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Old 6th Apr 2008, 12:54   #1
John Self
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Default Writers on Writing

I don't know if we have an existing thread for stuff like this, but I thought it would be good to have somewhere to gather together writers' thoughts on writing...

A book takes me two years, if I'm lucky. Eight hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, that's the only way I know how to do it. You have to sit alone in a room with only a tree out the window to talk to. You have to sit there churning out draft after draft of crap, waiting like a neglected baby for just one drop of mother's milk.

- Philip Roth
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Old 6th Apr 2008, 17:08   #2
Beth
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Default Re: Writers on Writing

You must write every single day of your life…You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads….may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.

- Ray Bradbury
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Old 6th Apr 2008, 17:44   #3
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Default Re: Writers on Writing

Read four hours a day and write four hours a day. If you cannot find the time for that, you can't expect to become a good writer.

- Stephen King
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Old 6th Apr 2008, 19:22   #4
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Gee, you had to bring the tone down, didn't you Nou!
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Old 6th Apr 2008, 19:29   #5
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Default Re: Writers on Writing

Well, it was either that or the one where he refers to himself as the literary equivalent of a burger and fries. If he's right (about the 4x4 requirements that is) I think I'm screwed.
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Old 7th Apr 2008, 4:20   #6
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Default Re: Writers on Writing

Well, he has written one book.

Do I have any advice for other artists? Well, no, except if you like the shape of a woman's arse then write about it. Or if you're turned on by the stars in the night sky, or if you think this world is a toilet and you love it anyway, well write about that, and if you ache for Heaven and are terrified of Hell, get down there, man, and write about that too. Second thoughts, fuck off, that's my vision. Find your own.

- Nick Cave
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Old 7th Apr 2008, 5:50   #7
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Default Re: Writers on Writing

And apparently Bruce Robinson has a framed quote from James Joyce on his desk, presumably for those moments when the telly is beckoning :

Write it Damn You, what Else are you good for.

Which is detailed in this book if anyone's interested? A few more extracts here. Michel Faber's entry is priceless.
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Old 7th Apr 2008, 9:26   #8
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Default Re: Writers on Writing

I saw this when it came out. Faber's is priceless. But hey, what's wrong wth foolscap ? And Nicolson Baker's tip for earplugs was a good one.

As for being up oneself, Hollinghurst ... by a mile. I did meet him at a party once .... but I've been down that road before.

Me, I'm a Paris Review reader. Will drop something on this later.
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Old 7th Apr 2008, 11:07   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quink View Post
Me, I'm a Paris Review reader.
Didn't she lose her phone and post a video?
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Old 7th Apr 2008, 11:08   #10
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Default Re: Writers on Writing

The Terrifying Enormity Of What You Are Trying To Do
Writing a novel is, in my experience, a bit like swimming across a huge, dark lake. Starting off is easy and finishing is both a relief and a triumph, but there's a long stretch in the middle where you can't see either shore and you're not even sure you're heading the right way. This is the point where you may prefer banging your head against the desk all morning to writing a single sentence. The best way to keep swimming is to remind yourself that it's no good staying where you are because it's 200 feet down, although I'm not sure the lake analogy really extends that far. To be honest I'm finding it very difficult to concentrate and tune this banjo at the same time. Tim Dowling
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