If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I’d type a little faster.
I’d rather be caught holding up a bank than stealing so much as a two-word phrase from another writer.
All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate.
~Chateaubriand, Le Génie du Christianisme, 1802
One of the most feared expressions in modern times is “The computer is down.”
What we want is a story that starts with an earthquake and builds to a climax.
You have all the scenes. Just go home and word it in.
~Samuel Goldwyn to Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond
Why do people always expect authors to answer questions? I am an author because I want to ASK questions. If I had answers I’d be a politician.
A writer never has a vacation. For a writer’s life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.
Writing is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to those who have none.
Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted.
I try to leave out the parts that people skip.
Easy reading is damn hard writing.
Why do writers write? Because it isn’t there.
Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.
Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.
Observe, don’t imitate.
~John M. Ford
Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
Never let inexperience get in the way of ambition.
Half of being smart is knowing what you’re dumb at.
I have made this letter longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.
Anybody can become a writer, but the trick is to STAY a writer.