Being a Writer: Advice, Musings, Essays and Experiences From the World’s Greatest Authors

Writers love books about writers, but this one doesn’t merit picking up. Someone has cherry-picked their favorite phrases and wisdom about writing from a variety pack of authors and pulled it into a coffee-table-esque book meant to inspire you to get off your arse and write. However, all was not lost, I did pick up a few tidbits:

  • Jack Kerouac gives (rightful) praise to Gertrude Stein—”When the question is therefore asked, ‘Are writers born or made?’ one should first ask, ‘do you mean writers of talent or writers of originality?’ Because everybody can write but not everybody invents new forms of writing. Gertrude Stein invented new forms of writing and her imitators are just ‘talents.'”
  • A bolt of truth splits me in half from Thoreau: “How vain it is to sit down and write when you have not stood up to live.”
  • Thomas Mann: “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
  • Katherine Mansfield: “Looking back, I imagine I was always writing. Twaddle it was too. But better far write twaddle or anything, anything, than nothing at all.”