The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Five Writers on Writing

Washington, DC

"Keyed" by derekGavey, via Flickr

As anyone who has ever tried their hand at writing knows, sitting down before a blank page is the first step in a series of difficulties, doubts, passions, and exhilarating bursts of inspiration. Even for the legends of language, writing can be a mystifying if irresistible process. Below, five Big Read authors share their thoughts on what it means to write.

?There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.? ---Ernest Hemingway

"Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of 15." ---Willa Cather

"If I had to say what writing is, we would have to define it essentially as an act of courage." ---Cynthia Ozick

"The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true." ---John Steinbeck

"I write because I must. I am an artist, I have to create. I learn that once I started feeding that creative imagination within me that I couldn't stop, that I wanted to know more and more about that deep inner self which I really call the soul.  And one way of knowing that is through writing." ---Rudolfo Anaya

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