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Aldous Huxley

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I met, not long ago, a young man who aspired to become a novelist. Knowing that I was in the profession, he asked me to tell him how he should set to work to realize his ambition. I did my best to explain. 'The first thing,' I said, 'is to buy quite a lot of paper, a bottle of ink, and a pen. After that you merely have to write.'
--
"Sermons in Cats"

 
Aldous Huxley

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I think the hardest thing to teach a student is that what he or she puts down on paper is changeable. Itís not the final thing, itís the first thing, which may just be the suggestive, vague identification of something that you have to come back to and rewrite. At first, students tend to freeze at the first effort. The breakthrough comes when they realize that they can make it better ó can identify what their purposes were and realize better ways to achieve those purposes. That is the important thing in teaching students to write: not to be frozen in their first effort.

 
M. H. Abrams
 

The question we writers are asked most often, the favorite question, is: Why do you write? I write because I have an innate need to write. I write because I canít do normal work as other people do. I write because I want to read books like the ones I write. I write because I am angry at everyone. I write because I love sitting in a room all day writing. I write because I can partake of real life only by changing it. I write because I want others, the whole world, to know what sort of life we lived, and continue to live, in Istanbul, in Turkey. I write because I love the smell of paper, pen, and ink. I write because I believe in literature, in the art of the novel, more than I believe in anything else. I write because it is a habit, a passion. I write because I am afraid of being forgotten. I write because I like the glory and interest that writing brings. I write to be alone. Perhaps I write because I hope to understand why I am so very, very angry at everyone. I write because I like to be read. I write because once I have begun a novel, an essay, a page I want to finish it. I write because everyone expects me to write. I write because I have a childish belief in the immortality of libraries, and in the way my books sit on the shelf. I write because it is exciting to turn all lifeís beauties and riches into words. I write not to tell a story but to compose a story. I write because I wish to escape from the foreboding that there is a place I must go butóas in a dreamócanít quite get to. I write because I have never managed to be happy. I write to be happy.

 
Orhan Pamuk
 

Nile Kinnick will be remembered as long as there is an Iowa...He aspired to our profession and began the study of law...Then, just as he was well started, came his country's call to service...I have no doubt Kinnick would have written his name high in the law. There is no calculating what he might have done in and for the profession, or therefore, what it and the nation have lost by his sacrifice...He might have been the great scholar and teacher, the pre-eminent advocate, the judicial statesman. But all this he gave that these institutions...might survive and have being for generations to come.

 
Nile Kinnick
 

Of course, relative citation frequencies are no measure of relative importance. Who has not aspired to write a paper so fundamental that very soon it is known to everyone and cited by no one?

 
Abraham Pais
 

The second person to write a story about a young boy and an escaped slave on the Mississippi wasn't a novelist, he was a typist.

 
Seth Godin
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