Writers should be read - but neither seen nor heard.
A person who publishes a book appears willfully in public with his pants down.
The beginning is easy; what happens next is much harder.
There should be two main objectives in ordinary prose writing: to convey a message and to include in it nothing that will distract the reader's attention or check his habitual pace of reading - he should feel that he is seated at ease in a taxi, not riding a temperamental horse through traffic.
If we try to envisage an 'average Canadian writer' we can see him living near a campus, teaching at least part-time at university level, mingling too much for his work's good with academics, doing as much writing as he can for the CBC, and always hoping for a Canada Council Fellowship.
The writer is committed when he plunges to the very depths of himself with the intent to disclose, not his individuality, but his person in the complex society that conditions and supports him.
I struggled in the beginning. I said I was going to write the truth, so help me God. And I thought I was. I found I couldn't. Nobody can write the absolute truth.
For a dyed-in-the-wool author nothing is as dead as a book once it is written ... she is rather like a cat whose kittens have grown up. While they were a-growing she was passionately interested in them but now they seem hardly to belong to her - and probably she is involved with another batch of kittens as I am involved with other writing.
Every author, however modest, keeps a most outrageous vanity chained like a madman in the padded cell of his breast.
Never believe anything a writer tells you about himself. A man comes to believe in the end the lies he tells himself about himself.
I am always at a loss to know how much to believe of my own stories.
That's not writing, that's typing.
There is an accuracy that defeats itself by the overemphasis of details. I often say that one must permit oneself, and quite advisedly and deliberately, a certain margin of misstatement.
I suppose some editors are failed writers - but so are most writers.
I think with my right hand.
Writers are the engineers of human souls.
I quote others in order to better express my own self.
A great many people now reading and writing would be better employed in keeping rabbits.
The process of writing a book is infinitely more important than the book that is completed as a result of the writing, let alone the success or failure that book may have after it is written . . . the book is merely a symbol of the writing. In writing the book, I am living. I am growing. I am tapping myself. I am changing. The process is the product.
Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself- it is the occurring which is difficult.