10 Great Quotations from Writers about Writing

I loved this post, so I just had to reblog. I particularly like the quote by Thomas Mann. Thanks to Interesting Literature for the original.


Interesting Literature

Here are ten of our favourite quotes about writing, from those who should probably know the most about it – writers themselves. Some of them are witty quotes, others profound, some a mixture. We hope you enjoy them.

‘Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.’

– Neil Gaiman

‘God may reduce you on Judgment Day to tears of shame, reciting by heart the poems you would have written, had your life been good.’

– W. H. Auden

‘A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.’

– Thomas Mann


‘Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.’

– Cyril Connolly

‘The dubious privilege of a freelance writer is that he’s given the…

View original post 127 more words


It’s only a name, surely?

There’s no question that picking a name to give our offspring is a massive decision. But why? It’s only a name isn’t it? Why should we care what their title is? I mean, it’s not as if that decision made there in the hospital delivery suite will affect how the rest of their lives will turn out, is it?

Is it?

I think it is. Or at least, it is in part.

I think somebody’s name can have implications far beyond what they are called.

Picture 2Names are important. They can label us, pigeonhole us, stereotype us, empower us and haunt us. If names really weren’t important, I’d have loved to call our girls something crazy and eccentric like ‘Boudicca’, ‘Calamity Jane’ or ‘Princess Powderkeg’. But we didn’t. Naturally, we gave them both lovely names, but not anything so extreme they’d spend their lives’ accounting for our moment of indulgence.

And so what I want to talk about here (and it is relevant, I promise) is how names can affect our perception of a character – and not only in fiction.

For me there are two ways a name can be linked to character traits: by association or by intention. Continue reading

That elusive mistress called Time

Some of my more regular readers (hello you two) may have noticed that I’ve not posted anything for a while. This is partly due to the recent festive season, partly due to family commitments and partly due to sheer laziness.

DCF 1.0

I’ve kept telling myself ­ that I just do not have the time to write a new post – which in a few instances has actually been true. I ‘ve convinced myself there’s no way I can find the hour-or-so that I need to put aside so I can sit down and write a quick blog post and that I’m just far too busy.

Of course, most of the time this is just not true. After all, I’ve found the time to sit down and watch TV. I have the time to go out for run. Hell, I even have the time for the occasional, insightful and meaningful conversation with my wife about our life, our hopes and our dreams.

Yes it’s true that I am busy. I’m helping build a website for my daughter’s choir; I’m training for a marathon; I have two young children; I even go to work sometimes. But stating that “I don’t have time” (while being true to a certain degree) is really just a big, fat falsification.

So in writing this blog post I’m hoping to shed some light on exactly what has kept me from posting for over a month. It’s not motivation – I enjoy writing new posts. It’s not lack of material – I’ve a bulging folder on my laptop titled Potential blog posts. And it’s not that I feel my blog and it readership is exactly where I’d like to be and requires no more work – yeah right.

So what is it? What’s lacking in my life that prevented me from sitting down to write this post for so many weeks?

The answer (ironically) is time. Which renders what I have just said a load of rubbish, yes?

Well, not completely.

In truth, and when it comes down to the absolute and bare-bones counting of minutes that I possess in my daily life, I have loads of spare time. Far more than many people I know.

Thinking further and deeper on this subject, however, I realise that it’s not time per se that I’m lacking, but more what I perceive to be a lack of time. Or put another way; I’m missing the right kind of time. Not only the kind of time where I  have the temporal space in which to work, but also the kind of time where my life stops pulsating just long enough for me to take a breath. (This is probably starting to sound rather familiar to my writer friends out there)

I guess that we all perceive time in different ways and bend that perception to our will, whereas sometimes, we actually don’t have the time. For example, when I’m strapping the kids into the car on a grey and drizzly Monday morning, knowing that school starts in three seconds and the youngest one wants me to go back into the house, locate her latest toy from under whatever pile of crap it may be hiding just so she can take it in to show her friends, then no, I really and categorically don’t have the time. On the other hand, when I can never get round to calling the dentist to make an appointment because dinner needs to made, wine needs to be opened, the fire needs to be lit and the latest season of True Blood needs to be watched, then yes, I do have the time, but I just choose to utlise it in a certain way whilst claiming “lack of time” in the process.

Likewise, if President Obama called me up saying he needed a witty, yet poignant State of the Union address written in the next twenty four hours and that I was the only person he could turn to achieve such a task in this topsy-turvy world of modern politics then, yes, of course I’d find the time.

It’s all a case of perceived time and prioritisation.

So by that reckoning, does this mean my blog comes way down my list of priorities? Well, yes, I think it must do if I’m being honest with myself. But at the same time, like I mentioned, to embark on such a task, I need to be in the right place before it can be the right time.

In my other life, I work for an airline and I write stuff when I go away. Right now it’s the first point since the middle of December, where I’ve sat down in my hotel room and stopped long enough, without any other distractions to say, “That’s it. Time for a blog post.”

Without that green light from whatever part of the brain prioritises my schedule, I won’t get the creative neurons firing and writing just won’t happen – not any half-decent writing anyway.

I have to say, it’s interesting to address this issue and to see how everthing works; how the ways in which time – or a lack of it – can be bent to our will, prejudicing certain actions in favour of others. For me personally, there’s not really such a thing as not enough time to write a blog post; it’s all about how much time I perceive there to be, which in turn is affected by my mood, my motivation and my frame of mind.


And there we are, you see. Now that my brain secretary has allotted me the right kind of time, I’ve managed to write this rambling post that no one out there will have the time to read. Ironic eh?

You know what else is ironic? I’ve lost my watch.


Thanks for reading.