Friday, October 30, 2009

Charles Willeford on Words and Writing

“I joined writer’s clubs, short story classes, where we sat around and read each other’s efforts. It was terrible. It was a never-ending run on a runaway treadmill. The more I tried to conform to the formula the more hopeless it all appeared. I lost all hope; I reached the point where I no longer cared what people thought about my writing. And that is when I began to write.

“I wrote for ten years before I sold a line. During this period I discovered encouragement, many times, is a lot worse than discouragement. Only by reaching the depths of depression can you find the courage to go on.”

–Charles Willeford, “Writing as an Art”

9 comments:

  1. I copied and pasted that first quote to save. Inspiring and a half.

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  2. Oh, yeah, I know that feeling well.

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  3. And you can feel the pain in every word.

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  4. "I lost all hope; I reached the point where I no longer cared what people thought about my writing. And that is when I began to write."

    Wow, let's put that on a tee shirt, or a poster.

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  5. If you do put it on either, count me in as your first customer!

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  6. I never really thought of it that way but I can see his point.

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  7. I'm not a serious writer, and I can't say I ever felt the way Willeford describes, but I have noticed that when I wrote for someone else's good opinion I'm less happy with the end result. I feel like I'm compromising what I want to say just to get a little praise. OTOH, I'm young yet. Maybe I'll learn better.

    "...I reached the point where I no longer cared what people thought about my writing. And that is when I began to write."

    I'll keep these words in mind.

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