Anais Nin on Art, the Marvelous and Escaping Ordinary Life

“Ordinary life does not interest me. I seek only the high moments. I am in accord with the surrealists, searching for the marvellous. I want to be a writer who reminds others that these moments exist; I want to prove that there is infinite space, infinite meaning, infinite dimension. But I am not always in […]

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Sarah Waters on being disciplined

“Treat writing as a job. Be disciplined. Lots of writers get a bit OCD-ish about this. Graham Greene famously wrote 500 words a day. Jean Plaidy managed 5,000 before lunch, then spent the afternoon answering fan mail. My minimum is 1,000 words a day – which is sometimes easy to achieve, and is sometimes, frankly, like […]

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Alan Watts on How to Be a Writer

“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, […]

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Poetry | So You Want to Be a Writer ~ Charles Bukowski

So You Want To Be A Writer ~ Charles Bukowski if it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it. unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don’t do it. if you have to sit for hours staring at your computer screen […]

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Roddy Doyle’s Ten Rules for Writing Fiction

If you’ve never read any Roddy Doyle, you’re in for a treat. From the exquisite Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha to the more famous Commitments from The Barrytown Trilogy. Roddy has the ability to inhabit his characters so seamlessly that when I read The Woman Who Walked into Doors I was convinced the author was female. Then […]

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Joyce Carol Oates on the Transcendent Nature of Writing

One must be pitiless about this matter of “mood.” In a sense, the writing willcreate the mood. If art is, as I believe it to be, a genuinely transcendental function—a means by which we rise out of limited, parochial states of mind—then it should not matter very much what states of mind or emotion we are […]

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Natalie Goldberg on How a Writer Must Say Yes to Life

We are important and our lives are important, magnificent really, and their details are worthy to be recorded. This is how writers must think, this is how we must sit down with pen in hand. We were here; we are human beings; this is how we lived. Let it be known, the earth passed before […]

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Henry Miller on Perspective, Acceptance, and the Beauty of Making Art

“When you put your mind to such a simple, innocent thing, for example, as making a watercolour, you lose some of the anguish which derives from being a member of a world gone mad. Whether you paint flowers, stars, horses or angels you acquire respect and admiration for all the elements which go to make […]

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