Words about Writing from Great Writers

By Bhalachandra Sahaj

Hi everyone!

A smart person, as they say, always learns from the experience of other people. When I was writing my first book, I had so many questions and doubts, but no one knowledgeable to help me solve them. I wondered whether my writing should sound the same as my speech; I doubted my storyline, considering it to be cliche; I thought that if I didn’t feel inspiration and a desire to write the book all the time, then it was forced out and bad; I had many other doubts and negative thoughts. Many of them have gone, however, when I discovered that many famous authors have left memoirs about their careers; in those memoirs, I thought, there should be something of value for me.

And indeed, there was. Here are some quotes that can dispel the most common doubts amateur writers have.

  1. “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.”

    – George Orwell
  2. “Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself… it’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.”

    – Harper Lee
  3. “There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”

    – Oscar Wilde
  4. “I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.”

    – Franz Kafka
  5. “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”

    – John Steinbeck
  6. |When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention.”

    – George Orwell
  7. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

    – Jack London
  8. “You don’t write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid’s burnt socks lying in the road.”

    – Richard Price
  9. “Creativity is merely a plus name for regular activity. Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better.”

    – John Updike
  10. “Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.”

    – Neil Gaiman