Writers on Writing

“For a true writer each book should be a new beginning where he  tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should  always try for something that has never been done or that others  have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will  succeed.

How simple the writing of literature would be if it were only  necessary to write in another way what has been well written. It  is because we have had such great writers in the past that a  writer is driven far out past where he can go, out to where no  one can help him.”–Ernest Hemingway, Banquet Speech, Nobel Prize in Literature 1954


“Most people won’t realize that writing is a craft. You have to take your apprenticeship in it like anything else.”–Katherine Anne Porter





“I write to make sense of my life.”–John Cheever


“The manuscript consisted of letter paper, wrapping paper, programs, envelopes, paper napkins–in short, whatever would take the imprint of a pencil. A great deal of it was written with a child crawling around my neck or being sick in my lap, and I dare say this may account for certain aspects of its style.”                   –Agnes de Mille


Planning to write is not writing. Outlining…researching…talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.”–E.L. Doctorow

We write because we believe the human spirit cannot be tamed and should not be trained.”–Nikki Giovanni

“When I am working privately, my process includes a sense of what is happening in the world.” —Claudia Rankine


Leave a Reply