The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly changed life as we knew it heretofore. With severe restrictions on movement imposed by most governments, there’s only so much one can do.
Part of what I have had more time to do during this pandemic is to read widely. There’s something exclusively inimitable about the written word. It’s ability to teleport the reader to rooms, worlds and spaces we’d otherwise never been in, is such a powerful thing.
One of the most insightful books I have read on the subject of writing is by Stephen King, On Writing, which as you can tell by now, inspired the title to this post.
As we work round the clock to adapt to the new normal, here are a few quotes on writing from some of my favorite authors.
Toni Morrison (The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches, and Meditations)
“Writers are among the most sensitive, most intellectually anarchic, most representative, most probing of artists. The writer’s ability to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange, and to mystify the familiar – all this is the test of her or his power.”
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
“Everything that’s written in my books is part of my soul, part of the lessons I’ve learned throughout my life, and which I try to apply to myself. I’m a reader of my own books.”
Oprah Winfrey (What I Know For Sure)
“What I know for sure is that reading opens you up. It exposes you and gives you access to anything your mind can hold. What I love most about reading is that it gives you the ability to reach higher ground and keep climbing.”
Stephen King (On Writing)
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around those two things that I am aware of, no shortcut.”
Kamala Harris (The Truths We Hold)
“Words have the ability to empower and deceive, the power to soothe and to hurt.”
Chinua Achebe (There Was A Country)
“As a writer, I believe that it is fundamentally important, indeed essential to our humanity, to ask the hard questions in order to better understand ourselves and our neighbors.”
Brene Brown (I Thought It Was Just Me)
“Stories require voices to speak them and ears to listen to hear them. Stories only foster connection when there is both someone to speak and someone to listen.”
Ngugi Wa Thiong’o (Writers in Politics)
“The poet and the politician have certainly many things in common. Both trade in words. Both are created by the same reality of the world around us. Their activity and concern have the same subject and object: human beings and human relations.”
Tell me, who have you been reading lately? What’s one thing you have learned from your reading that has had an impact on your life?