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17 Quotes on Writing by Kurt Vonnegut

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Kurt Vonnegut on Writing

“I get up at 7:30 and work four hours a day. Nine to twelve in the morning, five to six in the evening. No one works well eight hours a day.”
“Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.”
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
“I’m simply interested in what is going to happen next.”
“Somebody gets into trouble, then gets out of it again. People love that story. They never get tired of it.”
“Write to please just one person.”
“Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them in order that the reader may see what they are made of.”
“Nobody will stop you from creating. Do it tonight. Do it tomorrow. That is the way to make your soul grow - whether there is a market for it or not!”
“I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle.”
“Talent is extremely common. What is rare is the willingness to endure the life of the writer.”
“Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.”
“People should practice an art in order to make their souls grow and not to make money or become famous. Paint a picture. Write.”
“Thank God for novelists. Thank God there are people willing to write everything down. Otherwise, so much would be forgotten.”
“The reason we write fiction is because it's so much easier to exist spending part of each day in an imaginary world.”
“Start [writing] as close to the end as possible.”
“It's only recently that I've come to understand that writers are not marginal to our society, that they, in fact, do all our thinking for us, that we are writing myths and our myths are believed, and that old myths are believed until someone writes a new one.”
“What everybody is well advised to do is to not write about your own life, this is if you want to write fast. You will be writing about your own life anyway but you won't know it.”
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