Category: Quotable Quotes for Writers

Quote: The act of writing as its own reward

“I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all that it is cracked up to be. But writing is.

Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do – the actual act of writing – turns out to be the best part.

It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.” (From Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)

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Let's have tea!

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Quote: Just take it bird by bird, buddy!

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our  family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'” (Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life)

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Quote: An opportunity to do something as wondrous as writing

“You have to appreciate the spiritual component of having an opportunity to do something as wondrous as writing. You should be practical and smart and you should have a good agent and you should work really, really hard. But you should also be filled with awe and gratitude about this amazing way to be in the world.” (Journalist and New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean’s advice to aspiring writers)

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Quote: The story as a conversation

“When you tell a story in the kitchen to a friend, it’s full of mistakes and repetitions. It’s good to avoid that in literature, but still, a story should feel like a conversation. It’s not a lecture.” (Novelist Isabel Allende’s advice to aspiring writers)

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