Writing Is A Miserable, Awful Business

Writing is a miserable, awful business. Stay with it. It is better than anything in the world.

Goodreads.com. (2019). Ann Patchett Quotes (Author of Bel Canto). [online] Available at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/7136914.Ann_Patchett [Accessed 2 Dec. 2019].

Praise And Criticism Seem To Operate On The Same Level

Praise and criticism seem to me to operate exactly on the same level. If you get a great review, it’s really thrilling for about ten minutes. If you get a bad review, it’s really crushing for ten minutes. Either way, you go on.

Goodreads.com. (2019). Ann Patchett Quotes (Author of Bel Canto). [online] Available at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/7136914.Ann_Patchett [Accessed 2 Dec. 2019].

Fiction Writing Is Like Duck Hunting

I learned the most from sticking with my dream even when all signs told me it was time to let go. I came to understand that fiction writing is like duck hunting. You go to the right place at the right time with the right dog. You get into the water before dawn, wearing protective gear, then you stand behind some reeds and wait for the story to present itself. This is not to say you are passive. You choose the place and the day. You pick the gun and the dog. You have the desire to blow the duck apart for reasons that are entirely your own. But you have to be willing to accept not what you wanted to have happen, but what happens. You have to write the story you find in the circumstances you’ve created, because more often than not the ducks don’t show up. The hunters in the next blind begin to argue, and you realize they’re in love. You see a snake swimming in your direction. Your dog begins to shiver and whine, and you start to think about this gun that belonged to your father. By the time you get out of the marsh you will have written a novel so devoid of ducks it will shock you.

Goodreads.com. (2019). Ann Patchett Quotes (Author of Bel Canto). [online] Available at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/7136914.Ann_Patchett [Accessed 2 Dec. 2019].

Reading Fiction Gives Us The Skills To Be Alone

Reading fiction not only develops our imagination and creativity, it gives us the skills to be alone. It gives us the ability to feel empathy for people we’ve never met, living lives we couldn’t possibly experience for ourselves, because the book puts us inside the character’s skin.

Goodreads.com. (2019). Ann Patchett Quotes (Author of Bel Canto). [online] Available at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/7136914.Ann_Patchett [Accessed 2 Dec. 2019].

Practice Writing

If you want to write, practice writing. Practice it for hours a day, not to come up with a story you can publish, but because you long to learn how to write well, because there is something that you alone can say.

Goodreads.com. (2019). Ann Patchett Quotes (Author of Bel Canto). [online] Available at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/7136914.Ann_Patchett [Accessed 2 Dec. 2019].