On Writing

“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 of, no shortcut.”

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”

“Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how-to, you see; it’s also a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.”

“Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life.”

“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”