I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody's head.
Drama, instead of telling us the whole of a man's life, must place him in such a situation, tie such a knot, that when it is untied, the whole man is visible.
No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
~Henry Brooks Adams, The Education of Henry Adams, 1907
The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say.
Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.
A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.
Novelists... fashioning nets to sustain and support the reader as he falls helplessly through the chaos of his own existence.
Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.
~Rainer Maria Rilke
Books want to be born: I never make them. They come to me and insist on being written, and on being such and such.
It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.