Author and journalist Gene Fowler put it best: “Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.” Anyone who has ever wanted or been required to create something more complicated than a shopping list or a Tweet knows there’s more truth than poetry in the observation. The process can be difficult, frustratingly so when we realize that although we use words all the time, coming up with the right ones can be a daunting task.
Even the most celebrated writers have reflected on this creative process, and their observations and conclusions are collected in this book. The compiler, himself no stranger to a blank page or computer screen, has selected the wisest and wittiest utterances on such subjects as why we write (Ernest Hemingway: “I have a good life but I must write because if I do not write a certain amount I do not enjoy the rest of my life.”); how to write (Anton Chekhov: “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”); and writing for money (Cormac McCarthy: “I never had any doubts about my abilities. I knew I could write. I just had to figure out how to eat while doing this.”).
It has been said that reading won’t make you a good writer, but it will make you a better writer. Dip into this lively and useful treasure trove, and you’ll be well on your way.