The written word has been an important part of the human race for thousands of years. We use it to catalog our history as a species, communicate with others, and tell our personal stories. As with all art, the process of writing often stirs up a complex array of emotions, for both the author and the reader. Famous authors are often asked to comment on their own work and the creative process behind it, leaving room for some interesting answers. From hilarious to frustrating and heartbreaking, here’s what famous authors have to say about the writing process.
I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.
– Stephen King
It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.
– Ernest Hemingway
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.
– Robert Benchley
Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.
– Henry David Thoreau
Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.
– Willa Cather
I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
– Douglas Adams
The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn’t require any.
– Russell Baker
Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.
– Barbara Kingsolver
I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.
– Gustave Flaubert