10 Quotes About The Writing Process By 9 Writers And Bruce Jenner

10 Quotes About The Writing Process By 9 Writers And Bruce Jenner

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Gertrude Stein may not deserve to be on a list with Bruce Jenner if not for the fact that they’ve both shed light on the holy and arduous process of the human creative process. Writing is not a cake walk. We’ve had the honor of reading works by nine of the following celebrities, as well as watching “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” Here’s some wisdom by people who excel at putting ideas and feelings into words: 10 quotes about the writing process by nine writers and Bruce Jenner.

Sources: Goodreads.com, Thoughtcatalog.com, Writersdigest.com

Junot Diaz


On Changing Yourself for Writing

“In order to write the book you want to write, in the end you have to become the person you need to become to write that book.”

— Junot Diaz, author of “Drown” and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.”

Kurt Vonnegut en.wikipedia.org
Kurt Vonnegut

On the Foundations of Punctuation

“I realize that some of you may have come in hopes of hearing tips on how to become a professional writer. I say to you, ‘If you really want to hurt your parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be a homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts. But do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites, standing for absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.’”

— Kurt Vonnegut, author of “Cat’s Cradle” and “Breakfast of Champions.”

Stephen King en.wikipedia.org
Stephen King

Comforting Advice from the Master of Terror

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware off, no shortcut.”

“The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better.

— Stephen King, author of “Carrie,” “The Stand,” and a wonderful memoir on writing called “On Writing.”

Anne Lamott en.wikipedia.org
Anne Lamott

On Relating it to Animals

“My older brother was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'”

— Annie Lamott, from her book “Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life,” which is an unputdownable treasure.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez en.wikipedia.org
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

On Being Gabriel García Márquez

“In journalism just one fact that is false prejudices the entire work. In contrast, in fiction one single fact that is true gives legitimacy to the entire work. That’s the only difference, and it lies in the commitment of the writer. A novelist can do anything he wants so long as he makes people believe in it.”

— Gabriel García Márquez, author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “Love in the Time of Cholera.”

Bruce Jenner en.wikipedia.org
Bruce Jenner

On Being Married to Kim Kardashian’s Mother

“I learned that the only way you are going to get anywhere in life is to work hard at it. Whether you’re a musician, a writer, an athlete, or a businessman, there is no getting around it. If you do, you’ll win. If you don’t, you won’t.”

— Bruce Jenner, gold medal Olympian

Gertrude Stein en.wikipedia.org
Gertrude Stein

On how it’s OK to (always) write about sex

“Literature–creative literature–unconcerned with sex, is inconceivable.”

— Gertrude Stein, author and the original American lady in Paris. You must read “The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas,” written through the voice of Stein’s lover Alice B. Toklas.

Arthur Rimbaud portrait by Reginald Grey en.wikipedia.org
Arthur Rimbaud portrait by Reginald Grey

From a 19th Century French Poet who Died Young

“I turned silences and nights into words. What was unutterable, I wrote down. I made the whirling world stand still.”

— Arthur Rimbaud, “A Season in Hell (Une Saison en Enfer),” a collection of prose poetry self published and handed out to friends in 1873.

Philip Roth en.wikipedia.org
Philip Roth

On happiness and writing

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”

— Stephen King again.

“The road to hell is paved with works in progress”

— Philip Roth, the great American writer of “American Pastoral” and “Goodbye, Columbus.”

Joan Didion en.wikipedia.org
Joan Didion

Reassurance that it’s OK to write about someone you hate

“Writers are always selling somebody out.”

— Joan Didion, author of “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” and “The Year of Magical Thinking.”