Nuggets of Wisdom from Writers


I have always been admiring of and intrigued by people who are able to express their wisdom and insight in a clear and pithy manner. Here are a few gems on writing.

“The total life of the writer
is the source of his work,
all of these go into his writing
in varying quantities:

the sense, as of taste and touch,
the rate of metabolism, blood pressure,
the digestion, body temperature,
the memory of things past,
perhaps going back to the childhood
not only of the writer but of the race itself.

The success of his work
depends on the liveliness
and alertness of his brain,
previous reading of books,
shrewdness of insight into human character,
his ear for the sound of language.

The writer, therefore,
must have a more than ordinary
capacity for life
and the power to retain what he experiences.”

Paul Engle

“I write for the same reason I breathe- because if I didn’t, I would die.” Isaac Asimov

“You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can’t, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world… The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way … people look at reality, then you can change it.” James Arthur Baldwin

“When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters – one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity.” Saul David Alinsky

A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.” Franz Kafka

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Jack London

“You must write for children the same way you write for adults, only better” Maxim Gorky

Tales my Ghanaian Grandmother Told Me


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