Advice on writing from a wide variety of sources and traditions. Updated periodically.
The root problems of the writer are personality problems.
Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories.
I put things down on sheets of paper and stuff them in my pockets. When I have enough, I have a book.
I put a piece of paper under my pillow and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.
-Henry David Thoreau
First there is the difficulty of writing at all.
-Dorothea Brande (Becoming A Writer)
The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success
When I am reading a book, whether wise or silly, it seems to be alive and talking to me.
…simply describing powerful emotional experiences (“She would never forget the wonderful feeling…” “He was more furious than he had ever been…”) is not the same thing as generating emotional responses in the reader.
-Dennis G. Jerz (Short Stories: Developing Ideas For Short Fiction)
We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
Writing always means hiding something in such a way that it is then discovered.
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; un-rewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
A good storyteller weaves a bit of magic into the world.