Brain Pickings

Reads tagged with “writing”

Henry James and H.G. Well’s Famous Feud About Writing, the Purpose of Art, and the Usefulness of Literature
Henry James and H.G. Well’s Famous Feud About Writing, the Purpose of Art, and the Usefulness of Literature

“It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance…”

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Patti Smith, Umberto Eco, and Other Celebrated Contemporary Authors Offer Their Advice to Aspiring Writers
Patti Smith, Umberto Eco, and Other Celebrated Contemporary Authors Offer Their Advice to Aspiring Writers

“Build a good name. Keep your name clean. Don’t make compromises, don’t worry about making a bunch of money… If you build a good name, eventually, that name will be its own currency.”

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Believe the Praiser and Dismiss the Praise: Donald Hall’s Advice on Writing
Believe the Praiser and Dismiss the Praise: Donald Hall’s Advice on Writing

“Rhythm and cadence have little connection to import, but they should carry the reader on a pleasurable journey.”

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Donald Hall on Growing Old and Our Cultural Attitude Toward the Elderly
Donald Hall on Growing Old and Our Cultural Attitude Toward the Elderly

“When kindness to the old is condescending, it is aware of itself as benignity while it asserts its power.”

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The Problem of Shakespeare’s Sister: Virginia Woolf on Gender in Creative Culture
The Problem of Shakespeare’s Sister: Virginia Woolf on Gender in Creative Culture

“To write a work of genius is almost always a feat of prodigious difficulty. Everything is against the likelihood that it will come from the writer’s mind whole and entire.”

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James Baldwin’s Advice on Writing
James Baldwin’s Advice on Writing

“Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.”

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Why We Write About Ourselves: Some of Today’s Most Celebrated Writers on the Art of Telling Personal Stories That Unravel Universal Truth
Why We Write About Ourselves: Some of Today’s Most Celebrated Writers on the Art of Telling Personal Stories That Unravel Universal Truth

“Making art is all about humans and our psychology: who we are, how we behave, what we do with the hand we’ve been dealt. It’s closer to your own bone when it’s a memoir, but the bone is still the bone.”

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The Psychology of What Makes a Great Story
The Psychology of What Makes a Great Story

“The great writer’s gift to a reader is to make him a better writer.”

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Hemingway’s Advice on Writing, Ambition, the Art of Revision, and His Reading List of Essential Books for Aspiring Writers
Hemingway’s Advice on Writing, Ambition, the Art of Revision, and His Reading List of Essential Books for Aspiring Writers

“In any art you’re allowed to steal anything if you can make it better.”

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The Outsider with the Public Voice: How Joan Didion Mirrored Us Back to Ourselves
The Outsider with the Public Voice: How Joan Didion Mirrored Us Back to Ourselves

“From the first, her work insisted that a single life contained the life of our times.”

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