Dance above the surface of the world. Let your thoughts lift you into creativity that is not hampered by opinion.
What is your advice to young writers?” “Drink, fuck and smoke plenty of cigarettes.
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.
No writing is wasted. Did you know that sourdough from San Francisco is leavened partly by a bacteria called lactobacillus sanfrancisensis? It is native to the soil there, and does not do well elsewhere. But any kitchen can become an ecosystem. If you bake a lot, your kitchen will become a happy home to wild yeasts, and all your bread will taste better. Even a failed loaf is not wasted. Likewise, cheese makers wash the dairy floor with whey. Tomato gardeners compost with rotten tomatoes. No writing is wasted: the words you can't put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.
the truer the words. the truer the feeling in the reader.
Some part of me knew from the first that what I wanted was not reality but myth.
We can’t choose our poetic fathers any more than our biological ones — but we can choose how to come to terms with them.
The Throes of Poetry - Hymns formed from groans of acquaintance, its rhythm weaving between tranquility, compassions, and peril - like bare feet stomping on broken glass - bleeds, recoils, then steps again.
If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.
I hate writing, I love having written.
I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they're going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there's going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don't know how many branches it's going to have, they find out as it grows. And I'm much more a gardener than an architect.
The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.
You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.
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
Anyone who says writing is easy isn't doing it right.
Writing is the dragon that lives underneath my floorboards. The one I incessantly feed for fear it may turn and devour my ass. Writing is the friend who doesn't return my phone calls; the itch I'm unable to scratch; a dinner invitation from a cannibal; elevator music for a narcoleptic. Writing is the hope of lifting all boats by pissing in the ocean. Writing isn't something that makes me happy like a good cup of coffee. It's just something I do because not writing, as I've found, is so much worse.
You can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page.
It's a bizarre but wonderful feeling, to arrive dead center of a target you didn't even know you were aiming for.
The gotta, as in: “I think I’ll stay up another fifteen-twenty minutes, honey, I gotta see how this chapter comes out.” Even though the guy who says it spent the day at work thinking about getting laid and knows the odds are good his wife is going to be asleep when he finally gets up to the bedroom. The gotta, as in: “I know I should be starting supper now — he’ll be mad if it’s TV dinners again — but I gotta see how this ends.” I gotta know will she live. I gotta know will he catch the shitheel who killed his father. I gotta know if she finds out her best friend’s screwing her husband. The gotta. Nasty as a hand-job in a sleazy bar, fine as a fuck from the world’s most talented call-girl. Oh boy it was bad and oh boy it was good and oh boy in the end it didn’t matter how rude it was or how crude it was because in the end it was just like the Jacksons said on that record — don’t stop til you get enough.