Monday Mentor A – Z

September marks the month of writing conferences, and my schedule is planned out for the next four weeks. Because I won’t be at my desk as much as usual, my Monday Mentor features will be a little bit different for the month of September. Instead of focusing on one mentor, this week I am including quotes from a variety of writers. I am “quotations junkie,” so I always look forward to pondering words of wisdom from the masters. I hope you find inspiration too!


It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition.  ~  Isaac Asimov


When you’re a sportswriter, you learn how to use your imagination and to flex your literary muscle, because it’s the same game played over and over again. There’s nothing unique or marvelous. It’s not an earthquake, or a weird mass murder. It’s just the same old game played over and over, and you have to bring out the personalities. You have to drag them kicking and screaming out into the light of day, or you’re not a good sportswriter.  ~  Rick Bragg


Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.  ~  Truman Capote


The four rules of writing… 1. Write to discover. 2. There is no greater discovery than love. 3. All love comes from the Creator. 4. Write what you will.  ~  Ted Dekker


Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.  ~  Ralph Waldo Emerson


No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.  ~  Robert Frost


Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn’t we?  ~  Terri Guillemets


Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.  ~  Nathaniel Hawthorne


A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.  ~  Eugene Ionesco


The only reason for the existence of a novel is that it does attempt to represent life.  ~  Henry James


I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.  ~  Stephen King


Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.  ~  C.S. Lewis


I love writing.  I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.  ~  James Michener


Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man.   ~  Vladimir Nabokov 


Without craft, art remains private. Without art, craft is merely hackwork.  Joyce Carol Oates


Through joy and through sorrow, I wrote. Through hunger and through thirst, I wrote. Through good report and through ill report, I wrote. Through sunshine and through moonshine, I wrote. What I wrote it is unnecessary to say. ~  Edgar Allan Poe


Most beginning writers (and I was the same) are like chefs trying to cook great dishes that they’ve never tasted themselves. How can you make a great (or even an adequate) bouillabaisse if you’ve never had any? If you don’t really understand why people read mysteries (or romances or literary novels or thrillers or whatever), then there’s no way in the world you’re going to write one that anyone wants to publish. (This is the meaning of the well-known expression “Write what you know.”)  ~  Daniel Quinn


It is our choices…that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.  ~  J. K. Rowling


Usually, when people get to the end of a chapter, they close the book and go to sleep. I deliberately write my books so when the reader gets to the end of a chapter, he or she must turn one more page. When people tell me I’ve kept them up all night, I feel like I’ve succeeded!  ~  Sidney Sheldon 


Write without pay until someone offers to pay.  ~  Mark Twain


I can’t help but to write, I have a inner need for it. If I’m not in the middle of some literary project, I’m utterly lost, unhappy and distressed. As soon as I get started, I calm down.  ~  Kaari Utrio 


Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head and as you get older, you become more skillful casting them.  ~  Gore Vidal


Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.  ~  William Wordsworth


Writing eases my suffering…writing is my way of reaffirming my own existence.  ~  Gao Xingjian


It is my contention that a really great novel is made with a knife and not a pen. A novelist must have the intestinal fortitude to cut out even the most brilliant passage so long as it doesn’t advance the story.  ~  Frank Yerby


Writing is thinking on paper.  ~  William Zissner

14 thoughts on “Monday Mentor A – Z

    • My work is yet to be published, but when I finished the last word of my YA novel, I felt so completely empty. I think I actually mourned the finishing of it for a couple of weeks. I had spent so much time with these characters, had followed them to so many different places, that I didn’t know what to do “on my own.” I can honestly say that I have never felt so fulfilled than when I was writing it. I can’t wait to get started again. 🙂

    • I thought about NOT putting Capote’s quote. It’s a bit morbid, but it’s the one that grabbed me. I identified with it the most. I like S too. One thing about captivating books with short chapters is that they are like Sirens in the night, seducing me to turn the page. “What’s one more little chapter going to hurt?” Next thing I know it’s the wee hours of the morning, and I have to get up for work.

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