Archive for October, 2010

Fast on advice to a young writer

The only sound advice I can give to the young writer is to tell him to have faith in himself.–Howard Fast

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Jong on books

When I was a ten-year-old bookworm and used to kiss the dust jacket as if they were icons, it used to amaze me that these remote people could provoke me to love.–Erica Jong

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Dickinson on opportunities

Not knowing when the dawn will come, I open every door.–Emily Dickinson

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Franz on process

I read the play as many times as I can. I also sleep on it. I literally put it under my pillow.–Elizabeth Franz

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Marie-Elise on becoming a writer

Training to be a writer is a slow and continuous process, with time off for human behavior.–Marie Elise

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Garner on process

I just hear a sound coming into my head and hope to catch it with my hands.–Errol Garner

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Norris on success

If what I write makes a woman in the Canadian mountains cry and she writes and tells me about it, especially if she says, “I read it to Tom when he came in from work and he cried, too.” I feel I have succeeded.–Kathleen Norris

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Register on a writer’s character

The writer has taken unto himself the former function of the priest or prophet. He presumes to order and legislate the people’s life. There is no person more arrogant than a writer.–Cornelius Register

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Cocteau on criticism

Listen carefully to first criticisms of your work. Note just what it is about the work the critics don’t like–then cultivate it. That’s the part of your work that’s individual and worth keeping.–Jean Cocteau

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Melville on going deep

I love all men who dive. Any fish can swim near the surface, but it takes a great whale to go downstairs five miles or more.–Herman Melville

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