Writers on writing
By Morgan on October 15th, 2012
Last week, Scholastic hosted a webcast with J.K. Rowling (which, by the way, you can watch here.). Megan and I were watching the event — just like the thousands of classrooms around the world that were watching, too — and live-tweeting as fast as we could. (We needed two of us to send the tweets from @Scholastic, since Jo was saying so many incredible things)
There were some great questions from kids, and the whole webcast was truly remarkable — as a huge Harry Potter fan, even though I’ve worked here for five years now, I still get inspired (and, yes, a little teary) hearing authors tell their stories and talk about their processes. And one of my favorite parts of the webcast was when Jo talked about her own process, and how writing the series did or did not change her, and what she learned from the characters she created.
As we mentioned earlier today, this Saturday is the National Day on Writing. Obviously, we at Scholastic appreciate almost nothing more than a piece of writing that moves us, makes us question things, makes us lose our breath. Writers have the ability to tap into our hearts or, on the other side, our deepest hidden fears. And either way, writers can make us feel less alone, because writing connects us.
Last week, Jo said much about writing that I found noteworthy, like:
- “I literally cannot remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer.”
- “An author is in every single character they write. Harry, Ron, Hermione — I’m in all three of them.”
- “I have to say, I’m a writer who can write pretty much anywhere.”
- “I was able to write in cafes [in Edinburgh] for a long time even when Harry Potter was known. I’m grateful for that.”
There are so many spot-on thoughts about the act of writing and the importance of writing from other authors, too. Like:
- There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. — Ernest Hemingway
- Don’t tell me the sun is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. — Anton Chekhov
- Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else. — Gloria Steinem
- If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it. — Anais Nin
- Everything I’ve ever done, in the writing world, has been to expand articulation, rather than to close it. — Toni Morrison
What are your favorite quotes from writers about the act of writing? I’d love to see them in the comments.