When I'm not writing or tweaking my computer, I do embroidery. When I'm not plunging into the past, tweaking, or embroidering, I'm reading books about history, computers, or embroidery.
Some books are to be tasted, others swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
A curious thing about written literature: It is about four thousand years old, but we have no way of knowing whether four thousand years constitutes senility or the maiden blush of youth.
I intend to keep writing Christmas songs. There's still a lot more about Christmas that can be captured and feel like old-time Christmas. A lot of the traditions haven't been explained in song.
One of the pleasures of reading old letters is the knowledge that they need no answer.
We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road—the one "less traveled by"—offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.
Next to doing things that deserve to be written, nothing gets a man more credit, or gives him more pleasure than to write things that deserve to be read.
In America only the successful writer is important, in France all writers are important, in England no writer is important, in Australia you have to explain what a writer is.
An editor should tell the author his writing is better than it is. Not a lot better, a little better.
The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing.
The ideal view for daily writing, hour on hour, is the blank brick wall of a cold-storage warehouse. Failing this, a stretch of sky will do, cloudless if possible.
A kind of magic
Who knows whether in retirement I shall be tempted to the last infirmity of mundane minds, which is to write a book.
Nothing you write, if you hope to be any good, will ever come out as you had first hoped.
All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called "Huckleberry Finn."
Green Hills of Africa
Never write about a place until you're away from it, because that gives you perspective.
The next thing I wrote was in a writing class at night school. It was about a poor woman who worked at a dime store and who was all alone for Christmas in Laurel, Mississippi.
Nothing comes easily. My work smells of sweat.
No poems can live long or please that are written by water-drinkers.
The only end of writing is to enable readers better to enjoy life or better to endure it.
If a person is not talented enough to be a novelist, not smart enough to be a lawyer, and his hands are too shaky to perform operations, he becomes a journalist.
If you want to get rich from writing, write the sort of thing that’s read by persons who move their lips when they’re reading to themselves.
A computer does not substitute for judgment any more than a pencil substitutes for literacy. But writing without a pencil is no particular advantage.
An author is a fool who, not content with having bored those who have lived with him, insists on boring future generations.
Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs.
Quoted in Time magazine, October 31, 1977
I never deliberately set out to shock, but when people don’t walk out of my plays I think there is something wrong.
Writing is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none.
Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.
I write fiction and I’m told it’s autobiography, I write autobiography and I’m told it’s fiction, so since I’m so dim and they’re so smart, let them decide what it is or it isn’t.
However great a man's natural talent may be, the act of writing cannot be learned all at once.
To me, writing is a horseback ride into heaven and hell and back. I am grateful if I can crawl back alive. I'm grateful for the blood in the basin and the pursuit of integrity on the page, a small price to pay.
This quote was used in 1985 Esquire magazine article, however it's not clear who the author was.
Writing, when properly managed, (as you may be sure I think mine is) is but a different name for conversation.
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760-1767)
With 60 staring me in the face, I have developed inflammation of the sentence structure and a definite hardening of the paragraphs.
I was sorry to have my name mentioned as one of the great authors, because they have a sad habit of dying off. Chaucer is dead, Spencer is dead, so is Milton, so is Shakespeare, and I’m not feeling so well myself.
Speech to the Savage Club, June 9, 1899
I never write 'metropolis' for seven cents because I can get the same price for 'city.' I never write 'policeman,' because I can get the same price for 'cop.' And so on and so on.
Speech at an annual Associated Press banquet in New York City on September 1906 where he mused promoting the movement for simplified spelling.
Carlyle said "a lie cannot live." It shows that he did not know how to tell them.
Mark Twain's Autobiography; Mark Twain in Eruption
The frankest and freest product of the human mind and heart is a love letter; the writer gets his limitless freedom of statement and expression from his sense that no stranger is going to see what he is writing.
Mark Twain's Autobiography, 1959 preface
My own luck has been curious all my literary life; I could never tell a lie that anybody would doubt, nor a truth that anybody would believe.
From India to South Africa, November 1897. As it appeared in McClure's Magazine.
Whenever the literary German dives into a sentence, that in the last you are going to see of him till he emerges on the other side of his Atlantic with his verb in his mouth.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1889)
Adam was the only man who, when he said a good thing, knew that nobody had said it before him.
Most writers regard truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in it use.
But I'm so slow on it because I find it terribly hard writing blind on computers. The computer speaks to me, but it's just so slow, I'm so terribly slow using it.
This will surprise some of your readers, but my primary interest is not with computer security. I am primarily interested in writing software that works as intended.
The highest, as the lowest, form of criticism is a mode of autobiography.
The Preface To ‘The Picture Of Dorian Gray’, 1891
Journalism justifies its own existence by the great Darwinian principle of the survival of the vulgarist.