Words of wisdom, writers on writing, I won’t skip another Sunday this month – hopefully. Enjoy the writerly quotes!
If you don’t read short stories, don’t love them with a passion, don’t bother.
No matter how logical it would seem or how good the business might be of doing them in your series.
Writing anything for money or to game some publishing system is always a fool’s game at best and flat stupid at worst.
Always write for love.
Now understand, I wrote Star Trek, Men in Black, Spider-Man, X-Men, and a bunch of novelizations for movies I loved. I loved all of those. Still do.
But at times along the way, I said yes to projects I didn’t love. I didn’t follow my own advice. I always had my reasons and my reasons were always stupid in hindsight. And usually concerned money.
And those were always the worst projects, the ones that went nowhere. The projects that took far, far too much emotional baggage to deal with.
So this writing a short story a day might look easy from the other side of the screen. But unless you are a fan of short fiction, read it regularly in magazines, have always worked at short stories in one form or another, don’t try this. You will be doomed to failure and more harm to your writing and confidence than you can imagine.
Write what you love and read.
I was told that advice a long time ago and it stuck with me.
And now, over forty years later, that advice has always been the best advice I ever got. I made mistakes and didn’t always follow it. But when I returned to writing what I loved, I was always happier and what I wrote was always better.
So the final step in working out what tasks to focus upon lies in identifying those tasks that truly matter. We will never run out of POTENTIAL tasks. We will never run out of people telling us that we “must do” this or that or the other to “be successful in today’s marketplace.” We will never run out of distractions.
But unless we focus on the core elements of our writing goals — the novel, the short story, the poem, the memoir, the song, the life-changing how-to book — we will run out of the things that matter most: our hopes and dreams.
And, of course, our readers…
The faster I write the better my output. If I’m going slow, I’m in trouble. It means I’m pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.
I believe that you either love the work or the rewards. Life is a lot easier if you love the work.
– Jane Smiley
The only thing more tormenting than writing is not writing.
– Cynthia Ozick
Trees are trees, mountains are generally mountains, no matter what country you find them and one description may be made to answer for all this reinforcing the old adage among novelists: Never let the facts stand in the way of a good story.
– Bram Stoker