From Kate’s Writing Crate…
Summer is a busy time—beach, pool, visitors, BBQs, vacations, and, hopefully, writing. While writers should read as much as possible, there isn’t always time to settle down with a novel so I’m recommending two books of quotes for writers. They are easy to pick up and put down and filled with support and wisdom.
A Writer’s Commonplace Book by Rosemary Friedman offers quotes in eight categories: On Writers and Writing; On Literary Endeavour; On Knowledge, Discovery and Travel; On Creativity and the Arts; On the Human Condition; On Love, Marriage and Family; On Life and Death; and On Random Thoughts.
Some of my favorites:
A writer knows more than he knows. He has a subconscious
ability to read signs.
--Nadine Gordimer (page 13)
It is a delicious thing to write, whether well or badly, to be no longer yourself but to move in an entire universe of your own creation.
--Gustave Flaubert (page 75)
The aim of literature was to write a book that would reveal to the reader things he had never thought of before.
--Simone De Beauvoir (page 82)
All normal people require both classics and trash.
--George Bernard Shaw (page 84)
Learning, thinking, innovation and maintaining contact with one’s own world are all facilitated by solitude.
--Anthony Storr (page 164)
There is power that works within us without consulting us.
--Voltaire (page 208)
In The Writer’s Quotation Book: A Literary Companion edited by James Charlton some of my favorites include:
In a very real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read…It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish.
--S. I. Hayakawa (page 12)
There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island…and best of all, you can enjoy these riches every day of your life.
--Walt Disney (page 16)
When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than there was before.
--Clifton Fadiman (page 19)
Literature is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none.
--Jules Renard (page 55)
Advice to young writers? Always the same advice: learn to trust your own judgement, learn inner independence, learn to trust that time will sort the good from the bad—including your own bad.
--Doris Lessing (page 73)
Nine out of ten writers, I am sure, could write more. I think they should and, if they did, they would find their work improving even beyond their own, their agent’s and their editor’s highest hopes.
--John Creasy (page 94)
Take time to read, but keep writing!