„[Writing] is an addiction more powerful than alcohol, than nicotine, than crack. I could not conceive of not writing.“

—  Isaac Asimov, Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, April 1990, p.6
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Isaac Asimov39
1920 - 1992
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„Owning a dog is slightly less expensive than being addicted to crack.“

—  Jen Lancaster, Bitter Is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office

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„Reading is more important than writing.“

—  Roberto Bolaño, The Last Interview and Other Conversations

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„Nothing is more difficult than writing an autobiography.“

—  Alexandra Kollontai Soviet diplomat 1872 - 1952
Context: Nothing is more difficult than writing an autobiography. What should be emphasized? Just what is of general interest? It is advisable, above all, to write honestly and dispense with any of the conventional introductory protestations of modesty. For if one is called upon to tell about one's life so as to make the events that made it what it became useful to the general public, it can mean only that one must have already wrought something positive in life, accomplished a task that people recognize. Accordingly it is a matter of forgetting that one is writing about oneself, of making an effort to abjure one's ego so as to give an account, as objectively as possible, of one's life in the making and of one's accomplishments.

Jorge Luis Borges photo

„Writing is nothing more than a guided dream.“

—  Jorge Luis Borges Argentine short-story writer, essayist, poet and translator, and a key figure in Spanish language literature 1899 - 1986
Preface to Dr. Brodie's Report [El informe de Brodie] (1970)

James Thurber photo

„When all things are equal, translucence in writing is more effective than transparency, just as glow is more revealing than glare.“

—  James Thurber American cartoonist, author, journalist, playwright 1894 - 1961
Memo to The New Yorker (1959); reprinted in New York Times Book Review (4 December 1988)

Flannery O’Connor photo

„Not-writing is a good deal worse than writing.“

—  Flannery O’Connor, The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O'Connor

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Ralph Waldo Emerson photo

„I fancy I need more than another to speak (rather than write), with such a formidable tendency to the lapidary style. I build my house of boulders.“

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson American philosopher, essayist, and poet 1803 - 1882
Letter to Thomas Carlyle (30 October 1841)

E. B. White photo

„An editor is a person who knows more about writing than writers do but who has escaped the terrible desire to write.“

—  E. B. White American writer 1899 - 1985
Letter to Shirley Wiley (30 March 1954), in The Letters of E. B. White (1989), p. 391

Ted Hughes photo

„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
Context: 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.

Peter Ladefoged photo

„I wanted to find out why Shelley could write better-sounding poetry than I.“

—  Peter Ladefoged British phonetician 1925 - 2006
Los Angeles Times (1970); on why he chose to pursue phonetics.

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Vladimir Lenin photo

„It is more pleasant and useful to go through the 'experience of the revolution' than to write about it.“

—  Vladimir Lenin Russian politician, led the October Revolution 1870 - 1924

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