Start writing, no matter about what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on. You can sit and look at a page for a long time and nothing will happen. Start writing and it will.
I have delved deep into the literatures of the world, yet what is available is scarcely a dusting of what must have been. Great libraries have been destroyed, and books or manuscripts are vulnerable.
A book can be carried and read at leisure. It needs nothing but an eye, and the ability to read.
'A book is a friend that will do what no friend does - be silent when we wish to think' - Will Durant
Shaw was a many-sided man, not easily understood and not wishing to be understood - as a person.
Writing as craft varies much from individual to individual. Probably no two writers write in the same way in any respect. Some write slowly, like Gustave Flaubert, who needed seven years to complete Madame Bovary. On the other hand, William Shakespeare, Honore de Balzac, Charles Dickens, and Anthony Trollope (to name a few) wrote with considerable speed. ...It has nothing to do with the quality of their work; the speed or frequency of their writing is a matter of personal inclination or temperament.
(on Shakespeare) His writing was done backstage, in taverns, in the homes of friends, or in his own quarters.
People are always interested in how a writer works, as if that made a difference. Some imagine a writer must have complete quiet, or some special atmosphere. The fact is, a professional writer can write anywhere, although some environments are undoubtedly more favourable than others. Some excellent writing is done these days by newspaper people working in a bustling, busy newsroom.
Personally, I prefer my study or bedroom at the ranch. In the first place, I am surrounded by my library, where I can check any fact that requires it. At the ranch I have a view of the timbered mountain ridge at the back of my property, or I can look up a valley in the hills where the elk and deer come down to feed in the evening. Forty of fifty can be there at once, as we do not allow hunting, and they are beautiful to watch.
Gustave Flaubert once said that 'Talent is nothing but long patience'.
The key to understanding any people is in its art: its writing, painting and sculpture.
Due to the narrow vision in many of our schools, few people have any knowledge or appreciation for the culture of Asiatic nations.
As much time as I have spent walking in cities and working among people of all kinds, I liked the wild country the best. Again and again I returned to the desert or mountains, seeking out the lonely water holes, studying the wildlife, learning to exist on the margins.
Given paper with which to write and a typewriter, I can be happy anywhere.
The frontier is that line beyond which man has not been, or where he is only beginning to go. I am, for example, concerned now (as I have been since I was twelve) about the frontiers of outer space...There are endless frontiers out there, each one is difficult, each one offering fresh discoveries, unexpected challenges, and rewards beyond belief.
There was no time for writing during the war but one could always think, and one could observe and remember.
There were place and people to be seen and remembered, there were stories to be heard, and I was hungry for them all. Ours is a rich and wonderful world, and there are stories everywhere. Nobody should ever try to second guess history; the facts are fantastic enough.