Monday, August 25, 2008

Words to Write By

The summer is over … or practically over, anyway. A minute ago it was Memorial Day; suddenly, I’m staring Labor Day in the face (I still haven’t bought a barbeque grill!), and what do I have to show for it besides a tan and an improved flutter kick?

But I’m not being fair. Since my life is measured by statistics — my rankings on Google and Yahoo, marketing strategies that pay off, and number of words written, articles published, and books sold — I have accomplished quite a bit. This has been a summer of writing. In fact, I don’t seem to be able to stop.

It is hard to explain this obsession to people who think they can’t write, would rather die than write, or know they can write but hate doing it. As I tried to think of something profound to say, I decided to seek some help from noted writers past and present. Here are some observations that really resonated.

“If the desire to write is not accompanied by actual writing, then the desire is not to write.” Hugh Prather

"There is no perfect time to write. There's only now." Barbara Kingsolver

"A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage." Sydney Smith

“There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly: sometimes it's like drilling rock.” Ernest Hemingway

"Writing itself is an act of faith.” EB White

“It is perfectly okay to write garbage — as long as you edit brilliantly.” C. J. Cherryhr

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything good.” William Faulkner

“Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say.” Sharon O'Brien

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.” Isaac Asimov

"The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes." Agatha Christie

"You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke." Arthur Polotnik

May you be as inspired as I am by these words.