This morning, while I was avoiding working on Thin Places; Celtic Doorways to the Otherworld – a book I’ve been trying to write for about 12 years now, I thought I’d motivate myself by leafing through some of the many books I have on the craft of writing – just another ploy to psyche myself into getting to work.
I came across some great stuff – so as another ploy to avoid writing, I’m sharing these gems with you, – my fellow writers, publishers, readers, etc.
Hope they give you a smile or at least a few entertaining moments of reflective thought..
My favorite is one I’ve read before. It takes me back to my days as a publisher, and I smile at its irony – fearing I’ve become what I used to hate. It was written by W. Adolphe Roberts in March of 1921. Roberts was the editor of Ainslee’s Magazine and this quote came from his article entitled, Why I Rejected Ten Thousand Manuscripts:
“The unsolicited manuscripts fell into two natural groups, the amateur and the professional. The former comprised 90 percent of the total, the latter 10 percent. The large army of untrained and, for the most part, talentless persons in the United States who seem to be determined to become writers is a constant source of astonishment to this editor. The aspirants are well educated and generally earn their livings in semi-literary callings, such as the church, teaching, library work, etc. But they have nothing original to say, and their technique consist of a stilted imitation of classical models. …. The 10 percent of workmanlike stories and articles by professionals constitutes the raw material which this editor tests and weighs, from which he selects – however 90 percent of that 10 percent had no worthwhile content.”
Ouch! Hope I’m in the 10 percent – No wait, the 90 percent – No wait again, the 10 percent of the 10 percent.
Here’s another one I like by Charles Baxter – one sentence, short and sweet:
“Feeling of inadequacy are the black lung disease of writing.”
Suddenly, I can’t breathe.
Finally, (and then I’ll get back to writing), a quote by Robert Haas
“It’s hell writing, but it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is just having written”
Bye for now.
I’m going to try for that Robert Haas "tolerable state."
Hope all is well with all of you.