Millions of people have ideas for books – plans to write books – hopes, dreams and aspirations about books, but very few of them are actually writing books. If you want to write, here is some sage advice from some of the world's great authors:
“If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison
“Don't wait. Writers are the only artists I know who expect to get somewhere by waiting. Writing is what teaches you. Writing is what leads to inspiration. Writing is what generates ideas. Nothing else-and nothing less.” – Daniel Quinn
“Planning to write is not writing. Outlining… researching… talking to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.” – E.L. Doctorow
“The idea is to get the pencil moving quickly. Once you've got some words looking back at you, you can take two or three, throw them away and look for others.” – Bernard Malamud
“Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else.” – C S Lewis
“When genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot.” – D.H. Lawrence
“If you have an important point to make, don't try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.” – Winston Churchill
“Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.” – Meg Chittenden
“Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time… The wait is simply too long.” – Leonard S. Bernstein
“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” – E.L. Doctorow
“Talking is a hydrant in the yard and writing is a faucet upstairs in the house. Opening the first takes all the pressure off the second.” – Robert Frost
“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.” – Mark Twain
“A professional writer is an amateur that doesn't quit.” – Richard Bach
“Leap, and the net will appear.” – Gaelen Foley
“Go, then – there are other worlds than these.” – Stephen King
If your words are boring, it's because you've been reading too many newspapers and magazines. Read the works of literary giants and you'll start thinking giant thoughts. One writer I know is reading every book John Steinbeck ever wrote because, “As you read, so will you write.”
What have you been reading lately?
Roy H. Williams
PS A 1-Day PUBLIC SEMINAR will be held at the Wizard's castle in Austin on June 19. If you're interested, Adam@wizardacademy.org will fill you in on all the luscious details.
PPS Wizard Academy's poet-friend, Peter Nevland, has strapped on a backpack and is touring with Paul Finley, one of the world's finest guitarists. Find out more at http://www.spokengroove.com.