But I am going to be guest-blogging on Romance by the Blog on January 8th, as the chapter grand prize winner of Avon FanLit. Sara Dennis is scheduled for the 12th, I think.

I’m still not sure when I’ll be going to New York – with a three-month-old baby, I’m not in a real rush, either to take him along or leave him behind. As soon as a date is set, I’ll let you all know.

So speaking of quotes, CM’s blog brought to mind one of my favorite writing quotes, shared with me by a journalism professor eons ago:

“It’s hell writing and it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.” —Robert Hass.

I love that quote, because it lets me know that I am not alone in having a contentious relationship with my keyboard. When people say they “love to write,” I really don’t know what they mean. For me, writing is like picking a scab. It’s slow and messy and painful, but just irresistible in some grotesque, masochistic way.

What are your favorite quotes on writing?

6 comments to “Don’t quote me…”

  1. Anonymous
    · November 30th, 2006 at 8:30 am · Link


    Send me a reminder in January about your guest-bloggin on Romance by the Blog.

    Favourite quote I do have. I remember the first time I read it, it struck me so strongly I remembered it verbatim.

    There’s nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and open up a vein. – Walter Smith

    Sometimes it does feel like that but the reward when it’s complete is so worth it.


  2. Alice Audrey
    · November 30th, 2006 at 1:01 pm · Link

    Do the ones I made up myself count?


  3. Anonymous
    · November 30th, 2006 at 2:14 pm · Link

    Yep. . . definately remind us when to tune in!

    I know what you mean about being hesitant to leave your little one (or take them with for that matter) — I’ve had to leave mine with my husband a couple of times, I miss them like crazy but, when I get back, I’m so glad I had the chance to go!

    My favorite writing quotes:

    Ant Jan Christensen’s writer’s mantra: write,submit, write, submit

    And a quote that I thought was one of Mark Twains, but maybe not: The only difference between a published writer and an unpublished writer is PERSISTENCE.

  4. Mary Danielson
    · December 2nd, 2006 at 4:58 pm · Link

    I am chiming in with a reminder request – you must let us know the exact date!

    My favorite writing quote is:

    “The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, brain surgery.” – Robert Cormier.

    That pretty much sums up my writing philosophy. I am such a fan of writing dreck first and worrying about fixing it later.

  5. LauraT
    · December 2nd, 2006 at 9:18 pm · Link

    Hi Tessa!

    Three months old! That is so sweet…~! I just had to go to NYC recently and I left my one year old with my mom.. I thought she would be happier, and I wouldn’t worry as much about her. But, I think the other way would work too, if you brought a doting fam member with you :O).

    Anyway.. I love Romance by the Blog… there is a Squawk week coming up on there I think right before you go on! I can’t wait for all of it.

  6. Lenora Bell
    · December 6th, 2006 at 11:57 pm · Link

    Well I love every sentence Ursula K. le Guin has ever written about writing. But this one always stays in my mind:

    The whole thing, writing a story, is a high-wire act – there you are out in midair walking on a spiderweb line of words, and down in the darkness people are watching. What can you trust but your sense of balance?