… often when I write I am trying to make words do the work of line and colour. I have the painter’s sensitivity to light. Much (and perhaps the best) of my writing is verbal painting.
(Elizabeth Bowen 1899-1973)
I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.
(Douglas Adams 1952-2001)
You write a short story and you’re totally responsible for it. You can delude yourself that the people who read it think exactly as you think and are highly appreciative. It never occurs to you that it’s being read by people in dentists’ waiting rooms or waiting for a train.
(Brian Friel 1929-2015)
I do what I do, and write what I write, without calculating what is worth what and so on. Fortunately, I am not a banker or an accountant. I feel that there is a time when a political statement needs to be made and I make it.
(Arundhati Roy b.1961)
The writer should never forget that he is also a reader, though a prejudiced one, and if he cannot read his own work a dozen times he can scarcely expect a reader to look at it twice.
(Frank O’Connor 1903-1966: The Lonely Voice)
When you’re starting out as a young poet, you love the high of finishing. So you do the lyric quickly and that’s a joy. As you go on, the joy of actually doing it, of beating the gold out further, of making more of it, of wondering can I take it further, is what you ideally want. But then the doubt comes in: Am I killing it?
(Seamus Heaney 1939-2013: Stepping Stones)
*Seamus Heaney portrait by Peter Edwards,oil on canvas, 1987-1988 (1981 mm x 1372 mm) Primary Collection NPG 6023
Writing is not a genteel profession. It’s quite nasty and tough and kind of dirty.
(Rosemary Mahoney b.1961: Non-fiction writer)