Let’s take a moment to acknowledge that writing can be very challenging. There are days when it seems extremely difficult to create something from nothing…or even downright impossible to wrangle words effectively. In such cases, the words of others who have engaged in the business of writing may be helpful, whether as commiseration or inspiration.
“I think the hardest thing about writing is writing.” — Nora Ephron
“Every morning between 9 and 12 I go to my room and sit before a piece of paper. Many times, I just sit there for three hours with no ideas coming to me. But I do know one thing: if an idea does come between 9 and 12, I am there ready for it.” — Flannery O’Connor
“I can’t write five words but that I change seven.” — Dorothy Parker
“The creation of a work of art, or even a work of artifice, typically involves such extremes of despair, elation, self-blame, doubt, frustration, embarrassment, dread, grandiosity, and exhaustion as few people would voluntarily endure for any other purpose, except, perhaps, to raise a child . . . . like the rearing of a child, most artistic work is started in a state of hopefulness that fades only when it is too late to turn back.” — Ellen Pall, Corpse de Ballet
“[O]n the whole a detective story has to have if it has not a detective it has to have an ending and my detective story did not have any . . . I was sorry about it because it came so near to being a detective story and it did have a good title.” – Gertude Stein
“Everybody feels as bad as you do: this is just what writing a novel feels like.” — Lev Grossman
“Because the best part of all, the absolutely most delicious part, is finishing it and then doing it over. . . .I rewrite a lot, over and over again, so that it looks like I never did.” –Toni Morrison
“It’s a damn good story. If you have any comments, write them on the back of a check.” – Erle Stanley Gardner
What are some of your favorite quotes about writing (or working on a long project)?