Ask The Experts
If you want an answer to a question, consult with the experts … So, my question: what is writing? It’s a question that’s been posed to B2W more than once. I raided BrainyQuote and hand-picked 10 quotes from experts I found online that I think sums up the process pretty well. What do you think? Which quote is your favourite? Let’s go …
1) Paulo Coehlo
‘Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions.’
2) Amy Tan
‘Writing is an extreme privilege but it’s also a gift. It’s a gift to yourself and it’s a gift of giving a story to someone.’
3) Mini Grey
‘Writing is a journey of discovery because until you start, you never know what will happen, and you can be surprised by what you do – expect the unexpected!’
4) E. L. Doctorow
‘Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.’
5) C. S. Lewis
‘Writing is like a ‘lust,’ or like ‘scratching when you itch.’ Writing comes as a result of a very strong impulse, and when it does come, I, for one, must get it out.’
6) Robert J. Sawyer
‘The heart and soul of good writing is research; you should write not what you know but what you can find out about.’
7) Isaac Asimov
‘Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.’
8) Nicholas Winding Refn
‘Writing is fantasising about what your film will be like. Shooting is reality. And the post-production is recovering the idea you had.’
9) Toni Morrison
‘I think some aspects of writing can be taught. Obviously, you can’t teach vision or talent.’
10) Aaron Sorkin
‘Writing never comes easy. The difference between Page 2 and Page Nothing is the difference between life and death.’
Lots of Bang2writers tell me they feel they are writing for ‘no reason’. The ones that tell me this are usually those who have been writing a good while, but feel stuck in a rut. They may feel they have not advanced up the writing careers ladder as much as they would have liked.
I get it … It’s frustrating to put the effort and not get your reward. It can be soul destroying to see others leap frog over you, especially when you feel your writing is better. But if those B2Wers are not advancing as quickly as they would like, then they need to look at their strategy. Then they will be able to see they ARE writing for a ‘reason’ … They need to set a goal and deadline. They must find out HOW to do it and WHEN by.
If your crisis is not about careers, but the writing then, think about what writing means to YOU. This will help you decide whether you want to continue. The quotes above are a good place to start.
Like Paulo Coehlo, I think writing is ultimately about sharing; like Amy Tan, I also think writing is a gift to myself and others. I also feel like I process my thoughts and feelings about the world and my life through writing, like Isaac Asimov. Realising others who have come before me thought these things, helps me with my own crises of confidence.
Which quotes chime with your thoughts on writing? Let us know in the comments.