Writers On Writing

Quote

IΒ posted a BlogΒ with quotes and facts regarding many published writers’ setbacks before publication. I have had such positive feedback and so many views for the aforementioned post that I have decided to expand upon the theme.

Today I am posting quotes from writers with regards to their art. I hope that you enjoy reading them and that they make you smile and they inspire you as much as they did me.

FICTION

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
– Douglas Adams

“You don’t become a writer because you want to. You become a writer because you have to. Because – and I court double nagatives here – you cannot not become a writer. It’s the only way to quell, however temporarily, the voices in your head that demand you become their vessel.”

– Peter David

JOURNALISM

“And I believe that good journalism, good television, can make our world a better place.”
– Christiane Amanpour

“I still believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.”
– Tom Stoppard

GENERAL

“Never use a metaphor, simile, or other 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 a word out, always cut it out.
Never use the passive where you can use the active.
Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English
equivalent.
Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.”

– George Orwell

Nothing in life worth anything is easy, and writing is priceless, to both word smith and reader.

Keep on writing, and perhaps someday something you say will be written down and quoted to writers in the years to come…

Further Reading
More examples of quotes from various writers about their art can be found on this website and this website.
The Peter David quote was taken from his published work, Writing For Comics With Peter David

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

I have articles that are almost ready to shown to the world. But with the possibilities as to what exactly I want to do with the aforementioned articles, I was overcome with fear and doubt as to whether, if I spoke with the local newspapers, with journalistic websites, etc, I would be laughed at, ridiculed… rejected…

And yet something occurred to me. I had heard tell of many of my idols, my inspirations, having that same fear, but “stepping up” and pushing through it. I have decided that I too will push onward and upward, no matter how lost hope feels. I will make those calls, send those emails, and yes, I may be rejected, but “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again”…

You know all the great writers. Authors, playwrights, poets, screenwriters, journalists… Many household names have suffered the same setbacks that we, the unpublished, have. They too received their fair share of rejection, and today I share some of these rejections with you, as a reminder that perseverance really does “pay off”. I, too, and those of you also seeking to join the ranks of professional writers, can overcome adversity and share our words with the world if we truly put our minds and our hearts to the task.

The girl doesn’t, it seems to me, have a special perception or feeling which would lift that book above the ‘curiosity’ level.

Some fifteen publishers rejected the timeless, true accounts of The Diary Of Ann Frank.

We are not interested in science fiction which deals with negative utopias. They do not sell.

Stephen King received dozens of rejection letters for his first book, Carrie. Clearly they feared his controversial, dark imagination…

It is impossible to sell animal stories in the USA.

One publisher regarding George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

I’m sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.

Said the San Francisco Examiner of one of Rudyard Kipling’s (The Jungle Book, Just So Stories) short stories.

There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice.

Said one publisher of the Pulitzer Prize winning poet Sylvia Plath.

Steven Spielberg was rejected from film schools twice before he was finally accepted and went on to become one of the biggest names in Hollywood. Tim Burton was hired but then shortly thereafter fired by Walt Disney Studios for his writing being “too dark” for children but he has since written and directed dozens of popular children’s films. Some sources suggest that Jack London (White Fang, Call Of The Wild) had his short stories rejected hundreds of times. Even Shakespeare was insulted and rejected by his more educated fellow playwrights in his early years.

Even J.K.Rowling, one of the best selling children’s authors of all time, who famously penned he best selling book series ever published, Harry Potter was rejected frequently, before the (then) small publisher Bloomsbury finally said “yes” after the child of one of their Editors practically begged him to, and thank goodness she did.

Remember, the next time that you are feeling life’s rejections of your creativity, that there is always always hope.

Further Reading

  • A detailed article here on Examiner.com with quotes and figures of author rejections, where I found several of my examples.
  • Fellow Blogger Benny Hsu discusses many examples of Famous People Who Found Success Despite Failures with some really inspirational quotes.
  • Read about examples of 50 Famously Successful People Who Failed At First
  • Joyce Spizer has compiled a book entitled Rejections of the Written Famous