„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, 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.
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Ted Hughes
1930 - 1998
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„You can't be a writer if you're not a reader. It's the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it's for only half an hour — write, write, write.“

—  Madeleine L'Engle American writer 1918 - 2007
Context: I have advice for people who want to write. I don't care whether they're 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can't be a writer if you're not a reader. It's the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it's for only half an hour — write, write, write.

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„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

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„Be a writer. Write things down.“

—  William Zinsser writer, editor, journalist, literary critic, professor 1922 - 2015
Chapter 10, Writing About People: The Interview, p. 70.

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