The Mark Blog

Bookmark This: Wisdom from Gore Vidal

Thank you to Writer's Digest for posting ten Gore Vidal quotes on writing, all taken from a 1975 Writer's Digest interview. Among his many achievements, Gore Vidal won the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. Join us in honoring Vidal's work and life, and enjoy a selection of his advice to writers:

“I’ve always said, ‘I have nothing to say, only to add.’ And it’s with each addition that the writing gets done. The first draft of anything is really just a track.”

“That famous writer’s block is a myth as far as I’m concerned. I think bad writers must have a great difficulty writing. They don’t want to do it. They have become writers out of reasons of ambition. It must be a great strain to them to make marks on a page when they really have nothing much to say, and don’t enjoy doing it. I’m not so sure what I have to say but I certainly enjoy making sentences.”

“Constant work, constant writing and constant revision. The real writer learns nothing from life. He is more like an oyster or a sponge. What he takes in he takes in normally the way any person takes in experience. But it is what is done with it in his mind, if he is a real writer, that makes his art.”

“I’ll tell you exactly what I would do if I were 20 and wanted to be a good writer. I would study maintenance, preferably plumbing. … So that I could command my own hours and make a good living on my own time.”

“A book exists on many different levels. Half the work of a book is done by the reader—the more he can bring to it the better the book will be for him, the better it will be in its own terms.”

Read the full article here.