Some Writerly Quotes

I just got one of those almost positive bits of news that could mean nothing.

Love them, but reminded me of the Seth Godin quote about “The stressful part is the hoping.”

So, thought I’d do post a few great quotes since it’s been a while since I did that.

“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” — Albert Camus

(I can still picture my 11th grade English teacher saying that man’s name and prolonging the “ooh” sound at the end.  It’s a pretty frightening image…probably the real-life trauma that drives me to write.)

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” — Bill Cosby

(Yes.  I saw this at critique group.  A woman was working on a women’s fiction novel and some guy gave critiques trying to turn it into a fast-paced thriller.  No, no, no.)

“A subtle thought that is in error may yet give rise to fruitful inquiry that can establish truths of great value.” — Isaac Asimov

(His writing about psychohistory is still one of the most fascinating ideas I’ve ever read.  Having worked with large data sets, though, I can say that it’s easier envisioned than done.)

“To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… cruising, it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. ‘I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.’ What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?” – Sterling Hayden

(I don’t even know who Sterling Hayden is or where I picked up that quote, but YES.  Never wait for circumstances to be perfect because you’ll never do anything that way.)

“Don’t publish everything you write, but the more you write, the more you have to choose from.” –Seth Godin

(Right now I think only about 80% of what I write is publishable.  Truth is the actual percentage is probably closer to 60%.)

“Stories — like wine, brisket, romance and bondage games — need time.” — Chuck Wendig

(Yes.  I touched on this a bit on my blog for readers yesterday.  Sometimes it takes time to figure out the right angle for approaching a story and it may take five or six attempts to find it.  Don’t force it.)Ok, so there you have it.  A little bit of philosophy, a little bit of inspiration, and a little bit of bondage to spice it up.(Oh, and mark this as the first time I’ve put a photo up on this site that I didn’t take myself, but I do have about 160 stock photos downloaded at this point, so might as well use a few, no?)

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
This entry was posted in General, Life, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Some Writerly Quotes

  1. Dave Higgins says:

    I especially like the insight of the jazz markup at the end. ; )

Comments are closed.