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  • Mark Pomeroy

Words on Writing, Part Four



Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.


— E.L. Doctorow

Much of the ingenuity of our remarkable species goes toward finding new ways to distract ourselves from things that really matter. The Internet — it’s lethal, isn’t it? Maintaining focus is critical, I think, in the presence of endless distraction. You’ve only got time to be a halfway decent parent, plus one other thing.

— David Mitchell

The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.

— Paulo Coelho

Life is too short to get bogged down and be discouraged. You have to keep moving. You have to keep going.

— Kobe Bryant



The life of the arts, far from being an interruption, a distraction, in the life of a nation, is very close to the center of a nation’s purpose – and is a test of the quality of a nation’s civilization.

— John F. Kennedy

What’s important, finally, is that you create, and that those creations define for you what matters most, that which cannot be extinguished even in the face of silence, solitude, and rejection.

— Betsy Lerner

One writer needs to be two carpenters: a builder with mettle, and a finisher with slow hands.

— Susan Bell

Writing is a job like any other. You succeed by virtue of working at it. Is it fun? Goodness no. Riding roller coasters is fun. Skiing is fun. Boogie boarding is fun. I don’t require my profession to be fun. I require it to be satisfying. And, for me, writing is exactly that.

— Elizabeth George

It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.


— James Baldwin

I learned that the more you have to say, perhaps the simpler you need to be saying it. As life teaches you lessons, it strips away the fussy detail, and just suggesting things or leaving a space to let someone read between the lines is a very powerful tool.

— David Gray

Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.

— Kurt Vonnegut

It is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it.

— Wendell Berry

Life only demands from you the strength you possess. Only one feat is possible – not to have run away.

— Dag Hammarskjöld


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