Blessed are the weird people: poets, misfits, writers mystics, painters, troubadours for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.
Writing is the spectrum through which the chaos of life can be seen, studied and understood.
A writer reports on the universe. When he presents his credentials, the gates of heaven and hell are equally opened to him. He can hear the devil’s defense and god’s accusations. The guards at the king’s heart let him in. The writer can be anything and any one he wants. When he writes he is a god, he creates.
If everyone could be a successful and rich author, there would be no point in working so hard. Where is the fun in that?
I never had any doubts about my abilities. I knew I could write. I just had to figure out how to eat while doing this. [Cormac McCarthy's Venomous Fiction, New York Times, April 19, 1992]
I don't like talking. I am a writer!
I write. I am a writer.
Literature is the ditch I'm going to die in. It's still the thing I care most about.
it was dawning on me how uphill a poet's path was, and I confessed to her that if I had to be the choice between being happy or being a poet, I'd choose to be happy.
If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.
I have spent a good many years since―too many, I think―being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that's all.
It's hell writing and it's hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.
No book can ever be finished. While working on it we learn just enough to find it immature the moment we turn away from it
There is nothing harder to estimate than a writer's time, nothing harder to keep track of. There are moments—moments of sustained creation—when his time is fairly valuable; and there are hours and hours when a writer's time isn't worth the paper he is not writing anything on.
The writer walks out of his workroom in a daze. He wants a drink. He needs it. It happens to be a fact that nearly every writer of fiction in the world drinks more whisky than is good for him. He does it to give himself faith hope and courage. A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul and that I am sure is why he does it.
If a man comes to the door of poetry untouched by the madness of the Muses, believing that technique alone will make him a good poet, he and his sane compositions never reach perfection, but are utterly eclipsed by the performances of the inspired madman.
Too many irons, not enough fire.
If you are destined to become a writer, you can't help it. If you can help it, you aren't destined to become a writer. The frustrations and disappointments, not even to mention the unspeakable loneliness, are too unbearable for anyone who doesn't have a deep sense of being unable to avoid writing.
You need three things to become a successful novelist: talent, luck and discipline. Discipline is the one element of those three things that you can control, and so that is the one that you have to focus on controlling, and you just have to hope and trust in the other two.
Writing is like breathing, it's possible to learn to do it well, but the point is to do it no matter what.