringe.
I said that I like to write on trains and that I wished Amtrak had residencies for writers.
I learned how to write TV by writing 'Grey's Anatomy.'
All the stories I write come from someone I've met or some anecdote I've heard.
The tone of 'Into the Beautiful North' is really the way I write. 'Hummingbird's Daughter' was the anomaly. It was a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.
Someone who can write aphorisms should not fritter away his time in essays.