If you’re an average reader, I’ve got your attention for 15 seconds, so here goes: We are getting a lot wrong about the web these days. We confuse what people have clicked on for what they’ve read. We mistake sharing for reading.
When comparing authors, publishers tend to focus on book sales. But sales figures tell only part of the story. Expensive advertising and a strong push for distribution and display at bookstores might yield strong initial sales but create lots of returns and low profitability. An early and fortuitous movie deal […]
You have to have absolute humility about what you’re doing. You have to somehow know that you are capable of enormous idiocies and mistakes and yet not lose your self-confidence in what you’re doing. It’s a difficult line to walk because I know that writer’s block comes almost always from self-doubt. At the same time you have to know that this is a life-long learning process and you’re going to find yourself every 10 years looking back on what you wrote 10 years ago and feeling appalled by it. And that’s good; it means you’re learning and growing.
Dean Koontz (via oliveryeh)
There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen to write.
William Makepeace Thackeray (via apoetreflects)
We have an obligation to use the language. To push ourselves: to find out what words mean and how to deploy them, to communicate clearly, to say what we mean. We must not to attempt to freeze language, or to pretend it is a dead thing that must be revered, but we should use it as a living thing, that flows, that borrows words, that allows meanings and pronunciations to change with time.
Neil Gaiman, Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming (via fossilpoetry)
Inspiration isn’t what gets your book written. Discipline is.
Inspiration is fickle: it shows up when you least expect it, all sexy and exhilarating and reminding you why you put your butt in that chair and turned off Tumblr and forced yourself to trudge through the valley of no-good, very-bad first drafts. Enjoy that inspiration while it’s there. Enjoy it thoroughly because it is rare and precious.
Just don’t expect it to show up every day. The only thing that needs to show up every day is yourself—and your determination to see this through to the end.
You must write every single day of your life … You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads … may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.
Ray Bradbury, from the documentary Story of a Writer (1963)
The answers you get from literature depend on the questions you pose.
Margaret Atwood (via lotusohm)
What is the best way to write? Each of us has to discover her own way by writing. Writing teaches writing. No one can tell you your own secret.
Gail Sher (via amandaonwriting)
The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone’s neurosis, and we’d have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads.
William Styron (via wordpainting)
Thinking is abstract. Knowing and believing are intangible. Your story will always be stronger if you just show the physical actions and details of your characters and allow your reader to do the thinking and knowing. And loving and hating.
In six seconds, you’ll hate me.
But in six months, you’ll be a better writer.
From this point forward – at least for the next half year – you may not use “thought” verbs. These include: Thinks, Knows, Understands, Realizes, Believes, Wants, Remembers, Imagines, Desires, and a hundred others you love to use.
The list should also include: Loves and Hates.
And it should include: Is and Has, but we’ll get to those, later.