In the transformation of silence into language and action, it is vitally necessary for each one of us to establish or examine her function in that transformation and to recognize her role as vital within that transformation.
For those of us who write, it is necessary to scrutinize not only the truth of what we speak, but the truth of that language by which we speak it. For others, it is to share and spread also those words that are meaningful to us. But primarily for us all, it is necessary to teach by living and speaking those truths which we believe and know beyond understanding. Because in this way alone we can survive, by taking part in a process of life that is creative and continuing, that is growth.
– Audre Lorde
We don’t need anymore writers as solitary heroes. We need a heroic writers’ movement: assertive, militant, pugnacious.
– Toni Morrison
The only reason we write—well, the only reason why I write; maybe I shouldn’t generalize—is so that I can find out something about myself. Writers have this narcissistic obsession about how we got to be who we are. I have to understand my ancestors—my father, his mother and her mother—to understand who I am. It all leads back to the narcissistic pleasure of discovering yourself. In writing this book, I have to do a lot of deep meditation into stories I couldn’t possibly know, that I have to go back and invent. It’s like an archaeologist discovering little scraps of preserved fabric, and you have to re-create what they were wearing by looking in a microscope at little fibers.
– Sandra Cisneros
Image courtesy of Sarah Reid
We write because we believe the human spirit cannot be tamed and should not be trained.
– Nikki Giovanni
“When you write, it’s like braiding your hair. Taking a handful of coarse unruly strands and attempting to bring them unity. Your fingers have still not perfected the task. Some of the braids are long, others are short. Some are thick, others are thin. Some are heavy. Others are light. Like the diverse women of your family. Those whose fables and metaphors, whose similes and soliloquies, whose diction and je ne sais quoi daily slip into your survival soup, by way of their fingers.”
― Edwidge Danticat, Krik? Krak!
Write, write and write. And then rewrite. To death. Work hard. Learn your craft. Never give up. Persevere. Don’t become a snob, a bitter hater or an envious person. Work hard for your goals. Write from your heart, but make sure before it gets to your fingers it goes through your brain. And did I mention do not give up?
– Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The incessant need to write. The millions of words in my head and in my soul are searching for a place.
Ever since I can remember I have been writing – for both my sake and others. Often, at the lowest points of my life, when I did not write for myself, it was as if a part of me was missing. A piece of my soul was incomplete and the words were trapped in there, searching for a release.
This was the case when I began, for the first time in my life, writing for others. My first paying writing job. I was consumed with turning out piece after piece of quality work that readers would hopefully enjoy. I got a thrill, a rush of adrenaline, from seeing my name on a byline. I still do.