Quotes Corner: Something a Little Different

With such plagues as writers block and lack of motivation constantly lurking around every corner, quotes from other writers (who have most likely dealt with these same problems) can be a saving grace of sorts for the rest of us. Hence the reasoning behind the creation of “Quotes Corner.”Certain weeks may be themed (by author), while others may be random.

Today, I’m going to try something a little different with the QC theme. For one of my graduate classes, I’ve been reading essays on writing and journalism. I just recently finished one by V.S. Naipaul titled “On Being A Writer.” In reading this, I found myself highlighting quite a few passages that Naipaul wrote about general writing and about how he came to be a writer. They’re fairly interesting points to think about and as such, I’d like to share some of them here.

  • “I write the artificial, self-conscious beginnings of many books; until finally some true impulse—the one I have been working toward—possesses me, and I sail away on my year’s labor. And that is mysterious still—that out of artifice one should touch and stir up what is deepest in one’s soul, one’s heart, one’s memory.”
  • “Every serious writer has to be original; he cannot be content to do or to offer a version of what has been done before. And every serious writer as a result becomes aware of this question of form; because he knows that however much he might have been educated and stimulated by the writers he has read or reads, the forms matched the experience of those writers, and do not strictly suit his own.”
  • “Literature is not like music; it isn’t for the young;there are no prodigies in writing. The knowledge or experience a writer seeks to transmit is social or sentimental; it takes time, it can take much of a man’s life, to process that experience, to understand what he has been through; and it takes great care and tact, then, for the nature of the experience not to be lost, not to be diluted by the wrong forms. The other man’s forms served the other man’s thoughts.”
  • “A book is the product of a different self from the self we manifest in our habits, in our social life, in our vices.”

[What do you think about these quotes? Do you agree/disagree with them? How do you interpret them as a writer? Let me know in the comments.]