Every writer dreams of having a backyard cottage, similar to Dahl's 'writing hut'. English cottages and charming huts might seem out of reach, but a good carpenter could build a modest cottage on the cheap.
The smartest thing I ever did as a writer was hire a retired conservation agent to blaze a hiking trail for me. It's nothing fancy — just a narrow path that meanders for a little over a mile through the woods near my home. But that trail through the trees has become my therapist, my personal trainer, and my best editor.
I think the best thing I ever did was, years before I got the 'Late Night' show, when I first got out to Los Angeles to be a television writer, the first thing I did was I signed up to take improvisational classes... And I studied that for years, and I really loved it.
During the holiday season, it's easy to forget that sometimes the best gift of all is simply the gift of time. I can't think of anything a writer would appreciate more than being given time and space to work.
Storytelling is ultimately a creative act of pattern recognition. Through characters, plot and setting, a writer creates places where previously invisible truths become visible. Or the storyteller posits a series of dots that the reader can connect.
My own experience with being interviewed is mixed. I suppose they're a part of my job, and as I would like readers to connect with my books, I do them. I've also made many lifelong friends whom I first encountered as interviewers — as a writer, they're a terrific way to meet and add smart new people to one's life.
I'm not patient at all. I avoid writer's block by writing. I power through with a bad version, so I can move on, and usually once I've gotten to the next scene, I'll discover what was missing from the bad version scene. Then I can easily rewrite it to get back on the right path.
For a true writer, each book should be a new beginning where he tries again for something that is beyond attainment. He should always try for something that has never been done or that others have tried and failed. Then sometimes, with great luck, he will succeed.
Writer — quotes and aphorisms
No one connected intimately with a writer has any appreciation of his temperament, except to think him overdoing everything.
When I was able to go to school in my early years, my third grade teacher, Ms. Harris, convinced me that one day I would be a writer. I heard her, but I knew that I had to leave Georgia, and unlike my friend Ray Charles, I did not go around with 'Georgia on My Mind'.
Men whose sense of taste is destroyed by sickness, sometimes think honey sour. A diseased eye does not see many things which do exist, and notes many things which do not exist. The same thing frequently takes place with regard to the force of words, when the critic is inferior to the writer.
Those who prefer their English sloppy have only themselves to thank if the advertisement writer uses his mastery of the vocabulary and syntax to mislead their weak minds.
As I read more and more — and it was not all verse, by any means — my love for the real life of words increased until I knew that I must live with them and in them, always. I knew, in fact, that I must be a writer of words, and nothing else.
I wanted to be a soccer player, and I became the best of the best, the number one, better than Maradona, better than Pele, and even better than Messi — but only at night, nighttime, during my dreams. When I wake up, I realized that I have wooden legs and that I'm doomed to be a writer.
The most important thing is to live an interesting life. Keep your eyes, ears and heart open. Talk to people and visit interesting places, and don't forget to ask questions. To be a writer you need to drink in the world around you so it's always there in your head.