On a shelfabove my computer are five letters that spell out W-R-I-T-E. Just in case I forget why I’m there. I also have ‘Wonder Woman‘ paraphernalia from when I wrote five issues of the comic, and pictures of my husband and kids.
I wrote my first song at 12 and remember someone asking, ‘What were you going through at 12 that you could write about?’ I get what you’re saying, but 11, 12, 13 were the hardest years of my life. You learn everything. You learn how horrible things feel.
I like the guys who wrote their own stuff and were able to perform it, like Seth Rogen. He popped off so young. When he did ‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin,’ and he was a co-producer on the movie, I was like, ‘Oh my God: that’s exactly what I want to do.’
My favorite song that I wrote is ‘Love Line.’ This was my first song that I wrote lyrics for, and I really wanted to express the feeling when you’re in love and hoping the other person feels the same way.
When I sat down and wrote the first paragraph, I was like, ‘Oh, I can go with this.’ I didn’t do an outline. I didn’t do anything. I just wrote sentence by sentence, not knowing where the story was going.
I knew at the time that that wasn’t the part I would be doing, they just wanted a screentest so they could have a look at it to show to the directors and producers. Then they wrote a part for me or maybe they already had it in mind, I don’t know.
The fate of the singers who, like my songs, went up in flame was also the fate of the books which I later wrote. All of them went up in flame to Heaven in a fire which broke out one night at my home in Bad Homburg as I lay ill in a hospital.
It was my 16th birthday – my mom and dad gave me my Goya classical guitar that day. I sat down, wrote this song, and I just knew that that was the only thing I could ever really do – write songs and sing them to people.
When I wrote ‘East,’ I wanted a completely earthy, very sexy, very violent play, so I wrote in verse. I found it not only satisfying but releasing. It gave me an opportunity to play with language. We never played the characters like the yobs that they are, but rather in a slightly heightened way.
When I was in sixthgrade there was a talent show, and I wrote my first sketch, ‘The Dentist.’ I played the dentist, and I had my friend play a patient. It was sort of what can go wrong at the dentist, and I just remember I had lots of fakeblood and everything.
I know people who have writtenbig hit country songs that are really kind of terrible songs, but for the rest of their life, they’re the guy who wrote that. You’ve got to be careful; if you don’t want that to happen, don’t write those songs.
I was probably 35 when I wrote the first story. The voice is kind of a mix in that it has a young voice, but it’s also someone who’s looking back. I like that kind of double vision.
I got this idea about being afraid to let go of something and being afraid of sinking into a state of almost anesthesia, where you have to trust other people. Just the paranoia of it all. And it seemed to suit the frenetic track. So I just wrote it out and, you know, said it.
People have said things about me, and wrote and criticized me about things in the past, but it goes in one ear and out the other.
When I was in the Peace Corps I never made a phone call. I was in Central Africa; I didn’t make a phone call for two years. I was in Uganda for another four years and I didn’t make a phone call. So for six years I didn’t make a phone call, but I wrote letters, I wrote short stories, I wrote books.
I remember little of the Yukon or what I wrote there.
Robert W. Service
I wrote most of ‘Hello in There’ in a relay box, which looks like a mail box, only bigger. Sometimes, it was so cold and windy on my mail route that I’d go inside the relay box and eat a sandwich, just to get away from the wind. I remember working on ‘Hello in There’ inside the relay box.
I wrote a query letter to an editor – a friend of a friend. The editor called me an idiot, told me never to contact an editor directly, and then recommended three literary agents he had worked with before. Laurie Fox was one of them, and I’ve never looked back.
It was like a dream come true for me. When you write the book, it’s still intimate. It might have been a best-seller but it’s still my story, as I wrote it. The moment we or they make a movie, it’s not my story anymore. There’s a lot of letting goinvolved in the process.
All my life, I have takeninventory at intervals. For example, when I became a movie actor and suddenly I had to deal with fame, money and playing so many roles, I lost myself. I said, ‘Who am I?’ And I wrote my first book to deal with that, ‘The Ragman’s Son.’
I did The ‘Acid Test’ at the Royal Court, by Anya Reiss, who’s the most wonderful, amazing female writer. She was only 19 when she wrote it. She wrote it about three girls in a flat on a Friday night, and that was magic because it was so rare to have three girls in yourage group in a play. It just doesn’t happen.
I wrote a book of essays about New York called ‘The Colossus of New York,’ but it’s not about – you know, when I’m writing about rush hour or Central Park, it’s not a black Central Park, it’s just Central Park, and it’s not a black rush hour, it’s just rush hour.
I first wrote for adults, but when I started writing for young people, it was the most creative and liberating experience of my life. I was able to express my own deepest feelings far more than I ever could when writing for adults.
I’d always liked to write, but I never wanted to be a writer, because it seemed a sissyoccupation. It is. To this day, I find it terriblyeasy. And so, rather than trying to hunt up a text, I just wrote one.
Growing up in Memphis and listening to all kinds of music and dreaming… So that was one of the first times I wrote a complete song and set it to music and the whole bit. From then on, I was busy with it.
I was bornleft-handed, but I was made to use my other hand. When I was writing ‘Famished Road,’ which was very long, I got repetitive stress syndrome. My right wristcollapsed, so I started using my left hand. The prose I wrote with my left hand came out denser, so later on I had to change it.
I went to a large consolidated school in Appalachia. And I wrote the story when I was in the second grade and I took it up to the third floor to the school newspaper office that was written and edited by juniors and seniors.
In New York I was always so scared of saying that I wrote fiction. It just seemed like, ‘Who am I to dare to do that thing here? The epicenter of publishing and writers?’ I found all that very intimidating and avoided writing as a response.
Someone wrote a piece about Henry Green in The Partisan Review that was so intriguing that I got one of his novels, Loving, I believe, which was the first that came to attention in the United States.
You have discovered so much kindness and good will to those you thought were oppressed, and had no helper, that I am sure you will not despise what I have wrote, if you judge it will be of any service to them.
My scripts, they’re pretty serious. I basically just describe stuff. I don’t put too many notes and letters to the editors. But when I wrote ‘KGBLT,’ in parentheses I wrote, ‘Well this is the best thing I’ve ever written. It will all be downhill from here. I’m so sorry for the rest of my career.’
I love the BlackBerry. I’m on it all the time. I literally wrote my whole book, ‘Unwrap Your Sweet Life,’ on the BlackBerry while I was working out on the StairMill. So many people tease me about having a BlackBerry, but I meet a lot of people who still use one. Obama has a BlackBerry!
A.J. Liebling, one of my heroes, used to say that he could write better than anyone who wrote faster, and faster than anyone who could write better. I’m one nine-hundredth as good as Liebling, but that principlemay slightly apply.
I’m a huge fan of ‘Heart On My Sleeve‘ – I think it has a ‘Take That’ feel to it! John Shanks and James Morrison wrote the track, and we spoke to Sony and asked if we could reference a ‘Greatest Day’/’Rule The World’ sound to make that epicballad. I think it does the job.
I’ve known those pieces ever since I was about 16 or 17; I also at that time was taken to meet Charles Ives whom I got to know fairly well. He was the one who wrote a recommendation for me to get into college.
The first song that I wrote was when I was with The Del Rios. I was like 14 years old but I was always putting my thoughts down on paper even before then because it was like an escape – a way of unleashing all the stuff.
My sister and I wrote some songs together under a project called Sala Says Mhyp when I was 17. Sala is our cat. She died, and we wanted to do something in honor of our her. We were a proper cat family.
I’ve always romanticized the late ’40s and ’50s – the cars, jazz, the open roads and lack of pollution. Now there are more vehicles, less hitchhikers, more billboards and power lines and stuff. People wrote wonderful long letters that took months to receive, and now everything is email.
I have been forgetting things for years – at least since I was in my 30s. I know this because I wrote something about it at the time; I have proof. Of course I can’t remember exactly where I wrote about it or when, but I could probably hunt it up if I had to.
I didn’t even walk for graduation – I did graduate, though. I got this homeschool deal. I didn’t have to go to school because I was depressed, and my mom wrote all these essays for me. I didn’t write one of them. She literally got me my diploma.
Shakespeare and his work will always be relevant. He wrote those pieces hundreds of years ago and we haven’t really changed as humans, have we? We have to deal with love, honour and adultery now – people were the same then, too – that’s what’s so wonderful and powerful.
‘Band Played On’ is a good one. Barbara Orbison, who was Roy’s wife, was involved in publishing in Nashville because she oversaw Roy’s publishing, and she had a company in Nashville. She had a whole bunch of writers assembled, and they got together every day and wrote, and they write for everybody in Nashville.
To the audience, it’s like I’m changing the subject every five seconds, but to me, my show’s almost like a 90-minute song that I know exactly. I wrote every note, and I know exactly where everything is.
When I wrote ‘The West Wing,’ the juice behind it was that in popular culture, our leaders in government are generally portrayed as Machiavellian, or as idiots. I thought, well, how about writing about a group of hyper-competent people?
I’ve done more crap than I care to remember. I really have. ‘Airwolf.’ ‘Murder, She Wrote.’ ‘Amazon Women on the Moon.’ But you learn from all these bad shows. What you don’t want to do and what you don’t want to be involved with.
I lost my son in late 2011. He had been totally incapacitated from his neck down for the last eight years of his life, but his mind was alive and brilliant in those years. He even wrote a book, ‘Allegheny Mountain,’ lying at home in his hospital bed.
The book, you understand, was not written for publication. It was the portrayal of my emotions, the analysis of my own soul life during three months of my nineteenth year. I wrote then all the time, just as I do now, but, though the book is in diary form, it is not a diary.
Nabokov, who I loved more than any other writer when I was young, had such contempt for dialogue. When I was younger, I never wrote a word of dialogue because of him. I thought it was a childish part of a novel.
‘Reign’ is probably the oldest one on the record. I wrote that when I was 19. ‘The Dead They Don’t Come Back,’ which is the last song on the album, I wrote when I was 20, and ‘Harlem River’ I just wrote last year. It spans from 2007 to 2012.
When I wrote The Onion Field, I realized that my first two novels were just practice.
I try to gauge whether a girl likes me before I make a move. I would write a page-long note to a girl. If she wrote a whole page back, I knew she liked me, too. If she wrote back like two words, then I figured I’d move on.
The area we define as what Quora’s good at is long-form text that’s useful over time, and where you care about who wrote the text. Not that you need to be friends with them, just that they’re someone trustworthy.
‘Twenty One Pilots‘ is a play by ArthurMiller, who also wrote ‘All My Sons.’ It’s about a guy who’s creating and developing parts for airplanes in war time, when it comes to his attention that some of these parts were faulty.
Cooper wrote a novel which is absolutely indistinguishable from Austen, completely from a female point of view, completely English, no sense that he was an American.
I don’t think my wife likes me very much, when I had a heart attack she wrote for an ambulance.
Technically, I’ve been retired for some time now. All I ever do is occasionally write songs for friends, such as one, for a friend who had just turned 80. I wrote a song for him called, The First 80 Years are The Hardest.
I looked through our catalog year by year, and I saw that there were pockets of time when we wrote some terrific songs. Then all of a sudden, we’d go for another two or three months and there weren’t great songs.
I’d like to be a student in Rabindranath Tagore’s school in Santiniketan in around 1915, dancing in the dance-dramas he wrote.
I sat down one night and wrote the line rock, rock, rock everybody.
I wrote ‘My Name is Red’ just to remember painting, where the hand does it before the intellect. When I’m captive to it, I’m a happier person. Kierkegaard tells us that a happy person is someone who lives in the present; the unhappy person, someone who lives either in the past or the future.
An English journalist called Michael Viney told me when I was 25, that I would write well if I cared a lot what I was writing about. That worked. I went home that day and wrote about parents not understanding their children as well as we teachers did, and it was published the very next week.
I first got to know Charles in the late seventies when I wrote an article and then a book about him and I think at the time he came across as quite appealing, it was probably the height of his popularity.
But I would like to think that it’s the actor that makes the difference in these cases. Not the director, not the guy that wrote the book, not the guy that adapted it for the screen, but the actor.
My grandmother passed at 104. She sang and wrote songs until she passed.
The first novel I wrote was a monster – clocking in at 180,000 words – but it died a death, a death it deserved. It was called ‘The Gods First Make Mad.’ It was a good title, but it was the only good thing about the book. I didn’t let that put me off.
How do I let the director know how obsessed I am and willing to do anything for the movie? Like, I wanted to write this one director a letter, so I wrote him a handwritten note. But then I was like, ‘How many people are writing this guy handwritten letters? Is it going to seem cheesy? What do I do?’
I wish I wrote more about the world at more distance from myself.
If I want people to connect to my words and my stories, I need to tell them where they came from. Because then, when you break into song, they have kind of a blueprint for why I wrote that song, so they can come to it with something they went through that helps them connect to it.
In my first book, Under Fire, I wrote that I revered Ronald Reagan. That was a dozen years ago. I still feel that way. I think he changed the world for the better for my children and my children’s children.
Of course I danced a lot when I was making ‘Swingers.’ The swingmusic scene was big in Hollywood, and I went to places like The Derby. And, after I wrote it and was trying to get it made, I would go every week so I’d be good at dancing.
Which is a wonderful irony, I have property there. I go back every chance I get. One of the main reasons I actually wrote the book, agreed to write it having never wanted to do that in my life, very intimidating by the way to write a book.
If you’re writing an opinion piece, it’s your job to write your opinion. If, on the other hand, you wrote a novel, as Virginia Woolf tells us, it would be inappropriate if you let your novel be influenced by your political opinions.
Right before I got ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ I actually quitacting for 18 months and didn’t read a single script, and I wrote a film. I felt like I needed to do something that I had control over, as an artist, and also just do something where I felt like I had some control over my life, as just a human, out in the world.
‘Dear Mr. Henshaw’ came about because two different boys from different parts of the country asked me to write a book about a boy whose parents were divorced, and so I wrote ‘Dear Mr. Henshaw,’ and it won the Newbery, and I was – it’s been very popular.
Peter Breggin, an American psychiatrist, had been criticising SSRIs since the early 1990s. He wrote ‘Talking Back to Prozac’ (1995) to repudiate psychiatrist Peter Kramer’s ‘Listening to Prozac’ (1993) – a bestseller which claimed that Prozac made patients ‘better than well.’
I’ve written a song for Prince. I never showed it to Prince, but just to see if I could do it. At the time, when I sort of knew him, he was recording a song a day. I wondered if I could do that. So I wrote it.
I saw the Village as a place you could escape to, to express yourself. When I first went there, I wrote and performed poetry. Then I drewportraits for a couple of years. It took a while before I thought about picking up a guitar.
As soon as I began, it seemed impossible to write fast enough – I wrote faster than I would write a letter – two thousand to three thousand words in a morning, and I cannot help it.
Helen Hunt Jackson
‘Boyz-n-the-Hood’ was actually supposed to be written for Eazy’s group. He had a group out in New York called Home Boys Only, called HBO. One of them looked like LL Cool J. Eazy wanted to write a song for them, a street song, like what we were doing on the mix tapes. So when I wrote it, it was too West Coast for them.
I love all of my children equally, all of my printed books, and each onebears a special piece of me. But the one I’m most proud of is the one no one will ever see – the very first manuscript I ever wrote, back in 1990. It took me a year to do it.
There’s a wonderful woodland, spiritual song I wrote in Undercliff in Lyme Regis, and I used to walk up there with my dog and always come back with an idea.
Do you know what would hold me together on a battlefield? The sense that I was perpetuating the language in which Keats and the rest of them wrote!
My theory is that I decided to be a writer when I was about seven, but of course it is not as simple as that. Like most writers, I had to work at other things to earn a living and wrote mainly in the evenings, often very late at night, for many years.
The past actually happened but history is only what someone wrote down.
A. Whitney Brown
It takes me a long time to get with a landscape. It took me 20 years before I wrote anything about Ibiza, and I haven’t written about Oregon yet, although I’ve been there 20 years – possibly I’m almost due.
And we had our own laws. I mean, I wrote them. And we had our own customs, and traditions, and proprieties.
Acting’s incrediblyenjoyable, but sometimes it doesn’t feel quite enough. I’ve also written a script about the life of Eleanor of Aquitaine. This will make me sound like a female Kenneth Branagh, but I can’t think of anything nicer than directing myself from a script I wrote.
To my surprise, the more I searched about Qi Xiangfu, the more I found of a life lived partly online. He once wrote a short memoir in which he described himself in the third person, with the formality usually reserved for China‘s most famous writers.
For example, after developing a sound similar to an elephant trumpeting, I wrote the song Elephant Talk which gave my elephant sound an appropriate place to live.
We hear about the Gershwins, the Kerns, and the Berlins, but there were some great little writers like TheodoreMorse, Charles K. Harris, and Ernest R. Ball, who wrote ‘Let the Rest of the World Go By.’
So this guy, Jeff Johnson, who is an accountantwho cares nothing at all about a free press and cares nothing about journalism, he’s a right winger who supported the war, you know, who two years ago told people he couldn’t stand a word that I wrote.
I can never read this book, just like I can never see a movie that I wrote a screenplay for. I can read it and see it physically, but I can’t accurately judge it. I’m too close to it. If I read it ten times I’ll have ten different reactions.
If I wrote in a sonnet form, I would be distorting. Or if I had some great new idea for line breaks and I used it in a poem, but it’s really not right for that poem, but I wanted it, that would be distorting.
I can only say thank you and thanks also to all of the great songwriters who wrote those wonderful songs that became number ones.
Yeah I do and I don’t mind, in fact that is one of the real encouraging things about this whole career of mine is that there are tunes I wrote almost thirty years ago that I will still play in front of an audience and I still like the old tunes.
I used the dictionary very minimally and I just wrote how I speak. And I speak very hatefulmanner usually. I constantly did that because I think the fans would get more out of it if they understood exactly what I’m saying – exactly where I’m coming from.
My mother wrote a teen column for the South China Morning Post in the 1950s when she was growing up in Hong Kong. Her name was Lily Mark, but she sometimes wrote under her confirmation name, Margaret Mark. That was how she met my father.
I used to be a calligrapher for weddings and events – that was my side job while I was auditioning. I think handwritten notes are a lost art form. When I booked my first pilot, my dad wrote me a letter that I still have. The idea of someone taking the time to put pen to paper is really special.
My favorite is ‘The Last Coyote.’ I’m not saying that’s the best book I’ve written; I hope I haven’t written my best book yet, but that one was the first book I wrote as a full-time author, with my full-time focus. I have a nostalgic feeling about it.
TV’s hard work. I don’t know how the hell Angela Lansbury survived doing ‘Murder, She Wrote’ all those years. And sure, everyone wants to be Bruce Willis or George Clooney – they want to be in film for the range of characters you get to play.
I wrote Steve Carell’s last episode. I think it was a really good episode, but there’s always a tensionbetween what’s good for the series and what’s good for an episode, because the more closure you put on an episode, the more significant feeling it is.
Most people can’t tell now who wrote what. I like that blurring of identitieswithin the band. because it becomes a unified thing that can’t be related to other forms of historical poetry.
Of course, we wrote the songs accordingly and performed and recorded them that way. At that time, we really thought it was right, but you know, seen in retrospect, it made the album sound forced, and not really great.
I like to know that when I’m 90 years old, I’m going to be able to look at a song or poem I wrote and say, ‘Wow! I remember I was so crazy about this person,’ or ‘I remember what that day felt like.’
Writing about 2,000 words in three hours every morning, ‘Casino Royale’ dutifully produced itself. I wrote nothing and made no corrections until the book was finished. If I had looked back at what I had written the day before I might have despaired.
In some ways I think it would be very dignified if I went away for twenty years and then wrote my fourth book.
I was writing very early, like I was involved in our high school literary magazine, which was called ‘Pariah.’ The football team was the Bears, and the literary magazine was ‘Pariah.’ It was great. It was definitely a real sub-culture. But I wrote stories for them.
For me, and this may not be everybody, but because I do love country music so much, there’s such a feeling of home in Nashville, especially because it’s such a small town. You bring up one song, everybody knows who wrote it, everybody knows their mother and what their cell number is, and all of the stories.
But I liked Yeats! That wild Irishman. I really loved his love of language, his flow. His chaotic ideas seemed to me just the right thing for a poet. Passion! He was always on the right side. He may be wrongheaded, but his heart was always on the right side. He wrote beautiful poetry.
You don’t think it was because a white man wrote it, a black man wrote it, a green man wrote it. What – doesn’t make a difference! Doesn’t make a difference. I think he did a good job.
I’ve got a role in the new Billy Bob Thornton movie that Billy Bob wrote and is going to direct called ‘Jayne Mansfield’s Car.’ I only have four scenes, but I have as much dialogue as anybody in the movie.
I was around computers from birth; we had one of the first Macs, which came out shortly before I was born, and my dad ran a company that wrote computer operating systems. I don’t think I have any particular technical skills; I just got a really large head start.
When I first got married to my husband, he had boxes full of photos of my two stepsons, ages 5 and 8 at the time, and I put them together in some little albums and wrote notes about how happy I was that they were a part of my life.
Growing up, I would watch a movie on video and would go to the back of the VHS and locate the address for Universal Pictures or MGM or whatever. I’d write to the studios asking them if I could be in a movie. They never wrote me back.
‘Halo’ I wrote with my grandpa in his nursing home. When I went to visit him, he’d often comment on my halo. But of course, I couldn’t see. And he always – he had pictures of Jesus with these beautiful halos. And so I asked him if he’d write a song with me about Jesus’ halo.
My father has a book where, ever since I started playing games… he wrote down the games that I played in. And then, when I did my website, we thought that was a really good idea, that people can keep track of my games.
With songs, it doesn’t matter what song it is; every time I go out and perform it, it’s like the first time I’m performing it, the first time I wrote it. If it’s not, then I’m not going to do it that night.
Marx and Lenin were ahead of their time. Marx wrote before offshoring of jobs and the financialization of the economy. Lenin presided over a communist revolution that jumped the gun by taking place in a country in which feudal elements still predominated over capitalism.
I’ve always thought that whether I’m writing or not, I’ve gotta pick the best songs, whether or not they’re mine. I’m not gonna sing them just because I wrote them. I’ve gotta find the best songs to make the best record I can.
I think I wrote the first draft of ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ in ’79. No one wanted to buy it. Nobody. I felt very strongly about it, so I stayed with it and kept paying my assistant and everything. At a certain point, I was literally flat broke.
It was very lucky for me as a writer that I studied the physicalsciences rather than English. I wrote for my own amusement. There was no kindly English professor to tell me for my own good how awful my writing really was. And there was no professor with the power to order me what to read, either.
John Muir, the famous naturalist, wrote in his journal that you should never go to Alaska as a young man because you’ll never be satisfied with any other place as long as you live. And there’s a lot of truth to that.
While Fledging is a different type of book, The Parable series serve as cautionary tales. I wrote the Parable books because of the direction of the country. You can call it save the world fiction, but it clearly doesn’t save anything.
I was just learning to play guitar when Tracy Chapman came out. She wrote these songs, she played them by herself and I so admired her for that.
I think we have a great deal of mythology around writing. We believe that only a few people can really do it. I wrote a book called ‘The Right to Write.’ In it, I argued that all of us have the capacity to write. That it’s as normal to write as it is to speak.
As I wrote about my childhood, I realized that there was no big tragedy. Being multiethnic is not a tragedy. I didn’t have any big life-threateningillnesses, no tumors, no kidney malfunctions… I came from a very poor family. I was chubby as a kid.
And that’s how I wrote to NICAP, but then later, just very soon after that, like three weeks later, we started getting phone calls from government agents.
When the Exxon Valdez spilled in 1989, I was angry. I even wrote on the back of my car, Boycott Exxon!
When I started out, I wrote the songs, recorded the songs, mastered, mixed, did the artwork, made the packaging and did the distribution, all myself. Now I understand what everyone’s jobs are, who is doing them right, and who isn’t.
‘Rent’ was a special project for me. It was my first notable screenplay job. I worked with two wonderful directors on it, starting with Spike Lee in the summer of 2001. I wrote a draft for Spike and he was really good to me.
I’ve always loved ‘Umbrella.’ Funny enough, my ex-husband wrote that, and I’m not saying it was meant for me or anything – people will start twisting this – it is Rihanna‘s song! But I’ve always loved it.
Mozart often wrote to his family that certain variations or sections of pieces were so successful that they had to be encored immediately, even without waiting for the entire piece to end.
More than fantasy or even science fiction, Ray Bradbury wrote horror, and like so many great horror writers he was himself utterly without fear, of anything. He wasn’t afraid of looking uncool – he wasn’t scared to openly love innocence, or to be optimistic, or to write sentimentally when he felt that way.
The first couple of pictures I wrote and directed were dreadful, because I was dealing in worlds that were not familiar to me, and writing about fantasy. They were just not anything I was really connected to.
It’s not fair that people wrote that all of my films had not done well. There were a few films like ‘Nippu,’ ‘Devudu Chesina Manushulu’ and ‘Sarostaru’ which were really bad. But, ‘Veera’ and ‘Dharuvu’ had done well. Strangely, people have added them to my ‘flop list.’
I wrote in the ‘War of Art’ that I could divide my life neatly into two parts: before turning pro and after. After is better.
I’m a black Catholic raised in Decatur, Georgia, which was very gang-infested. Then, I went to an all-white private high school and excelled in sports and wrote poetry, then played football at the University of Georgia, minoring in drama.
I think Henry Miller has had huge influence not because he wrote about sex, but because the memoir or the nonfiction novel has become such a monumentalforce in American publishing, if not in literature.
I wish I was a prolific writing wondrous boy genius – I wish I was Stevie Wonder – but I wasn’t. I was me. I wrote terrible songs about girls I was head-over-heels about. As soon as a pretty girl looks at me, that’s it – I’m in love, and I should probably write a song about it!
See, I never wrote arrangements for the band for Judy Garland; I did strictly special material, special lyrics, put together all of her medleys.
And the irony is that they wrote better without access to my quotes.
There have been times I’ve planted stuff in songs where four years later I’ll be singing it from a subconscious, kind of chameleon little lizard mind… and at a certain moment, all of a sudden, I’ll hear a line from a different vantage point and it’ll change its meaning. It’s something I wrote but it changed because I did.
Armenianfolklore has it that three apples fell from Heaven: one for the teller of a story, one for the listener, and the third for the one who ‘took it to heart.’ What a pity Heaven awarded no apple to the one who wrote the story down.
The bands that wrote the big, heroic rock songs – I really wanted to make a record like that.
My older sister encouraged me from early on and bought me one of the first guitars I had. She listened to all of the crappy songs that I wrote when I was 8 years old and encouraged me to keep doing it.
Albert Camus’s ‘La Peste’ – ‘The Plague‘ – had an enormousimpact on me when I read it in high school French class, and I chose my senior yearbook quote from it. In college, I wrote a philosophy class paper on Camus and Sartre, and again chose my yearbook quote from ‘La Peste.’
In 2003, I wrote a New York Times best-seller called ‘Shut Up & Sing,’ in which I criticized celebrities like the DixieChicks & Barbra Streisand who were trashing then-President George W. Bush. I have used a variation of that title for more than 15 years to respond to performers who sound off on politics.
I had written a novel that was more of a classic linear novel, and I worked on it and worked on it for years, and it always seemed like it wouldn’t catch fire. At a certain point I just scrapped it all, and I kept maybe 15 percent of it, and I wrote those parts out on note cards.
What influenced me was Tori Amos, who was unapologetic about expressing anger through music, and Sinead O’Connor. Those two in particular were really moving for me, and very inspiring, before I wrote ‘Jagged Little Pill.’
In ’98, I locked myself in my house, went out of my mind and wrote 25 songs. I rarely bathed during that period of writing, I sent out for food, I didn’t really venture out of my house in three or four months. It was a hell of an experience.
You promised to take care of me and not to turn your back on me. How is it possible that you never wrote to me even once and you never came back to see me? Do you think that it is fun for me to spend months, even years, without any news, without any hope!
This book that I just wrote is going to be coming out very soon to Australia.
I tried, after I wrote ‘Twilight,’ to read ‘The Historian,’ because it was the big thing that summer. But I can’t read other people’s vampires. If it’s too close, I get upset; if it’s too far away, I get upset. It just makes me very neurotic.
I think probably the only thing that is around in these songs is that I was really lonely when I wrote a lot of them. But it was really by my own choosing because I was devoting myself to songwriting and dancing and I wasn’t really going out and seeing people.
I was always depressed growing up. There wasn’t a reason for it, I just was. I was sad and morose. I cried a lot, I wrote a lot, and I read a lot; and that was how I dealt with it.
What I did was I completed the half-hour film, but before really showing it, I wrote two more sections for a potentialfeature film which I didn’t think would really happen, but at least I had it in case.
I grew up – my dad, every time I was with my dad, he was always – not always, but he wrote. He’s a writer. So he was always in his office writing. He made a plan and, like, a point of, ‘This is my work. I’m going to do this every day for these amount of hours.’ So I think that’s where I got, like, a work sort of ethic.
While working on my first five books, I kept wishing I was writing a novel. I thought until you wrote a novel, you weren’t taken seriously as a writer. It used to trouble me a lot, but nothing troubles me now, and besides, there has been a change. I think short stories are taken more seriously now than they were.
We wrote ‘Stellify’ for Rihanna, but as we got to the end of writing it, I thought, ‘You know what? I’m gonna keep this for myself. We’ll give her another one.’ She’d have probably sung it better, but it is too good for me not to do it.
What’s funny about Jesus’ Son is that I never even wrote that book, I just wrote it down. I would tell these stories and people would say, You should write these things down.
I wrote about wasting time, which I suppose is a part of the great human journey. We’re supposed to wallow, to go through the desert without water for a long time so that when we finally drink it, we’ll truly need it and we won’t spill a drop. It’s about being present.
I once had a crush on one of my teachers. I wrote him a love letter and stuck it in a bag in his office. I didn’t write my name on it, but I’m sure he figured out it was me.
I do not mind having written the song at all. I just wish that I had written it in a different key, as the high d is hard to play. I am glad that I wrote something that brought joy to millions of people.
I think it’s silly for anyone to think you could write under the influence, but if they’d like to think that, I’d like to keep the legend alive. Maybe I was under the influence when I wrote Jesus’ Son and I just didn’t know it.
I always knew I wanted to be a musician, and I always knew I wanted to write, ’cause the people I was listening to all wrote. I never thought it was an option to sing anyone else’s songs.
You know, bad poetry I wrote in high school can still be found on the Internet, and, you know, there’s a Web log of our college newspaper. You know, there’s so many different stages of my creative development are sort of on-record if somebody were to choose to look for them.
I started rapping at the age of 12. That’s when I wrote my first song, but I was more intrigued on learning how the recording process works: how do you create music and what materials I needed. So I educated myself musically so that I could focus on creating my own.
I was 18, at art school, and saw this cute boy playing banjo. I was obsessed. I taught myself how to play. I listened to a lot of country and just messed around. The second song I wrote on the banjo was ‘Good to Be a Man.’ That what’s got me signed.
I was in Paris at an English-language bookstore. I picked up a volume of Dickinson’s poetry. I came back to my hotel, read 2,000 of her poems and immediately began composing in my head. I wrote down the melodies even before I got to a piano.
I’m a commercial writer, not an author. Margaret Mitchell was an author. She wrote one book.
Gibson wrote ‘Neuromancer’ on a typewriter, you know, before the technology he was writing about existed.
I don’t know why Sinclair Lewis fell in love with me. He didn’t get even the slightest response from me. But his letters were lovely. And the poems he wrote me were lovely. I used some of them in my book.
The first sequel thing I wrote was this ‘ForeverDawn‘ thing that will never get out, because it’s horrid. But it’s a really good outline for ‘Breaking Dawn’ – it’s very similar. I knew what I was doing, which is good, because I think if I hadn’t, there might have been a lot of pressure.
The first book I wrote was The BridePrice which was a romantic book, but my husband burnt the book when he saw it. I was the typical African woman, I’d done this privately, I wanted him to look at it, approve it and he said he wouldn’t read it.
I loved the last album, and it was one hundred percent me. But this is like me two years later, who understands a little bit more about music and understands a little bit more about making an album. I wrote a lot more.
If you want to put out a song that you wrote yesterday, tomorrow go on Twitter, type in a new URL, and give it to the people!
‘Pitchfork’ said something like, ‘Michael Imperioli wrote a book that sounds like Lou Reed fan fiction,’ which maybe it is. It’s fiction, and I’m a fan. But it’s not about me, and it’s not a Lou Reed book.
Once I had all the facts in, I found I didn’t have the immoralcourage to pull the caper. So I wrote it as a story. As a teenager, I didn’t have any skills for writing as such, so it came out in 1500 words.
I wanted to be a classical actress. I plodded along. I went to junior college in San Francisco, I was in a Repertory Company. My hero was Eva Le Gallienne, who was a great theater actress at the turn of the century who created her own company, and she wrote these hilarious autobiographies at the time.
I have some fondmemories – a couple of the nights on the town … a couple of songs I wrote when I was messed up that I’m sure wouldn’t have come out of me unless I was messed up. It’s kind of happy-sad about those days – I could do anything I wanted to. I did. And now I don’t want to do any of that.
When I wrote the lyrics, melodies, and the first themes of ‘Serendipity,’ I tried to come up with some rare things you find in life, something very special, like the calico, three-striped cat; things that have extraordinarymeanings in people’s lives.
In 1966, I attended Marquette University and graduated from the University of California at SantaCruz in 1970. I received my doctorate in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo, where I wrote my dissertation on William Faulkner‘s early novels.
Havana is one of the great cities of the world, sublimely tawdry yet stubbornly graceful, like tarnished chrome – a city, as a young Winston Churchill once wrote, where ‘anything might happen.’
When I was 13 or 14, I took seven months off from touring. I did a lot of weekendgigs in Louisiana. We have fairs and festivals every weekend. But I took seven months off. That’s when I really started digging deep. I wrote a couple songs that year that I still play every now and then for people.
For ‘King Cole’s American Salvage,’ I rode around in the wrecker with a local driver and watched him deal with customers and hook up the cars. I watched the guy who tore apart the cars in the junkyard. I also wrote poems about those guys. I loved hanging around the yard.
I never wrote for children. I wrote with respect for the audience, which I’ve maintainedall my life. Doesn’t mean I couldn’t be risque, but I did it smartly, without being vulgar.
Then you start another book and suddenly the galley proofs of the last one come in and you have to wrench your attention away from what you’re writing and try to remember what you were thinking when you wrote the previous one.