Expat Writer: Are You Ready to Bleed?

Writing Quotations

by Miss Footloose

writer's bloodThe writing life is hell, I’m sure you agree. Today I am so uninspired, so uninspired, I . . . I can’t even finish this sentence. I don’t feel like writing. I can’t squeeze out a drop of writing juice.

So instead of coming up with deep thoughts and scintillating tales of my own, I’m offering you some insights and wisdom from other scribes about the travails of the writing life:

Writing is easy:  All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.  — Gene Fowler

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. — Ernest Hemingway

Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing.  – Norman Mailer

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.   — E.L. Doctorow

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.  — Robert Heinlein

The problem with writing about religion is that you run the risk of offending sincerely religious people, and then they come after you with machetes.  — Dave Barry

Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money. —  Moliere

Amsterdam Red Light District Graffiti

Graffiti in the Amsterdam Red Light District

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof shit detector.  This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.  — Ernest Hemingway

(Is there an app for that?)

One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper pattern at the right moment.   — Hart Cran

(Drenching and soaking — one hopes there’s alcohol involved. Literally.)

If you want to get rich from writing, write the sort of thing that’s read by persons who move their lips when they’re reading to themselves.   — Don Marquis

We’ve all heard that a million monkeys banging on a million typewriters will eventually reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know this is not true. — Prof. Robert SilenskyMonkey typing

A great many people now reading and writing would be better employed keeping rabbits.  — Edith Sitwell

I should get me some rabbits. — Miss Footloose

* * *

What are your favorite quotations?  What do you do when you don’t feel like writing or working or doing what you are supposed to be doing? Inspire me!

This is a repost, but wisdom does not go out of style, and the comments are great to read!

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From a classmate of mine at Northfield Mount Hermon,  “Writing is simpler than you’d think.
Just turn wine into blood and blood into ink.”
–Dylan Brody 

If it’s any consolation, having your fingers freeze past 5 pm because your house has no heating doesn’t inspire for much blogging either. I have plenty of thoughts, mind you, but the execution is wanting.

Love the Don Marquis one – at the risk of opening a huge can of worms, can I bring in 50 Shades of Grey here?


Set yourself an easily attainable target, like 400 words per day. Have someone, like a family member or friend, who makes sure you stick to it.

I am currently reading one of the best books I have ever read: Matterhorn. It took Karl Marlantes 30 years to write it, maybe at the rate of a page a day. Remember one great book is worth 30 poor ones. Gone with the Wind?

An inspiring collection of quotes.

It’s just as miserably hot in Istanbul too. Inspiration will come!

A great set of quotes. Love the one by Professor Robert Silensky – so true!! 🙂


Oh yes, Miss Footloose, write on…. just open a vein!

My favorite quote is from Moliere.
I like the new look of your blog. Very nice.
You are not the only one to suffer from heat. Here in Chicago the temperature is around 105 degrees Farenheit. Better to stay inside and …. try to write!

Just discovered your blog. Very cool! Haha, Amsterdam sure is a trip, isn’t it? There are actually several red-light districts. You kind of stumble into them because for the most part, they look like every other neighbourhood. My fiancee’ and I had just been poking around a used book store along the Singel canal, then walked back up to the train station. Suddenly she says, “Hey look at that!” I’m like, “Huh? It’s just a garbage truck with a crane on the back…” She says, “No, look down…” So I look down in the basement window of the gorgeous Old… Read more »

Pamela Brooke

At WRITE TO DONE, they’re doing SCENE STEALERS today which is the first two sentences of a 300 word response (from you). Maybe a fun thing to play with while you’re waiting for the blood drops! http://writetodone.com/2012/07/07/scene-stealers-writing-promt/

Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident.

I absolutely adore your blog–words AND photos! I’ve been in 39 countries, lived 14 years in Africa where I founded and ran Story Workshop in Malawi, but am currently housebound and travel vicariously–for now. You’re always inspiring. Thanks for bleeding!

Oooh, I’m with you! I spent three months imagining that the summer break would give me space to write endlessly, when instead I have been desperately trying to drown out the pleas of my children to be taken to Waterworld, the dogs to go for a walk and the general chaos that all being at home together causes.. Sigh.

Travel Finland Blog

Luv the clollection of quotes
It is a big and relevant problem searching new angles to wriote on a topic
I make sure to have pen/paper close to my bed
Also I keep my mobile memory low so I am able to dictate thoughts as and when they come
How many times,we think a great thought,then forget the gist of it 24 hours later

LOVE the monkey quote!

Chubby Chatterbox

I love Mark Twain’s quote: The darnest thing about paper is that it will lay there and let you write anything you want on it.

My favourite quote is from Doctor Who: Live your life! Easy, simple and so so true…

I enjoyed your quotes and have missed you Miss Footloose. I guess the heat of Moldova is BAD!!! Do you have air-conditioning? Shall I come over?

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