12 quotations that perfectly describe the writer’s life

From the pressure of producing a first draft to the elation of selecting the perfect word, these nuggets of wisdom sum up what it’s like to have a career writing and editing.

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Now that he’s in his teen years, my son and I have been having more serious conversations about his choice of career. (“More serious” means he no longer wants to be an astronaut paleontologist.)

We’ve spent a lot of time talking about writing careers. From corporate communications to book editing, there are plenty of career options for people who love to write—but I also want him to understand what it’s like to write for a living.

Here are a few quotations from writers that perfectly tell the tales behind our craft. See if you can relate:

1. “Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: It’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen), and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.”—Neil Gaiman

2. “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”—Isaac Asimov

3. “I never write ‘metropolis’ for seven cents when I can write ‘city’ and get paid the same.”—Mark Twain

4. “Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft.”—Anne Lamott

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