"Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:
Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do."
Marcus Tullius Cicero,
#Marcus Tullius Cicero
"When a man sends you an impudent letter, sit right down and give it back to him with interest ten times compounded, and then throw both letters in the waste basket."
Literary Birthday - 11 October
Happy Birthday, Anne Enright, born 11 October 1962
Anne Enright’s Top 10 Writing Tips
- The first 12 years are the worst.
- The way to write a book is to actually write a book. A pen is useful, typing is also good. Keep putting words on the page.
- Only bad writers think that their work is really good.
- Description is hard. Remember that all description is an opinion about the world. Find a place to stand.
- Write whatever way you like. Fiction is made of words on a page; reality is made of something else. It doesn’t matter how “real” your story is, or how “made up”: what matters is its necessity.
- Try to be accurate about stuff.
- Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you finish this book? Why not? The thing that annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy. And no one had to die.
- You can also do all that with whiskey.
- Have fun.
- Remember, if you sit at your desk for 15 or 20 years, every day, not counting weekends, it changes you. It just does. It may not improve your temper, but it fixes something else. It makes you more free.
Anne Enright is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Her novel The Gathering won the 2007 Man Booker Prize.
by Amanda Patterson
From Writers Write
"One hasn’t become a writer until one has distilled writing into a habit, and that habit has been forced into an obsession. Writing has to be an obsession. It has to be something as organic, physiological and psychological as speaking or sleeping or eating."
"If your friends don’t believe in you, if they ridicule your writing ambitions, fire them and get new friends."
"You most likely need a thesaurus, a rudimentary grammar book, and a grip on reality. This latter means: there’s no free lunch. Writing is work. It’s also gambling. You don’t get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but essentially you’re on your own. Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don’t whine."
"Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell."
William Strunk, Jr. And E.B. White
"The writer learns to write, in the last resort, only by writing. He must get words onto paper even if he is dissatisfied with them. A young writer must cross many psychological barriers to acquire confidence in his capacity to produce good work—especially his first full-length book—and he cannot do this by staring at a piece of blank paper, searching for the perfect sentence."
Happy Birthday, Jacqueline Susann! 20 August 1918 – 21 September 1974
Five quotes from the author:
- Yes, there’s one thing I do want. I want to be aware of the minutes and the seconds, and to make each one count.
- I’ve got a library copy of Gone with the Wind, a quart of milk and all these cookies. Wow! What an orgy!
- I don’t think any novelist should be concerned with literature.
- Acting is glamour but writing is hard work, so I’m going to be an actress.
- The second draft is on yellow paper, that’s when I work on characterizations. The third is pink, I work on story motivations. Then blue, that’s where I cut, cut, cut.
Susann was an American author known for her best-selling novels. Her most notable work was Valley of the Dolls, a book that broke sales records and spawned an Oscar-nominated 1967 film.