Writing Truths from Writing Women

After a very exhausting weekend, I don’t have much to say here, so I’ll leave you with a few quotes from woman writers:

Bring all your intelligence to bear on your beginning.
– Elizabeth Bowen

Put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.
– Colette

Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.
– Gloria Steinem

If you are a writer you locate yourself behind a wall of silence and no matter what you are doing, driving a car or walking or doing housework you can still be writing, because you have that space.
– Joyce Carol Oates

Never throw up on an editor.
– Ellen Datlow

Which quote did you like the most?

2 thoughts on “Writing Truths from Writing Women

  • Greetings!

    I’m currently reading a “writing” book and these quotes are right in line with the main themes of the book.

    I like the “never throw up on an editor” line best. It is short, snappy, graphic and amusing all at the same time. My kind of writing and the type I aspire to. Also – wickedly good advice. My full-time job is preoccupied with performance. Part of performance is the delivery of feedback. Humans often don’t appreciate feedback and frequently punish the bearer of feedback.

    True, sometimes the giver is less than skilled at the delivery or *might* not know entirely what they are talking about. Having said that – the vast majority of people who get paid at a profession *do* have good intentions *and* know what they are talking about. Editors are among these types.

    It takes practice to be accepting of feedback, just like the writing skill needs practice. Knowing that it’s bad form to vomit on the helper is useful.

    Hell, even Shakespeare knew … “don’t shoot the messenger.” 🙂

    Hope your next week is a better one!


  • RP,

    That was the one that leapt out at me most for hilarity, though others speak to me more-though no matter what kind of writer you are, it’s good advice. After I read it there was no way I could go on in life without using it at some point.

    I get a lot of flak because I’m generally the bearer of bad news. I tend to be blunt about it too, not because I can’t sugar coat it but because I’m not that kind of person, and it gets me in trouble when I say certain things to authority figures. But over the last year and a half I’ve found that people are gradually taking my bluntness better and better; I think it might be because people have figured out that’s how I am, and that I’m trying to help.

    I try not to get too defensive about my work and I’m all right with most things-I find I have the most trouble when someone says they dislike one of my characters. That’s more offensive than pretty much anything else they can say about my work; I feel like those are my friends, after all. I’m good at it online because I don’t send a message right back-I’m just hoping I can stay composed when an editor says that to my face.

    By the way, I read your piece on childhood. It was magnificent. You have a powerful writing voice and you can express many kinds of pain, many kinds of people, very well. I can only hope you enjoy reading my work as much as I enjoy reading yours.

    Thanks for reading,

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