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But what's it mean...

First Appeared in Burnt Toast#10, 1992

It's a confusing business being a writer. For 51 1/2 weeks of the year, you sit quietly alone in your suburban study staring at a blank computer screen and wondering why the top row of keys on the keyboard reads QWERTYUIOP instead of STARTWRITINGYOULAZYBASTARDTHEMORTGAGEISDUENEXTWEEK.
          Broadcast Blues
          Morris Gleitzman
          SMH Good Weekend, 13/4/1991

It's a thousand pages, give or take a few
I'll be writing more in a week or two
I can make it longer if you like the style
I can change it round and I want to be a
Paperback writer. Paperback writer.

If you really like it you can have the rights
It can make a million for you over-night
If you must return it you can send it here
But I need a break and I want to be a
Paperback writer. Paperback writer.
          Paperback Writer
          The Beatles

Why do I find it so hard to write the next line?
          Spandau Ballet

I love being a writer. It's the paperwork I can't stand.
          Peter De Vries

The multitude of books is a great evil. There is no measure or limit to this fever of writing; everyone must be an author, some for some kind of vanity to acquire celebrity and raise a name, others for the sake of lucre or gain.
          Martin Luther

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in shock-proof shit-detector.
          Ernest Hemmingway

Use good English: I don't mean clear English, of course, I mean the sort of English like Hemingway's, which acknowledges that the language is so rich in verbs that you don't need adverbs. My friend George Stern, who writes for the Literary Review, reckons that you can even do without adjectives. After a few fumblings with the Concise Oxford, any reviewer will treat you with respect.
          Tips for Publication
          New Scientest
          (quoted in Ansto News#19)

What no wife of a writer can understand is that a writer is working when he's staring out of the window.
          Burton Rascoe

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
          Dorothy Parker

Every writer, without exception, is a masochist, a sadist, a peeping Tom, an exhibitionist, a narcissist, an 'injustice collector' and a 'depressed person constantly haunted by fear of unproductivity'.
          Dr Bergler

A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped self-addressed envelope big enough for a manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation for the editor.
          Ring Lardner

There's a million things in this world I can't do. Can't fix a leaky faucet. Can't roller-skate or make an F-Chord on the guitar that sounds like anything but shit. I have tried twice to be married and couldn't do it either time. But if you want me to take you away, to scare you or involve you or make you cry or grin, yeah. I can. I can bring it to you and keep bringing it until you holler uncle. I am able. I CAN.

I don't want to fictionalize myself. Writing may be masturbatory, but God forbid it should be an act of autocannibalism.
          Paul Sheldon

"I've never killed anybody. Except in stories."
          Thad Beaumont
          The Dark Half
          both by Stephen King

Writing is easy; all you have to do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.
          Gene Fowler

No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft.
          H. G. Wells

With twenty-six soldiers of lead I will conquer the world.

They fill their pens from your vital juices -- sucking up your experience -- then smear it wantonly across the walls of these crumbling asylums called books.
Writers. Worst kind of vampires -- bastards.
          Jerry O'Flynn
          Jamie Delano

You're quite right, this is not a list of quotes about the Tom Baker era. Anyone who can provide such a list is welcome to write in. Meanwhile, I hope you forgive an alternate topic, close to my heart.


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