Sunday, October 5, 2014

Writers on Writing

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            Since I’ve been able to write more now that I’m getting better, I’m discovering a new joy for writing.  I’ve forgotten how much I enjoy it.  How satisfying it is.  How easy it is to lose yourself in it.  But, I’m not the only one who’s carrying the torch for writing.  The great writers, both past and present, have as well.  Here are some of my favorite quotes.

            "I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark." Henry David Thoreau

            I’ve done this.  I’m sure you have as well.  The idea that burns a hole in your brain just as that sleepy feeling washes over you.  You know you’re tired but you can’t stop your brain.  You love this inspiration even though you’re going to be SO tired the next day.

            "Writing is a sweet, wonderful reward…" Franz Kafka
            Writing feels like coming home, getting back in touch with old friends and reacquainting myself with them.  Yes, they’ve changed and grown but they’re still the same people that I’ve always known.  And, they welcome me back with open arms.
            "You become a writer because you need to become a writer - nothing else." Grace Paley

            The times when I haven’t been able to write either as much as I’d like to or not at all, I don’t feel “right.”  Like something is missing and I’m not complete unless I’m doing it.

            "Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else." Gloria Steinem 

            I always begrudge the time I spend on things that I aggravate me.  Like waiting in lines, sitting in meaningless meetings, or doing errands that seem to take forever.  I want to be sitting at the desk and writing. 

            "Thoughts fly and words go on foot. Therein lies all the drama of a writer." Julien Green

            Isn’t it great when this happens?  When the words are coming so fast that your fingers on the keyboard can’t keep up.  What a rush.  It’s like a runner’s high—floating, not feeling any pain or difficulty.

            "Real writers are those who want to write, need to write, have to write." Robert Penn Warren

            This weekend, we went out of town.  I sat in the car and wrote while my husband listened to the ball game on the radio.  It was not something I thought I should do but something I wanted to do.  The sun was streaming through the window, warming me while I wrote with the computer in my lap.  Heaven. 

            What is it about writing that makes you happy?  I’d love to hear what makes you excited about the creative process. 


  1. Lisa, you're such an awesome person to follow on Twitter because you always share the best quotations!

    With that being said, I love to write because I love to find out again and again if I can put all the pieces of a good story together. It's so satisfying when I work out some bit or other. I love it!

  2. Thank you! I love that feeling as well - when you get the bones of a story down then go back and link them together to make it seamless. It's so satisfying when you finally work it out.

  3. Wow, I love this! I want to print this post out and hang it up over my computer. Thanks so much for sharing these wise and inspirational words! :-)

  4. Grace Paley said it best. I write because I have to, whether it is in my journal, a flash piece (snacks for a writer's brain) or a longer WIP. I love when I'm so focused on a piece that when I step away I have a moment of confusion because I'm back in real world.

  5. Thank you, Misha!! Glad you enjoyed it.

  6. Laura - I get the same thing. I love when you come out of writing and you have that feeling of not knowing where you are for a second, that you are so consumed with what you are doing that lose place and time.

  7. Lisa ~ As a writer, I take great comfort in the words of those who have gone before me. It's always fascinating to me that writing is one of those "universal" timeless professions. The commonalities that we still share with the ancients like Ovid and Cicero or more recent scribes like Dickens, Dickinson, Tennyson, etc.--no matter what genre we're writing--always amazes me. Thanks for sharing the quotes of the greats. The words of my tribe continue to echo through the centuries to guide me and give much-needed direction and hope. ;0)

  8. What a fantastic collection of writing wisdom! I agree with Gloria Steinem - writing is the only thing I do that doesn't make me think I should be doing something else. So lovely, so true. (And occasionally - what a pain in the patootie, lol!)

  9. My friend, Marceline, recommended your blog as I have recently published a historical romance on Amazon Kindle and I am spreading the word. Writing is one thing, but marketing is difficult. The novel is The Price of a Pearl and it's set during the Revolutionary War period in England. I'd love to tell you more about it if you are interested! Thank you!