favourite quotes

Hi, I’m Joanna Ezekiel, your guest blogger from now until 26th August. Many thanks to Andrew for the invitation. To kick off the fortnight, here are a few of my favourite quotes about creative writing. They keep me writing, and I hope you enjoy them too.

‘It’s tempting to tell them (people who want to be stars), So why write? Go and be a Star. Go and be Shirley Bassey. How much time does Shirley Bassey get to experiment and produce the work she really wants to do? Where does a Star keep her private, sketchy work? When I was staying in London, my friend gave me directions to an old-fashioned stationer’s on the King’s Road, opposite a cinema. I bought a new book there and walked into town, looking for a cafe, maybe in Soho, to sit in.’

Paul Magrs, The Creative Writing Coursebook, edited by Julia Bell and Paul Magrs, Macmillan, 2001.

‘Successful happy writers are the ones who carry the writing around with them all the time. No matter where they are. In the boardroom, during the PowerPoint presentation, they are playing back the movie from the night before – a line of a poem, a paragraph from the novel, a few words that keep banging up against each other. There’s no choice, and no schedule. They are always in love, they are always doing it, they are always in writing. As in love.’

Heather Sellers, Page After Page, F-W Publications, 2004.

‘When I was in Paris I read Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller. In the second-to-last chapter Miller rages on about a school in Dijon, France, where he is stuck teaching English, about the dead statues and students who would become dentists and engineers, the cold bone winter and the whole town pumping out mustard. He is furious that he must be there. Then right at the end of the chapter, he sits, late at night, outside the college gates in perfect peace, surrendering himself for the moment to where he is, knowing nothing is good or bad, just alive.’

Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones, Shambala, 1986.

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