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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Isaac Asimov on Writing

Thoughts from the maestro of science fiction

“There is a romantic notion that there is such a thing as inspiration – that a heavenly muse comes down and plunks her harp over your head, and presto, the job is done. Like all romantic notions, however, it is just a romantic notion.”

“If your grammar and spelling are rotten, you won’t be writing a great and gorgeous story. Someone who can’t use a saw and hammer doesn’t turn out stately furniture.”

“Writing is the most wonderful and satisfying task in the world, but it does have a few insignificant flaws. Among those flaws is the fact that a writer can almost never make a living at it.”

6 comments:

Margaret Muir said...

I would certainly agree with Azimov’s statements that ‘Writing is the most wonderful and satisfying task in the world’ and that ‘a writer can almost never make a living at it.’
But I disagree when he says ‘there is no such thing as inspiration’. Inspiration sparks story ideas, and inspiration ignites the words on paper. I believe I ‘suffer’ from visitations by the heavenly muse. I certainly know when the muse is taking a week off.

Joan Curry said...

Who was it - Somerset Maugham? - who arranged to be inspired every morning at nine?

Joan Druett said...
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Joan Druett said...

And think of RLS, who woke up with the entire plot of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde in his head, having dreamed it. I believe he wrote feverishly over the next 7 days before he forgot the details.

One wonders where that dream came from! Too much sherry and cheese late at night? :)

Joan Druett said...
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Joan Curry said...

Hmmm - sherry and cheese - good thinking ...