on writing

“Watch children play.  They are terribly serious.  The same is true with writing: you get caught up in the rhythm.  That’s when it really gets to be complete play.”

  • Madeleine L’Engle

“They important thing is work every day.  The best way is to stop when you are going good.  If you do that you’ll never get stuck.  And don’t think or worry about it until you start to write the next day.  That way your subconscious will be working on it all the time, but if you worry about it your brain will get tired before you start again.  But every day.  No matter what happened the day or night before.  Get up and bite the nail.

  • Ernest Hemingway

“The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart.”

  • Maya Angelou

“The process will never let you down, even when everything else does. The process is a thing you can control: how you show up, the promises you’ve made.”

  • Jonathan Franzen

“In the broadest possible sense, writing well means to communicate clearly and interestingly and in a way that feels alive to the reader. Where there’s some kind of relationship between the writer and the reader — even though it’s mediated by a kind of text — there’s an electricity about it.”

  • David Foster Wallace

“I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English–it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in.”

  • Mark Twain

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

  • Harper Lee

“Sorry — if I had advice, I’d take it myself.”

  • John Steinbeck

“The primary reason to write an essay is so that the writer can formulate and organize an informed, coherent, and sophisticated set of ideas about something important”

  • Jordan Peterson

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