I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say. This is not a platitude, but a truth of the first importance, a truth so profound that many writers never get down to it A Practical Guide , The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.
All I must do is find it, and copy it. So he begins every line with a capital letter, and keeps on writing prose.
Lord Byron Quotes
But if you have not a pen, I suppose you must scratch any way you can. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. What I can't stand is the paperwork. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind.
Hutchens, New York Herald Tribune , September 10th I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top. In this species of prose-melody [Alexander] Smith excels. And don't start sentences with a conjunction. If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do. Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.
White Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher. The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page. Diogenes and Plato Let me walk through the fields of paper touching with my wand dry stems and stunted butterflies If you can get so you can give that to people, then you are a writer. A Letter from Cuba," in Esquire , December Writing comes more easily if you have something to say.
It's enough to make you lose your mind day by day.
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Even though it is interrupted each night, it is one single notation. If you do not believe in the characters or the story you are doing at that moment with all your mind, strength, and will, if you don't feel joy and excitement while writing it, then you're wasting good white paper, even if it sells, because there are other ways in which a writer can bring in the rent money besides writing bad or phony stories. Ye gods, forgive my "literary" sins— The other kind don't matter.
The chasm is never completely bridged. We all have the conviction, perhaps illusory, that we have much more to say than appears on the paper. Not your latest wife, anyway. I write too much. I write like some people talk to fill silence. When I write, I am trying through the movement of my fingers to reach my head.
I'm trying to build a word ladder up to my brain. Eventually these words help me come to an idea, and then I rewrite and rewrite and rewrite what I'd already written when I had no idea what I was writing about until the path of thinking, in retrospect, feels immediate. A Diary , The pen wherewith thou dost so heavenly sing Made of a quill from an angel's wing. The feather, whence the pen Was shaped Dropped from an Angel's wing Walton's Book of Lives" If often seems as if inspired minds had penned their words of wisdom and beauty with quills plucked from the wings of angels.
Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake. Doctorow It is not my sentence that I polish, but my thought. I pause until the drop of light that I need is formed and falls from my pen. Calvert, The maker of a sentence launches out into the infinite and builds a road into Chaos and old Night, and is followed by those who hear him with something of wild, creative delight.
For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke. You would not find the necessary courage there.
A Tale , The first goal of writing is to have one's words read successfully. Eliot Human language may be polite and powerless in itself, uplifted with difficulty into expression by the high thoughts it utters, or it may in itself become so saturated with warm life and delicious association that every sentence shall palpitate and thrill with the mere fascination of the syllables There may be phrases which shall be palaces to dwell in, treasure-houses to explore; a single word may be a window from which one may perceive all the kingdoms of the earth and the glory of them.
Oftentimes a word shall speak what accumulated volumes have labored in vain to utter: For a drink of written water from a spring Only what prepares it, only what destroys it can be told. Novelle , , translated from German by J. Hart Never use a figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. Never use a long word where a short one will do. If it is possible to cut out a word, cut it out. Never use the passive where you can use the active. Never use a foreign phrase, scientific word, or jargon if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. In Two Epistles to a Friend" Lists are the butterfly nets that catch my fleeting thoughts What is written should seem a happy accident. Somerset Maugham, Summing Up , They lard their lean books with the fat of others' works. If you take it out of several books then it is research.
Some writers collect their disjointed ideas from all authors within their reach, just as the paper they write on is made from the tattered rags of all the stuff on earth. When in doubt, strike it out. It discharges the tension. I was quite apt to throw in a "bless the mark" at any spot, and to begin a sentence with "Lord" comma.
White — When I don't make any progress, it is because I have bumped into the wall of language. Then I draw back with a bloody head. And would like to go on. Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes.
A Small Drop of Ink: A Collection of Inspirational and Moving Quotations of the Ages
It takes some effort, some hours of struggle to reach, but once you're there, the words flow as if from a spigot. Thoughts fill up the page. Your fingers function independently of your body and brain as you tap out the poetry. It's the groove that baseball hitters speak of. The hot hand that basketball players relish. It is that sweet moment in a race car when everything slows down despite the speedometer reading miles per hour.
Everything doable in life has a zone like this. Find it and get into it. They made no such demand upon those who wrote them. Strictly speaking, we have only layers of novels and comedies; few are grown from the seed. Ink has settled into my fingerprints But to keep the words I fear to rinse For his first writing exercise he painstakingly reproduced: Now the thirties are over and the forties have begun. Re-write with your head. I have a wonderful relationship with my waking self every morning and that hour around 7: I lie in bed and I watch the metaphors collect and drift and when they reach a certain point of collision, I jump out of bed and get them down before they go away.
He feels like it, and kindles just because he enjoys burning. White So Friar Jerome began his Book. From break of dawn till curfew-chime He bent above the lengthening page, Like some rapt poet o'er his rhyme. So, we became writers. It is grimaces, pauses, adjustments of blouse buttons, doodles on a napkin, and crossings of legs. Read and reread the Bible and Shakespeare and Defoe and Swift and Bunyan and Tennyson, for all of these have a genius for pouring the water of life into the clay jugs of Saxon speech.
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Prescott I have given up writing and married a farmer He has to hire "a help," and do the chores himself, while I, sure of food and shelter for the first time in my life, sit by the fire, and think. The soul is more than flesh, etc. You had better much come up to London. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art.
The water is free. Drink and be filled up. A Memoir of the Craft , The author, as a rule, dearly loves every line of his work, from the first stroke down to the dotlet on the i , and certainly has a right to it. Few of them try to get along without paper, pen, and ink; but many seem to think that no other tools are necessary.
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For shears and mucilage, particularly, some writers seem to have an unconquerable aversion. Pinned manuscripts are a common cause of vigorous comment in editorial offices. Along with rolled manuscripts they are the detestation of every editor.
Writing Quotes, Sayings about Writers, Quotations about Words
Women pin together the palely-written sheets of their scented manuscript when sending a poem to the printer. Men are often guilty of diverting pins from their proper use in the place of missing suspender buttons to their improper use where what the children call "gum-stickum" would be so much more appropriate.
There is no prejudice against the use of paste and shears.
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When you want to fasten two bits of paper together, stick the two pieces permanently together with the mucilage-brush. By trimming and pasting you can make the separate sheets of your copy all the same size, and that editors regard as a desideratum. Within A Small Drop of Ink, you will discover inspiring words of men and women from ancient time to the present, along with vignettes from the author. This collection of inspirational and thought-provoking quotations from the wisdom of the ages will inspire and lift the spirit. Augustine, Cicero, Whitman, Goethe, Aristotle, Blake, Bacon, Beethoven, Dickinson, and many others share their inspirational, moving and powerful words about life and death, love, success, life lessons, freedom, equality, the beauty of nature, and creativity.
As Lord Byron once wrote, Words are things; and a small drop of ink, Falling like dew upon a thought, produces That which makes thousands, perhaps millions think. This rich and inspirational collection of famous words is one that should be in every home library. Linda Pendleton writes fiction and nonfiction books and a number of her books have won awards. Publication Data Country of Publication. Show more Show less. No ratings or reviews yet. Be the first to write a review. Best-selling in Textbooks See all. Save on Textbooks Trending price is based on prices over last 90 days. James Alexander-Release Your Anger: