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  • Mark Pomeroy

Words on Writing, Part Two

Computers are useless — all they can give you are answers.

— Picasso

When I had no roof I made/Audacity my roof.

— Robert Pinsky

What his work (Larry Rivers, the painter) has always had to say to me, I guess, is to be more keenly interested while I’m still alive. And perhaps this is the most important thing art can say.

— Frank O’Hara

Interviewer: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Larry Brown: Rejection. Trial and error. Make lots of stupid mistakes. There are no shortcuts. You have to learn to write fiction that grabs the reader by the throat and doesn’t let him go until you’re through with him. And the only way to do that is to sit down and spend years writing and failing and writing again. If you quit, nobody’s ever going to hear from you.

I thought writing was literature — out of reach. But the best writing comes out of your life: How do you talk your way out of trouble? Use that voice.

— George Saunders

Certainly, as a reader, I had always discovered the deepest truths in fiction; it was through reading novels that I learned about the world, a world not only of fact but of imagination and emotion.

— Alice Hoffman

What a person is shows up in what a person does.

— William Stafford

The one reason that my group Run-DMC was on point was practice! My motto is: If I miss a day of practice, I know it. If I miss two days, my manager knows it. If I miss three days, my audience knows it! Practice, practice, practice!

— Rev Run

We are responsible for the quality of our vision, we have a say in the shaping of our sensibility. In the many thousand daily choices we make, we create ourselves and the voice with which we speak and work.

— Carolyn Forche

The secret of making (art) is simple: discard everything that is good enough.

— James Salter


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