Who the hell would want to be a writer? The most solitary, difficult, thankless task known to man, writing is nevertheless a passion for many poor souls who toil away day after day, chasing their vision of the perfect piece of prose.
For a momentary break from the mental anguish of putting fingertip to keyboard key we have put together some of the most profound words of wisdom from some of our favourite scribes.
So read on for 9 wise words of advice on writing from great authors.
This quote screams grumpy old man and for that alone I love it but the message is worth remembering too; even the greatest masterpieces of world literature were once a first draft and, in Hemingway’s words, shit.
Theroux took his own advice very much to heart and after graduating from college promptly joined the Peace Corps in Malawi before living in Uganda, Singapore and London.
A rule to let you know that there are no rules or if there are nobody knows them anyway.
This quote always sticks in my mind when feel like life is getting a bit out of control. Make the time to sit down with a book or you’ll never have the time to sit down with a pen.
Lifelong diarist Anaïs Nin gives some insight into why we write that is also relevant for how we write. If you’re writing from life are you really fully tasting that moment again?
Lovely Neil Gaiman giving all budding writers a shot in the arm of optimism. Stop worrying about being the best or the smartest and just work on the much easier task of being you.
Author of YA fiction such as A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engle offers a reminder that writing for children is in no way an easier task than writing for adults.
Choose writing over whiskey and close the door on the rest of the world. Doesn’t sound much fun, does it?
From the Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, a reminder that your worst enemy in any pursuit is always yourself.