All archives
Previous Issue (16 July 2004) | Current month | Next Issue (18 July 2004)

Quotes of the Day for 17 July 2004 – Writers

Erle Stanley Gardner was born at Malden, Massachusetts on this day in 1889. His father, a mining engineer, took the family to Portland, Oregon, the Klondike, and finally to Oroville, California. Erle was expelled from high school there, graduated from Palo Alto High School, kicked out of Valparaiso University in Indiana after less than a month. He worked as typist in California law office, studied on his own time and was admitted to the bar in 1911 without formal education. Practiced at Oxnard, California to 1918, left for a sales position, back to law 1921 to 1933 at Ventura, California. Started writing for the pulps in early '20s under the name Charles M. Green, was a regular contributor to Black Mask magazine. Sold 97 stories in one 12-month period in 1926 - 1927, in 1929 to 1931 wrote westerns for a penny a word. In 1932 he started using wax cylinders for dictation, six secretaries worked to keep up. In 1933 he wrote the first Perry Mason story, soon was able to give up his own practice. In honor of this hardworking and prolific author, here are some quotes on Writers.

Van's signature

The quotes:

Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind.
     - Catherine Drinker Bowen, 1897 - 1973

The writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master - something that at time strangely wills and works for itself.
     - Charlotte Brontë, 1816 - 1855

When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.
     - Ernest Hemingway, 1899 - 1961

Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.
     - Jessamyn West, 1902 - 1984

Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up on rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.
     - Meg Chittenden

There's not much to be said about the period except that most writers don't reach it soon enough.
     - William Zinsser

Do you see an error on this page? A typo, a character that is messed up, a misattribution? Please let us know!