Friday, 29 April 2011

Quoteth me not?

Whilst idly leafing through a book of writerly quotes (actually, I was procrastinating again!) I came across a couple of old ones that made me sit up and wonder...

1. "We must beat the iron whilst it is hot but we may polish it at leisure," John Dryden (1631-1700). This is so true - even today. The white heat of composition must be kept at full flame, don't you think?

2. "The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first," Blaise Pascal (1623-1662). I know I always need to go back and change my beginnings as I get towards the end of my story. Sometimes I even ditch the original opening and start in a different place. Because until I get to the end of a story I'm never quite sure what must go in the beginning anyway.

3."A man may write at any time, if he will set himself to it doggedly," Samuel Johnson (1709-1804). Of course this is a writers oath. We swear we will stick to the task and complete our novels and stories, don't we? And procrastination is not said to be the thief of time for nothing...

So what do you think? Do these quotes still fit in with modern day writing, despite them having been written centuries ago?


  1. They sure do! I feel all of that is still how I write. Write while the iron's hot and edit later. Great quotes.

  2. These quotes totally apply to modern day writing! I just wish I could stop procrastinating and set myself to writing doggedly :o)

  3. Yes, I think they are very much alive and well and running around my head at the moment. :-)