Speaking too soon

That is why writers are so unwilling to talk about a work in progress. They are afraid of speaking too soon and from the wrong place, with the wrong voice; of resolving too quickly, in talk, the tension whose energies they will need to draw on later, in solitary struggle and against the resistance of what has not yet been …

A story is like a house

“A story is not like a road to follow … it’s more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, …

One page for each day

Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised. – John Steinbeck

so you want to be a writer

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 or hunched over your typewriter searching for words, don’t do it. if you’re …

The Journey

One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice– though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles. “Mend my life!” each voice cried. But you didn’t stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with …

Casting the Bones

People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it. – Harlan Ellison

Shine a light on the soul

I have only one reason to write novels, and that is to bring the dignity of the individual soul to the surface and shine a light upon it … I fully believe it is the novelist’s job to keep trying to clarify the uniqueness of each individual soul by writing stories – stories of life and death, stories of love, …

Must I Write?

Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.  This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into …