„A young writer is easily tempted by the allusive and ethereal and ironic and reflective, but the declarative is at the bottom of most good writing.“

"Post to the Host" (July 2005) http://www.publicradio.org/columns/prairiehome/posthost/2005/07/
Kontext: Journalism is a good place for any writer to start — the retailing of fact is always a useful trade and can it help you learn to appreciate the declarative sentence. A young writer is easily tempted by the allusive and ethereal and ironic and reflective, but the declarative is at the bottom of most good writing.

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Garrison Keillor
amerikanischer Schriftsteller und Radiomoderator 1942

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„If you would be a good reader, read; if a writer, write.“

—  Epictetus philosopher from Ancient Greece 50 - 138

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„Many writers write a great deal, but very few write more than a very little of the real thing. So most writing must be displaced activity.“

—  Ted Hughes English poet and children's writer 1930 - 1998

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Kontext: Many writers write a great deal, but very few write more than a very little of the real thing. So most writing must be displaced activity. When cockerels confront each other and daren’t fight, they busily start pecking imaginary grains off to the side. That’s displaced activity. Much of what we do at any level is a bit like that, I fancy. But hard to know which is which. On the other hand, the machinery has to be kept running. The big problem for those who write verse is keeping the machine running without simply exercising evasion of the real confrontation. If Ulanova, the ballerina, missed one day of practice, she couldn’t get back to peak fitness without a week of hard work. Dickens said the same about his writing—if he missed a day he needed a week of hard slog to get back into the flow.

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„Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory.“

—  William Faulkner American writer 1897 - 1962

Paris Review interview (1958)
Kontext: Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error. The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him.

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„Many a young person tells me he wants to be a writer. I always encourage such people, but I also explain that there’s a big difference between “being a writer” and writing.“

—  Alex Haley African American biographer, screenwriter, and novelist 1921 - 1992

"The Shadowland of Dreams"', published in Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work (1996) by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Maida Rogerson, Martin Rutte and Tim Clauss; also in Alex Haley : The Man Who Traced America's Roots (2007), a collection of stories and essays by Haley published in Reader's Digest between 1954 to 1991.
Kontext: Many a young person tells me he wants to be a writer. I always encourage such people, but I also explain that there’s a big difference between “being a writer” and writing. In most cases these individuals are dreaming of wealth and fame, not the long hours alone at the typewriter. “You’ve got to want to write,” I say to them, “not want to be a writer.”
The reality is that writing is a lonely, private and poor-paying affair. For every writer kissed by fortune, there are thousands more whose longing is never requited. Even those who succeed often know long periods of neglect and poverty. I did.

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