To be a writer is to suffer, to love madly and deeply, to cry when one wants really to laugh, to laugh wildly when one feels sorrow, and to ponder longingly and endlessly( and often foolishly) about why others don’t understand why everything “is at once so beautiful” and should be written about, in some form or another.
Because I cannot dance and make love all of the time; because I cannot always look into the eyes of my drifting life that I feel is passing me by; and because I feel music like I do my own breath, I write . . . and that is both glorious and painful- both monumental and simple—and both sweet and dark in the feistiest and most somber of ways.
Since I could speak, I could write. Short and long passages were written near my Japanese futon bed in crayons that my mother gave me. Even before I understood what words meant, I strung them together like flowers on a lei, hoping somehow they would blossom and spread their definitions and wonderment in a magical moment of awe and essence.
For my fellow writers who understand the language I speak, and for all of my people who still appreciate the stillness, the quiet, and the sheer strength of the written word, the following are some quotes about writing that I have gathered for you . . .
So that you do not feel so alone, so that you may shiver with warmth, so that you may lilt a moment longer when you are kissed as you plan your next poem . . . and so that you may feel even more of the pain and the joy that is at your fingertips and soul-march at every moment.
“Writing eases my suffering . . . writing is my way of reaffirming my own existence.” ~ Gao Xingian
“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” ~ Anais Nin
“I put all my genius into my life; I put only my talents into my works.” ~ Oscar Wilde
“I write lustily and humorously. It isn’t calculated; it’s the way I think. I’ve invented a writing style that expresses who I am.” ~ Erica Jong
“Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.” ~ Moliere
“Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life, and perhaps you’ve made sense of one small area.” ~ Nadine Gordimer
“Don’t get it right, just get it written.” ~ James Thurber
“Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love . . . something to love for.” ~ Ray Bradbury
“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.” ~ Mark Twain
“I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for me it is conscious living.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” ~ E. L. Doctorow
“You cannot write for children. They’re much too complicated. You can only write books that are of interest to them.” ~ Maurice Sendak
“Writing is easy. All you do is sit staring at a blank beet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” ~ Gene Fowler
“Those who write clearly have readers. Those who write obscurely have commentators.” ~ Albert Camus
“Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” ~ Gloria Steinem
“If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.” ~ Lord Byron
“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music that words make.” ~ Truman Capote
“Writers will happen in the best of families.” ~ Rita Mae Brown
“All my life, I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
“Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyze yourself, get rid of the hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it.” ~ Octavia Butler
“Writing is the hardest way of earning a living, with the possible exception of wrestling alligators.” ~ Olin Miller
“Every writer I know has trouble writing,” Joseph Heller
“Write what should not be forgotten,” Isabel Allende
“To write simply is as difficult as to be good.” ~ William Somerset Maugham
“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald
“If I read a book and it makes my body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry.” ~ Emily Dickinson
“The most important thing for poets to do is to write as little as possible.” ~ T.S. Eliot
“The waste basket is the writer’s best friend.” ~ Isaac Bashevis Singer
“All of the plays that I was trying to write were plays that would grab an audience by the throat and release them, rather than presenting an emotion which you could observe and walk away from.” ~ Arthur Miller
“Writing is a sweet, wonderful reward.” ~ Franz Kafka
“I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man has no dedication nor any membership in literature.” ~ John Steinbeck
“I write scripts to serve as skeletons awaiting the flesh and sinew of images.” ~ Ingrid Bergman
“Writing is not like painting- where you add. It is not what you put on the canvas that the reader sees. Writing is more like a sculpture where you remove, you eliminate in order to make the work visible. Even the pages you remove somehow remain.” ~ Elie Wiesel
“A culture is made—or destroyed—by its articulate voices.”~ Ayn Rand
“I feel like writing about a time when I was probably, and think all of us are, the happiest before the obligations start in.” ~ Neil Simon
“I’ve given my memories far more thought than any of my marriages. You can’t divorce a book.” ~ Gloria Swanson
“I write down to speak up.” ~ M.K. Asante, Jr
“Good writers borrow from other writers. Great writers steal from them outright.” ~ Aaron Sorkin
“If you are killed because you are a writer, that’s the maximum expression of respect, you know.” ~ Mario Vargas Llosa
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