16 QUOTES FOR A WRITER’S OBSESSION.

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.


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Renew your mind and the rest will follow.

For the “Change” theme of the Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge this week, which I chose, I wanted to share one of my favorite verses.

“2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2a)

A lot of people stop at this point in the reading. I’ve heard this partial verse preached on a number of times, but I always have my Bible out to read further. You see, I understand something many preachers don’t preach about.

The writings of the Bible were done as letters, not books, chapters, and verses. One sentence leads into the next. I like what some pastors say, if you see a “Therefore” in the Bible, it means it’s “there for” a reason. With this verse, you look at the next sentence.

Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2b)

Now that your mind is not polluted by the goings on of the world, you will be able to see for yourself the truth of God’s will. Polluted is a strong word. However, I’m not certain what other word to use when I think about what happens when the TV, movie, and music influences begin their work on an individual. Tiger Woods didn’t become a sex addict by watching Bugs Bunny or Andy Griffith. He became corrupted by everything around him that fed his ego and appetites.

In the Bible there have been headings added within the created chapters. This can break up meaning at times.

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.” (Romans 12:3)

Here you see a continuing explanation of the Romans 12:2a. Paul is reminding us that even with the renewing of our minds, our new unpolluted selves, we are still not higher than anyone else, and are only as good as we are by the faith God has given us.

We need to be on guard to not allow the pollution in. We worry about the ozone layer, climate change, and landfills, but we care little about the one true unique resource on earth, ourselves. Each of us is unique. You could have a twin and they are not exactly like you even if they look and sound like you. Perhaps they even walk and move like you do, they are still not exactly like you.

You are thinking unique thoughts. Those thoughts can be for a good reason or not. Not every thought needs to be for the betterment of the world. Dreams and fantasies exist to help our minds cope with a world that is not like we are.

There are people out there who hear the word Christian and automatically think of stereotypes brought about by a small, but visible/vocal minority. It’s kind of like when they have that local on the ground interview about a robbery or natural disaster and for some reason the news reporter picks the most illiterate and socially inept person they could find to put in front of the camera. That’s what happens with Christianity. We end up with the vocal and media seeking individuals representing us.

Christianity is a personal thing. One on one. It’s not a group think, or a group mind thing. It’s not the exact same thing for any two people. My thoughts differ from others in my own home. I have a more understanding nature than some. I look at things below the surface and don’t pass judgement. Yes, I will say something is bad when I believe it is bad. Beating a child is bad. If you say it is good, then I think you have a problem. If you say that it might be okay for the society that person doing the beating lives in, then I say that society is bad. If that is being judgemental, call me guilty. I generally take things on a person by person basis.

Change. Do you want to change how you think, what you think, what you think is acceptable? Renew your mind, however you want to. Hit your reset button about what you think is acceptable. I’m not saying become a Christian. I’m saying reset your humanity button. Do you watch porn? Do you look at images on the internet? Do you watch or listen to things promoting degradation of women? More than likely you do and don’t even think you are. That means you support it.

The rest button is a hard thing to do. You’ll hit it several times. But eventually—eventually, the habits you develop from your intentional training of your mind will lead to a permanent change in your heart as well.


You can check out my other Change post on the prompt post HERE, as well as seeing links for other entries.


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The Fantasy.

Moonlight, white silk sheets, and dark raven hair dominate my sight. She had given me a key. Maybe she’d forgotten . . . or maybe not. Once through the door I inhaled deeply and took in her expensive scent.

I fought to keep my eyes from closing, from losing sight of her curves under the silk. Mmmm, perhaps she was expecting me.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, I observed her lines, her breathing. Her fingers gripped the pillow. I leaned in to her neck . . . her reactions were faster.

Lips found mine.

Hands pulled me to her.

She kissed me deep, her hand in my hair . . . while the other was searching.

“Glenn?”

“Wha?” I woke, looking up into dark eyes.

“You were gasping for breath, are you okay?”

“I was lost in a dream, a fantasy.” I smiled.

“Well, everyone needs a fantasy.”

I laughed. “Yeah.

She leaned over me her face close to mine.

“And you know what I always say.”

“Which one?” I asked.

“My single-minded aim is to give existence to fantasy.”


This is my contribution to the Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge. Hosted this week by my co-host, Colleen Chesebro on SilverThreading.com. The theme is Fantasy. Click here  to see other entries and to enter yourself if you like.


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“Everyone needs a fantasy.”

 

fantasy-quote-warhol

Fantasy quote by Oldenburg image

Read The Fantasy, a story I wrote after the quotes.


This is my contribution to the Writer’s Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge. Hosted this week by my co-host, Colleen Chesebro on SilverThreading.com. The theme is Fantasy. Click here  to see other entries and to enter yourself if you like.


Find my Debut Novel on Amazon.com

readers' favorite review image

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@RonovanWrites

 © Copyright-All rights reserved by ronovanwrites.wordpress.com 2016

 

“Credibility is a basic survival tool.” Rebecca Solnit

“Credibility is a basic survival tool.” Rebecca Solnit, American writer.

Why do I put this quote forward as my choice for the challenge today? Credibility is king to a writer. If you put forth a piece of garbage, that’s what you get in return.

I’ll put it like this:

When putting one’s self into the public eye for critique and scrutiny, one must ensure to plant their feet deeply and firmly to withstand the gale force winds that are coming.

It took a long time for me to let a work of mine see the light of day. I am overly critical of my writing. I want every line to be perfect, every plot to make sense. I want everything covered. Even to this day I see how a sentence here or there could’ve gone in another direction. Yes, I am that obsessive about wanting to put that level of quality in front of a reader.

I know the first impression you make on a reader is very important, second only to the most recent impression you make. At any moment, a reader may suddenly dislike your storytelling.

For me, I slave away at character development, plots, subplots, and continuity of story and character. If my storytelling is bad, I can understand that, but those other things, I can’t abide by. That’s my personal preference, credo, what have you.

That’s my credibility on the line, in my eyes.

As a writer, remember that what you write, the solidness of it, the quality of it, is your credibility. If you take shortcuts with your work, you care nothing for your credibility.

If you care nothing for your credibility, you care nothing for yourself.

Rebecca Solnit Credibility Quote


 

Colleen chose Survival for this weeks theme for her week of hosting our Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge. Make sure to click the link to join in and read other entries.


 

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