"Men are born to write… Whatever he beholds or experiences, comes to him as a model and sits for its picture. He counts it all nonsense that they say, that some things are undescribable. He believes that all that can be thought can be written, first or last; … Nothing so broad, so subtle, or so dear, but comes therefore commended to his pen, and he will write. In his eyes, a man is the faculty of reporting, and the universe is the possibility of being reported."
Q: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
A: I knew I wanted to be a writer in elementary school. I began publishing my poetry in high school. I fell in love with contemporary children’s literature when I read Of Nightingales That Weep by Katherine Paterson in 1978. If this is children’s literature, I thought, I want to do it, too! It took me thirteen years from that a-ha moment until the day I held my first published book, Wish on a Unicorn, in my hands.
— Karen Hesse, interview from the Scholastic edition Out of the Dust
"The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself. I suppose that it begins or does not begin in the cradle. Although I have felt compelled to write things down since I was five years old, I doubt that my daughter ever will, for she is a singularly blessed and accepting child, delighted with life exactly as life presents itself to her, unafraid to go to sleep and unafraid to wake up. Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss."
— ― Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem (via thetinhouse
"The process of writing a story from beginning to end is filled with challenges. Develop an awareness of your relationship to yourself as a writer. Explore ways to enliven your energy for writing. Trust the process and believe in the possibility of transformation."
"Writing is a lonely process. Even in a collaboration, writing is still a lonely process. With a collaborator, you’ve always got somebody to bounce ideas back and forth with. The other person comes up with new ideas and interesting ideas that are things you wouldn’t have thought of."
"I love fantasy. I love horror. I love musicals. Whatever doesn’t really happen in life is what I’m interested in. As a way of commenting on everything that does happen in life, because ultimately the only thing I’m really interested in is people."
"I write because I would like to live forever. The fact of my future death offends me. Part of this derives from my sense of my own insignificance in the universe. My life and death are a barely momentary flicker. I would like to become more than that. That the people and things I love will die wounds me as well. I seek to immortalize the world I have found and made for myself, even knowing that I won’t be there to witness that immortality, mine or my work’s, that by definition I will never know whether my endeavor has been successful. But when has impossibility ever deterred anyone from a cherished goal? As the brilliant poet and teacher Alvin Feinman once said to me, “Poetry is always close kin to the impossible, isn’t it?"
"The writer’s job is to turn the unspeakable into words — not just into any words, but if we can, into rhythm and blues."
"Indeed, the great paradox of the writer’s life is how much time he spends alone trying to connect with other people."
— Betsy Lerner, The Forest for the Trees (via dlanadhz
"You find the book in the process of doing it. That’s the adventure of the job."