ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

Finding Inspiration and Guidance from the Writing Masters

Updated on May 15, 2014

A Simple Truth Before We Begin

The greats of writing are great for a reason. Oftentimes, they are great for several reasons.

Put another way, if I want to learn how to replace the AC compressor in my car, I will go to my next door neighbor, who is a mechanic, and ask for his help.

If I want to know how to bake a great apple pie, then Bev is my go-to person, because her pies are exquisite.

And so it follows that if I want to learn how to be a good writer, I need to go to people who have a proven track record in writing.

For this reason, I often turn to quotations by successful writers, when I need some direction and/or inspiration. I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the advice given by a few giants in the field of writing, and of course, I couldn’t help but add my two cents worth after each quote.

So kick back and get ready to learn. Get comfortable. About halfway through this piece I’ll drop by with some snacks and a nice, cold drink.

Shall we?

Your characters should be as real as these people
Your characters should be as real as these people | Source

Ernest Hemingway

When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.

Ernest Hemingway


I believe in these words so strongly that I have, in fact, written several articles about this topic.

A writer of novels must bring the characters of those novels to life. The writer must know the characters intimately. He/she must know how the characters will react in different situations.

If you have done your job, as a writer, well, then readers will identify with your characters, and become emotionally invested in them….and if you achieve that as a writer, you are well on your way toward success.

Maya Angelou

Easy reading is damn hard writing. But if it's right, it's easy. It's the other way round, too. If it's slovenly written, then it's hard to read. It doesn't give the reader what the careful writer can give the reader.

Maya Angelou

One of my favorite quotes…easy reading is damn hard writing. Think about it for a second. Think about books you have completely enjoyed, how they flowed, how they called on your senses, and how they had an exquisite rhythm. That is very difficult to do. Those words, which are easy to read, are the result of months of careful word choice, careful phrase choice, and continual editing.

I have mentioned this before, but I think it is worth mentioning again. John Steinbeck once spent four weeks writing one sentence. He could not find the right combination of words, and until he found that combination, he refused to move on.

The result: The Grapes of Wrath.

Can you write this scene?
Can you write this scene? | Source

Truman Capote

Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself.

Truman Capote

Good writing is an art form. Bad writing is just scribbles on the paper.

This really is all about perspective. Yes, anyone can write an ebook and have it published, but does that make them a writer?

It’s not a trick question. Stop and think about the extreme of that situation. There are some young kids that live at the end of the block we live on. I’m guessing they are nine or ten years old. Now let’s say I gave them twenty bucks to write a story for me, and after they finished their stories we downloaded them into an ebook and published them.

Would those young children then be “writers?”

Good writing is an art form. Bad writing is just scribbles on the paper.

Learn the laws of perspective that Capote mentioned. Learn how to make your writing flow, and how to make it soar like a musical note. Once you have learned how to do those things, then you can rearrange those writing lessons so that they fit perfectly in your writer’s voice.

Then, and only then, will you be a writer.

John Steinbeck

The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.

Great quote, don’t you think? And so true!

The truth in this statement cannot be denied. How long did it take Steinbeck to get his first book published? Four years? How long for Harper Lee? Stephen King? How many rejections did those writers receive, and how many rewrites did they do before magic struck?

In other words, don’t quit your day job when you decide to become a writer.

I honestly don’t think people understand how hard it is to be a successful writer. If you are a freelancer you are constantly sending out queries and pitching ideas. If you are a novel writer, you spend six months to a year working on one project, and there are no guarantees that anyone will want to read it when you are finished.

What kind of insanity is that?

But oh, my goodness, what joy we experience when the perfect sentence is written….by us.

J.k. Rowling

The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary.

J. K. Rowling


This is such an important point. I am convinced that good writers are also good readers. They read often. They pay attention to the word choice in a piece they are reading. They pay attention to the way a piece flows. They learn, at least, a part of their craft, through osmosis by reading.

When I was in high school we were exposed to many of the classics of literature. There were some I despised. I would rather, at that time, have my fingernails plucked out with pliers than read “War and Peace.” Today I am grateful I was forced to read that masterpiece, and in fact I read it again in college and appreciated it so much more.

I find the same satisfaction when I read an excellent novel by an obscure writer. Good writing is good writing, whether it is written by an acknowledged master, or a millworker in Skokie, Illinois, and if it is good writing then I can learn from it.

These people have emotions. Write to those emotions.
These people have emotions. Write to those emotions. | Source

Anais Nin

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.

Anais Nin

This is my favorite quote about writing. Why?

Because writing should be all about emotions. Writing should grab the reader by the throat and shake them. Writing should tug at the proverbial heartstrings and force emotions from the reader. Writing should produce memories that lead to tears and laughter.

Great writers understand that we all share five senses. They understand that writing comes alive when those five senses are attacked. If my writing makes you cry then I have done my job as a writer. If my writing makes you yawn, I really should be doing something else with my spare time, and leave writing to someone who knows what they are doing.

Did You Learn Something?

I hope you did. I hope you found inspiration and direction in those quotations.

I’m going to give you a final quote and then send you on your way. It is a very simple quote. I don’t know if I am the original source of it or not, but for now, I’m going to take credit for it.

Are you ready?

Writing should be fun!

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      For sure, Lori! You obviously love to write...now show it!

    • Lori P. profile image

      Lori Chidori Phillips 2 years ago from Southern California USA

      Yes, that's true. I need to let my heart and soul shine through my writing. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lori, me thinks you might be a bit hard on yourself, but I guess only you know for sure. :) I actually think you are a very good writer...perhaps if you allowed your heart and soul to shine more in your writing, you will feel better about it? Just a thought.

    • Lori P. profile image

      Lori Chidori Phillips 2 years ago from Southern California USA

      I appreciate your thoughts, and thank you for sharing the words of Anais Nin: "If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it."

      Indeed. No wonder our culture has had no use for my writing until now.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I heard the same thing, Ann. I'm not sure how I feel about that...I think I understand the sentiment.

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      I saw a programme about her which said she didn't write another because she thought it couldn't possibly be as successful as her first!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I can't imagine what that must feel like...but...I wonder if they sensed their greatness when they were done with their masterpieces? Seriously. Did Harper Lee look at her final draft and know she had written a book for the Ages? I kind of doubt it...and I draw hope from that. :)

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      I thought I'd already commented on this but it appears I've missed a few!

      You've got some great quotes here. I especially like Truman Capote's.

      I love the characters of Jane Austen and I love Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. How great it would be to write anywhere near as well as either of those! We can but try.

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna....when a book absorbs my soul....beautifully stated and I agree completely.

      Thank you my friend.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Since my earliest years I have loved reading, and the authors such as Hemingway and Dickens have inspired my interest in writing. As you say, a good book should cause one to cry. I love it when a book absorbs my soul and causes me to reflect on its meanings in my life. Great article and very inspiring.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Glimmer, I'm trying to picture what a how to article by Steinbeck would look like, and I'm getting quite a picture. Thanks for the laugh.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      John Steinbeck always said things perfectly. Simply and beautifully and this quote is no exception. Too bad he didn't write how to articles so that I could learn from him.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I can tell, Deb. I'm smiling just reading your comment.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, writing SHOULD be fun. When I sit down at the computer, I am ready to enjoy myself. And you know what? I do. Always. Can you tell?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carter, I appreciate your kind word. Have a wonderful week my friend.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 3 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      Fantastic read again Bill & always helpful..I love the quote by Anais Nin because that's it isn't we need books that make us cry or laugh or transport us to another world out of ours for a moment or 'grab us by the throat' in surprise & suspense..that's the sort of stuff I love to read..& your hubs of course:) have a great day..cheers

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are very welcome, vkwok!

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for sharing the guidance of the greats, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suhail, thank you my friend. I think it would be wise to read the works of others before you in your chosen field of interest.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anne, I love it. Thanks for your thoughts. I am, and always have been, a big advocate for reading as much as possible.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Hats off to you on writing an article on the foundation provided by great quotes from some excellent writers. Yes, I learned a lot from this article and one major thing for me will be to read best writers in the field that interest me - on travelling, nature studies, and exploration.

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 3 years ago from Australia

      So true; a writer reads, learning to discover their own voice while exploring the styles / techniques / craft of others. So often when reading I find exactly what I am looking for in my writing, even before realising I was lost. And when all else fails, I read Tolkien.

      Thanks for another great hub

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I wish it were so, but I'm a student just like everyone else. The day I stop learning is the day i have lost my love of life...and since I don't see that happening, I guess I'm just a lifelong student....and glad for it.

      Have a great weekend, Sis!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      bill-bro....your hubs always remind me that the one thing we can always do, no matter our age, experience or accomplishments......is LEARN. The man/woman who welcomes knowledge, listens to the the masters before us, keeps our minds and hearts open to all that comes our way....is without a single doubt...the very best of the very most he can be.....each and every day. Thank you, master of writing...UP+++

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, I believe that as well, and the learning continues today. Thank you and have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it, Denise! Breathe through our writing. True words my friend, and thank you for them.

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      These are all great tips, Bill. I find that I read as much as I can, write as much as I can and try to learn as much as I can. With each sentence written, a writer improves their craft.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 3 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      Oooh, pulling the fingernails out with pliers...that was harsh! What an analogy, though! My favorite quote is the one that we breathe through our writing. I am finding that I live through my writing. If I don't write every day, I just don't live!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, that is a very kind thing for you to say. I hope, one day, to live up to your words. Thank you dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, then, Faith, let's have fun today. :)

      Thank you dear lady, and have a wonderful weekend.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you as always, Alicia!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      You Bill are one of the greats, both your writing and your teaching. You teach each of us to be the best we can be! I too love the quotes of the greats, so much knowledge imparted in so few words.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, pinned, and shared.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      I have always been a big quote person, and I have used them many times in my hubs. I have had one on my profile since I joined HP and that is:

      "Live for something . . . write your name in kindness, love, and mercy on the hearts of thousands you come in contact with . . . you will never be forgotten." Thomas Chalmers

      Wonderful article.

      The one in your hub here I am drawn to most is: "Writing should be fun!"

      Peace and blessings

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Wonderful quotes and interesting commentary, Bill! Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Not one of my favorites. :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Yep, and Faulkner's not that easy to understand either.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, I'm glad I wasn't drinking my juice when I read your comment, or I would have snorted. I happen to agree with you, but I've never been a big fan of Russia anyway. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Audrey! you are always welcome in my neighborhood.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No doubt about it, Heidi. Greatness requires more than wishing for it. :) Thanks as always.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      The masters, for me, present examples of what to do and what I do not want to do. Some of them are sheer magic and others seem like someone just vomited on the page.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Well that was inspirational!

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      These writers were great for a reason. Their quotes show us why. Thanks for sharing this wisdom of the ages!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, I think your approach of printing out the chapters and reading them is a good one. There is something very different about holding pages rather than reading from the screen. Good luck finding that "something" that is missing.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      They truly do, Dora! There are no short cuts to good writing, or at least I haven't found any. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Parrster, I think you speak for all writers, if they are being honest. Thank you for that.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      As always your writing hubs are an inspiration to read. I've just printed the first 5 chapters of the Self Employed Housewife. Something is not working. I need to read the first chapters from paper to see what is coming up for me, but I think I know what it is. I can’t imagine a writer not being a reader. I read at least 2 novels a month next to none fiction research books.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Great, wise quotes from successful writers. How could we not learn? Besides, I always learn from reading you. These principles apply whether writing a book or an article. Thank you.

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 3 years ago from Oz

      Very inspiring stuff! The quality of my writing is directly proportional to the energy I've poured into it, on all levels. Low energy, low quality. Voted up and everything.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, I have nothing to add. You are right on with your comment, and I thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, that sounds familiar. :) Thank you dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MizB, there is no rest for writers. Our grammar has to be perfect, and what a heavy weight that is. LOL I gave up trying. That's what editors are for, and God bless the editors.

      And bless you my friend. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      breakfastpop, that is one great line. Wish I had thought of it, darn it! LOL Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dr. Bill, I would certainly hope you are. Your writing reflects it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Manatita, I'll gladly stand in line taking credit for "fun." Just as long as you have it while writing.

      Thanks, brother, and peace always.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      Great advice! I really liked where you talk about moving people's emotions. It may sound strange to people who don't write, but one of the best compliments I ever got about my first book was "You made my husband cry and he won't even cry at movies like 'Old Yeller' " I don't think any novel I read is good unless I find myself crying or laughing out loud. If the author tells a good story and make me care about the characters, they're a good writer in my mind.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      All amazing quotes. I'd like to quote this one, "Good writing is an art form. Bad writing is just scribbles on the paper."

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 3 years ago

      Bill, inspiring, but also a fun hub. I think my favorite quote was J.K. Rowling’s. I can’t imagine a writer not being a reader. I love your statement about reading good writing whether it’s written by “an acknowledged master or a mill worker …” I’ve always felt the same way, and I probably got counted off in school because I sometimes criticized the writing of a “master” as long winded and boring. I have been trying to make up for it in my old age, but I still haven’t read War and Peace.

      Funny you should mention Maya Angelou. Today at lunch some of us editors and other employees were laughing about how our jobs affect our everyday lives. I said that I caught myself making editor’s corrections in books I’d borrowed from the library, but then one attorney-editor admitted screaming at Maya Angelou on TV when she said something about “a picture of Oprah and I”. Writers really have to be on their grammar toes at all times.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 3 years ago

      I love the quotes and yes they are very inspiring. I started writing again after a hiatus because of a quote my daughter sent me by Mark Twain. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you did not do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover." Voted up, interesting, useful and awesome!

    • Homeplace Series profile image

      William Leverne Smith 3 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Thanks for sharing... and I am trying to have fun writing! ;-)

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      Another excellent one Bill.

      JK's hint is my first priority. I was reading since I was 4 years old! Read, read and read again. Bradbury stressed on practice. This is my second. The rest - in my case - comes from meditation and an intuitive feel from within.

      Sorry Bro, you are not the first to mention 'fun', but that's cool. I had not heard it for a while. It's very significant and probably why the fun writers do not get writers block.

      Great advice and enjoyable Hub. Peace, Bro.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lifegate, let me get right on that pie. LOL Thanks my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww,.you're a doll, Ruby. Thank you!

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 3 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      Hi Bill,

      A lot of good. practical quotes along with the important information you always provide. Can you send a piece of apple pie?

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I used to read a lot, now i rarely pick up a book. I read all day on HP, soooo many hubs to read. I enjoy it though. I enjoyed reading the quotes from the greats, you included...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, what a great quote from Seuss...love the word "shorth"....perfect!

      Looking forward to that book of yours.

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eric, I wish you happy rolling my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Very true, Glenn. I always say in my blog to take what you need and leave the rest for the next writer. Glad to see someone agrees with me. :)

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      I found this quote from Dr. Seuss that I thought you might enjoy, if you haven't heard it before. Even if you have, it's still pretty cool.

      It has often been said

      there’s so much to be read,

      you never can cram

      all those words in your head.

      So the writer who breeds

      more words than he needs

      is making a chore

      for the reader who reads.

      That's why my belief is

      the briefer the brief is,

      the greater the sigh

      of the reader's relief is.

      And that's why your books

      have such power and strength.

      You publish with shorth!

      (Shorth is better than length.)”

      You chose some great quotes, Bill and I can see why you chose them. Another job well done and voted up. You almost have me to the point where I'm considering writing a book. We'll see.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I like the article but I have invented a brand new wheel thank you very much.

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 3 years ago from Long Island, NY

      These masters of writing all have powerful statements they made that help guide the rest of us. As I gave thought to using all these inspirational quotes, I realize they are not always easy to follow.

      My thought about this is to take from it what we can and use what works for us. We each have a unique writing style. One of these inspirational quotes may work for one person, and another may be better suited for someone else, all based on the individual's writing style.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Harishprasad, I do love writing, and I want my passion to spread to others. Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hello Graham!

      I love that quote by Sir Winston. :) That pretty much says it all about we writers. Thank you for sharing that one. It is now one of my favorites.

      bill

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 3 years ago from India

      Very inspirational and useful stuff and how much in love you are with art of writing ! Bill, I admire your passion of writing and this hub is so well-written that it would surely cause the desired ripples all around.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. A few more pearls of wisdom from you today. My hero from the past is Winston Spencer Churchill (Yes I know Churchill would have done) :-)

      He wrote many books His main one/s being; A history of the English speaking peoples. I would like to offer one of his quotes on writing.

      '' Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

      Keep 'em coming Bill.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you DDE!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I'm reading Koontz right now, and that guy has a fantastic vocabulary. Tough sledding for me at times, but I do enjoy him.

      Thanks my friend. Happy writing today!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Randi, there is a book in there, but where is the time necessary to get it done? Sigh!

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      As do I, Sherrituck. Thank you!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Read more and write with a flow so well said.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I like what J.K. Rowling says about reading increases your vocabulary. When I read I keep a notepad and pencil with me to write down words I need to look up or ones I don't hear very often. I especially have to do this when I read Dean Koontz. He has a tremendous vocabulary. Sometimes the context doesn't give up the meaning of some of the words he uses.

      I also like "easy reading is hard writing". Flow is essential or you lose the reader.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Definitely inspiring! Many years ago (and for many years), I wanted to write a book. Several years ago, I stopped thinking about it. Your series is very inspiring and motivating....is there a book in here?!

      Thank you, Bill!

    • sherrituck profile image

      Sherri Tuck 3 years ago from Virginia

      Hemingway and Steinbeck--two American voices that I dearly love.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cydni, in truth, I did not like the Potter books. I could only get through two of them and then I gave up. But I love Rowling's personal story, so I'm a big fan.

      Reading a book in Spanish? I have nothing but admiration. :)

      Thanks lil Sis!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 3 years ago from Western NC

      I'm "reading" The Historian now while I travel in my car to and from work (it's a 35-minute commute one-way - why WOULDN'T I want to "read" books? lol). I'm also reading "100 Years of Solitude" in Spanish - boy, that is HARD. I speak Spanish, but his writing is so eloquent and esoteric - but it's increasing my literary capacity in another language and I always feel like it even helps my English. :P

      I LOVE JK Rowling. Not because of Harry Potter (though I love those, too) but because of her story and her history - she's remarkable on so many levels and so deserves the success she's had.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Thursday to you, Janine, and thank you always for your loyalty and friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donna, I understand too. It does not surprise me at all that so many artistic types turn to drink and drugs. Thanks for that observation.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Bill, what can I say? But I completely agree and you made your point quite succinctly with use of the best of the best here and especially my favorite of JK Rowling. Happy Thursday now!

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Cygnet Brown 3 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      There are times when I totally understand why many of the greats drank to excess or committed suicide. The emotions created when living through what the characters live through can be very intense!