Quotes can do a great many things. One is to make you think. You can think about yesterday, today, or tomorrow. The quote determines what path you take with those thoughts of yours. Which reminds me of this quote:
“I learn from thinking about the future, what hasn’t been done yet. That’s kind of my constant obsession.” John Cale
I like to focus on quotes that impress me about the life of being a writer, even if the original intent wasn’t there, and regardless of who said the words. Okay, maybe I do have a bias at times.
Take this quote as an example:
“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.” Claude Monet
Obviously Monet was not talking about writing, but substitute the word “words” for “color” and you have my life. I create a new book idea at least once per week. The torment for me is captured with these words:
“I can’t read all the books I want to read, I can’t watch all the phenomena that interest me in the world. The work calls me, and sometimes I wonder whether this is an obsession and I should drop it, or it’s a necessity I’m obliged to fulfill.” James Hillman
The problem is not so much the question of whether or not I have an obsession with words or if they are a necessity. They are both. My problem is this:
“The creative habit is like a drug. The particular obsession changes, but the excitement, the thrill of your creation lasts.” Henry Moore
Some have a more negative view of obsession. I suppose even when channeled toward the arts.
“Obsession is the single most wasteful human activity, because with an obsession you keep coming back and back and back to the same question and never get an answer.” Norman Mailer
You might think Mailer is a great one to pay heed of, but no two people are the same. Perhaps with him, he just didn’t know how to channel obsession or perhaps his obsessions were not as healthy as writing. Writing isn’t only an obsession to me.
“Writing is my obsession, my passion. My relationship with it is one of the most complex and agonizing and richly vexing that I have in my life.” Julianna Baggott
But the truth is,
“The trade of authorship is a violent, and indestructible obsession.” George Sand
“Writing has to be an obsession – it’s only for those who say, ‘I’m not going to do anything else.’” Lorrie Moore
If you think about what a writer does to create a 300 page book, there must be obsession involved. Even those books that turn out not so great are the results of an obsessed mind, a fevered mind devoted to this world inside the imagination.
I can identify with the next quote:
“I’ve been called many names like perfectionist, difficult and obsessive. I think it takes obsession, takes searching for the details for any artist to be good.” Barbra Streisand
Add insane, nuts, crazy, and a few choice words to the list and you pretty much have my name calling in hand.
But you know what?
“What moves those of genius, what inspires their work is not new ideas, but their obsession with the idea that what has already been said is still not enough.” Eugene Delacroix
Writing isn’t easy. To finish a sandwich is one thing. Even to finish reading a book is something. But to finish writing a book? How hard is it for you to finish reading a book sometimes, even one you love?
“I need my natural laziness to be counteracted by obsession in order to do anything.” Vikram Seth
I could sleep all day, and watch old movies all night. Yes, I live on an odd time schedule, even though mornings are my most creative times.
But laziness, uncertainty, and all those other things that get in the way just won’t stop a truly obsessed writer.
“You cannot write a book unless it is totally inhabiting your imagination and you are totally engrossed with it. Which is a kind word for obsession.” Kate Forsyth
Another way of saying it is,
“The work is a calling. It demands that type of obsession.” John Pomfret
Art is a unique profession, writing included. We are our own bosses. Some like to say we create fairy tales and make believe worlds. People don’t realize something about writing.
“When you’re working for yourself and your own obsession with finding the truth, you’re at your own mercy.” Errol Morris
You see, if a writer isn’t writing honestly, if they are putting words into the mouth of a character and they don’t ring true, everything falls apart, and they are labeled a terrible writer. Writing is a dangerous profession, a gamble.
But as the saying goes and it is so true,
“I read in order to write. I read out of obsession with writing.” Cynthia Ozick
When it all boils down, I can say this,
“I only have one obsession – not to be boring.” Michel Hazanavicius
You can check out the other Obsession entries HERE, on SilverThreading.com, Colleen Chesebro’s site, my other half for the Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge. This was her week to come up with the theme.
© Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2016