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12 Quotes on Writing by Margaret Atwood

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Margaret Atwood on Writing

“If you really do want to write, and you’re struggling to get started, you’re afraid of something. What is that fear?”
“What you want on the first page is something that is going to beckon the reader in.”
“A word after a word after a word is power.”
“What you read is as important as what you write.”
“Nobody knows where ideas come from, but let us say, if you immerse yourself in something, whether it be music, painting, or writing…you are going to get ideas about it. But you have to do the immersing first. You’re not just sitting there, waiting for lightning to strike.”
“I’m more of a downhill skier. I try to go as fast as I can and then I have to backtrack a lot and fill in revisions.”
“A story needs a break in a pattern to get it going…If everything is perfect all the time, there isn’t a story.”
“Likability is a factor when you’re choosing a roommate, but it’s not necessarily a factor when you’re creating a living character.”
“Any form of human creativity is a process of doing it and getting better at it…[Writers] don’t usually peak in their 20s. It’s usually quite a lot later on.”
“When I was starting to write, none of us thought we were going to have careers. We thought we were going to have vocations, which is quite a different thing. So our idea of being a writer was not a six-figure contract.”
“When push comes to shove, the buck stops with you. So whoever’s advice you may have taken, whatever alterations may have been made, what is on that page is going to be considered your work.”
“You become a writer by writing. There is no other way. So do it. Do it more. Do it again. Do it better. Fail. Fail better.”
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