In all toils of life, humour makes life a lot easier. Writing can be frustrating at times and looking back at these funny quotes by great authors can be a great relief. Instead of getting depressed over a failed writing or a struggling one, it’s always good to make light of the whole situation to keep the head above the water and keep going.
“The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.” Mary Heaton Vorse
“As far as I’m concerned, “whom” is a word that was invented to make everyone sound like a butler.” –Calvin Trillin
“I read anything that’s going to be interesting. But you don’t know what it is until you’ve read it. Somewhere in a book on the history of false teeth, there’ll be the making of a novel.” ‒ Terry Pratchett.
If Moses were alive today he’d come down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments and spend the next five years trying to get them published.
“Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher. ” –Flannery O’Connor
“A great number of the disappointments and mishaps of the troubled world are the direct result of literature and the allied arts. It is our belief that no human being who devotes his life and energy to the manufacture of fantasies can be anything but fundamentally inadequate.” ‒ Christopher Hampton
“I wrote without much effort; for I was rich, and the rich are always respectable, whatever be their style of writing.” Jane Austen.
“About the most originality that any writer can hope to achieve honestly is to steal with good judgment.” – Josh Billings
“A person who publishes a book appears willfully in the public eye with his pants down. If it is a good book nothing can hurt him. If it is a bad book nothing can help him.” Edna St Vincent Millay.
Traditional publishing is almost impossible to access for aspiring authors and the reason is apparent. Each manuscript before a publishing company passes through brutal scrutiny aimed at marketability. Any manuscript screened out will never make it until it meets up with the strict requirement which could take a long time and several revisions and more rejections. Sometimes, out of desperation, a writer changes everything about a manuscript just to suit the taste of traditional publishers.
Some writers when they can’t bear rejection anymore decide to dump their manuscript just like the publishers dumped them. But that’s absurd when such thing as self-publishing exists.
With Self-punlishing within grip, a writer doesn’t have to cast a rejected manuscript away anymore.
Famous authors below got the attention of the publishing companies only after they self-published their rejected manuscripts. We all have one or two things to learn from their wise step.
In 1997, Robert Kiyoski wrote Rich Dad Poor Dad. But he had problems getting his book published. The book was rejected by numerous publishers and literary agents, so Robert Kiyosaki decided to self-publish his book. Today, Rich Dad Poor Dad has sold 40 million copies and was among New York Times bestsellers for more than six years.
Lisa Genova’s Still Alice was brutally rejected by numerous publishers until she decided to self-publish it in 2007. Still Alice gained her popularity. In 2009, Simon and Schuster republished her book. It was later adapted into a film that won an Oscar in 2014.
Andy Weir knew that his book The Martian would never get the attention of the traditional publishers. He decided to post a small portion of it on his blog. Readers liked and appreciated his work. This gave a lot of encouragement. He self-published The Martian and became the #1 bestseller on Amazon. Today, his book has sold about three million copies and The Martian film became a big hit and Oscar nominee.
In the early 1900s, female authors faced discrimination and did not get the attention of publishers. At that time, Beatrix Potter wrote her book The Tale of Peter Rabbit and got rejected. She picked the courage and self-published her book and attracted the attention of the publishing house where she got rejected and The Tale of Peter Rabbit goes on to sell up to 45 million copies.
Double Persephone was an award-winning book of poems self-published by Margret Atwood. Her poetry book gave her initial success.
If you are an aspiring or an established author with a rejected manuscript, do not look down on self-publishing and see it as a dumping ground for badly written books that couldn’t get the attention of traditional publishers. Go ahead and self-publish. You will be surprised at how much attention of the traditional publishers your book will attract when it begins to sell big. You will be called to sign a book deal. Do not dump your book as Useless no matter how bad you think it is. Think about the time and effort put into it.
John Grisham is an author with not less than 39 books published in his name, from 1989 to date.
John Grisham is an American novelist, politician, attorney and activist. He was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas on February 8th 1955.
He got his first degree from Mississippi State University and received his Juris Doctor Degree from University of Mississippi School of Law in 1981, the same year he got married to his wife, Renee. He practiced Criminal Law for about ten years and served in the Mississipi House of Representatives between January 1984 and September 1990.
He has two children, Shea and Ty Grisham.
John Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill was rejected by 28 publishers before it got published by Wynwood Press in 1989.
He became really famous as a writer after his second novel, The Firm – got published and it became the bestselling novel of 1991. Ever since his writing career has been blossoming.
His works cover Legal thriller, crime fiction, southern gothic, football and baseball. But he’s mostly known for his Legal thrillers.
List of John Grisham’s Books
1989 – A Time to Kill
1991 – The Firm
1992 – The Pelican Brief
1993 – The Client
1994 – The Chamber
1995 – The Rainmaker
1996 – The Runaway Jury
1997 – The Partner
1998 – The Street Lawyer
1999 – The Testament
2000 – The Brethren
2001 – A Painted House
2001 – Skipping Christmas
2002 – The Summons”
2003 – “The King of Torts
2003 – Bleachers
2004 – The Last Juror
2005 – The Broker
2006 – The Innocent Man
2007 – Playing for Pizza
2008 – The Appeal
2009 – The Associate2009 – Ford County (short stories)
2010 – Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer
2010 – The Confession
2011 – Theodore Boone: The Abduction
2011 – The Litigators
2012 – Theodore Boone: The Accused
2012 – Calico Joe
2012 – The Racketeer
2013 – Theodore Boone: The Activist
2013 – Sycamore Row
2014 – Gray Mountain
2015 – Theodore Boone: The Fugitive
2015 – Rogue Lawyer
2016 – Partners (a “Rogue Lawyer short story)
2016 – Theodore Boone: The Scandal
2016 – Witness to a Trial (a digital short story)
2016 – The Whistler
2017 – Camino Island
Famous Quotes by John Grisham
“In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth. Each of you is an original. Each of you has a distinctive voice. When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard”. -John Grisham
“You live your life today, Not tomorrow, and certainly not yesterday.” -John Grisham
“I was tired of secrets, tired of seeing things I was not supposed to see. And so I just cried.” -John Grisham, APainted House
“Mr. Buckley, let me explain it this way. And I’ll do so very carefully and slowly so that even you will understand it. If I was the sheriff, I would not have arrested him. If I was on the grand jury, I would not have indicted him. If I was the judge, I would not try him. If I was the D.A., I would not prosecute him. If I was on the trial jury, I would vote to give him a key to the city, a plaque to hang on his wall, and I would send him home to his family. And, Mr. Buckley, if my daughter is ever raped, I hope I have the guts to do what he did”. -John Grisham, A Time to Kill“Death row is a nightmare to serial killers and ax murderers. For an innocent man, it’s a life of mental torture that the human spirit is not equipped to survive” -John Grisham, The Confession
“It’s amazing how lies grow. You start with a small one that seems easy to cover, then you get boxed in and tell another one. Then another. People believe you at first, then they act upon your lies, and you catch yourself wishing you’d simply told the truth” -John Grisham, The Client
Lessons I’ve learned so far from John Grisham’s writing history
Keep writing even when the pile of your books and the height of your fame have reached the sky.
Rejection doesn’t mean the end of writing. Persist even when you meet a hundred publisher rejections.
In 1991, The Famished Road won the Booker Prize for Fiction Award and the author, Ben Okri, 32 at the time, became the youngest author to win that Award.
Ben Okri is a Nigerian poet and novelist, born in Minna, Nigeria to Grace and Silver Okri in 1959. He spent his early years in London, where his father moved to study law at the time. Ben went to his primary school in Peckham before the family moved back to Nigeria in 1968.
Earlier in his life, way before he realized his call was towards poetry, he wanted to study a short university program in physics. He was rejected on the ground that he was too young, only 14, and unqualified.
He began to write with a focus on social and political issues. But these articles failed to pique the interest of the publishers. However, some of those articles were published in women journals and evening papers as short stories.
Okri’s writing desire intensified when he found himself homeless in England after his scholarship funding failed to keep him in Essex University where he studied Comparative Literature. In his own words, the trying time is “very, very important” to his work.
In 1980, at 21, Okri published his debut novel Flowers and Shadows. From 1983 to 1986, he worked with West Africa Magazine as a poetry editor and also a contributor to BBC World Service 1983-1985. His career soared in 1991 when his novel The Famished Road won the Booker Prize for Fiction.
Between 1980 – 2021, Ben Okri has a total of twenty-six works to his name; novels, poetry, essays, short stories, films and online fiction.
The Famished Road – 1991
Starbook – 2007
A way of being free – 1997
A time for New Dream – 2011
Booker Prize for Fiction (The Famished Road – 1991)
Some Of Ben Okri’s Quotes
Reading, therefore, is a co-production between writer and reader. The simplicity of this tool is astounding. So little, yet out of it whole worlds, eras, characters, continents, people never encountered before, people you wouldn’t care to sit next to in a train, people that don’t exist, places you’ve never visited, enigmatic fates, all come to life in the mind, painted into existence by the reader’s creative powers. In this way the creativity of the writer calls up the creativity of the reader. Reading is never passive.
The magician and the politician have much in common: they both have to draw our attention away from what they are really doing.
Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart bigger.
The most authentic thing about us is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering.
Don’t despair too much if you see beautiful things destroyed, if you see them perish. Because the best things are always growing in secret.
The higher the artist, the fewer the gestures. The fewer the tools, the greater the imagination. The greater the will, the greater the secret failure.
If you have watched the movie, The Colour Purple, you have seen the writer of the award winning story, Alice Walker.
Alice Walker’s brother accidentally shot her in the eye with a BB pellet when she was eight. She became blind in that eye. Due to her defect, she became self-conscious, shy and withrawn. She felt like she was ugly and disabled.
It was during this period that she began to read and write. At fourteen, she had an eye surgery to improve her appearance. But at the time, she was already hooked on writing and reading and couldn’t stop.
Alice walker is an American novelist, short story writer, poet and activist. She was born in Eatonton, Georgia USA in 1944. Because she was very brilliant, Walker got a scholarship to attended Spelman College and later switched to Sarah Lawrence College with another scholarship.
After college, she worked as a social worker, teacher and lecturer. As an activist she active in the Civil Rights Movement to fight for the equality of African Americans.
In 1967, she got married to her white husband, Melvyn Rosenman Levental and they became the first legally married inter-racial couple to live in Missisipi. They had a daughter, Rebecca before divorcing in 1976.
After the publication of her third novel, The Colour Purple in 1982, her career as a writer took a great turn and she became very successful. In 1983, the amazing work of fiction won Walker both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award For Fiction. The Colour Purple made it to the big screen in 1985 directed by Steven Spielberg starring Whoopi Golberg as Celie, Opra Winifrey and Danny Glover. The movie was a huge success just like the Novel.
List of Alice Walker’s Works
(Contains links to Amazon.com)
– The Third Life of Grange Copeland
– The Color Purple
– The Temple of My Familiar
– Possessing the Secret of Joy
– By the Light of My Father’s Smile
– Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart
– In Love & Trouble: Stories of Black Women
– Alice Walker Banned
– You Can’t Keep A Good Woman Down
– The Way Forward Is With A Broken Heart
Essays and Prose
– In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, Womanist Prose
– Anything We Love Can Be Saved
– Living By the Word
– I Love Myself When I Am Laughing….A Zora Neale Hurston Reader (editor)
– The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult
-Sent By Earth
– Warrior Marks: Female Genital Mutilation and the Sexual Blinding of Women (with Pratibha Parmar)
– We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For
– Overcoming Speechlessness
– The Cushion in the Road: Meditation and Wandering As the Whole World Awakens To Being In Harm’s Way
– Revolutionary Petunias
– Horses Make a Landscape Look More Beautiful
– Good Night, Willie Lee, I’ll See You In the Morning
– Her Blue Body Everything We Know, Earthling Poems
– Absolute Trust In The Goodness Of The Earth
– A Poem Travelled Down My Arm, poetry and drawings
– Hard Times Require Furious Dancing
– The World Will Follow Joy; Turning Madness Into FlowersBooks for Children
– To Hell With Dying
– Langston Hughes, American Poet
– Finding the Green Stone
– There Is A Flower At The Tip Of My Nose Smelling Me
– Why War Is Never A Good Idea
– Pema Chodron and Alice Walker in Conversation (video)
– The World Has Changed; Conversations With Alice Walker, edited by Rudolph P. Byrd.
– New Poems, Taking The Arrow Out Of The Heart, 2018
– The World Will Follow Joy; Turning Madness Into Flowers (poems) 2013
– The Cushion In The Road; Meditation and Wandering As The Whole World Awakens To Being In Harm’s Way (essays, travels and dreams)
– The Chicken Chronicles, a Memoir, 2011.
Famous Quotes by Alice Walker
“In nature nothing is perfect, trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways and they’re still beautiful ~~~~ Look closely at the present you are conducting, it should look like the future you are dreaming ~~~ I have learned not to worry about love, but to welcome it’s coming with all my heart ~~~ Men make war to attract attention. All killing is an expression of self-hate. ~~~ Activism is my rent for living on the planet. ~~~ What the mind doesn’t understand, it worships or fears. ~~~ No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow. ~~~ Be nobody’s darling. Be an outcast Take the contradictions Of your life And wrap around You like a shawl, To parry stones. To keep you warm.
– Alice Walker
Lesson From Her Life
Walker’s life is a typical example of how an obstacle can become a stepping stone. But for that shot in her eye, Alice probably, couldn’t have become a writer and what she is today.
Be strong. Work hard
Welcome To The Artistic Words Of Creative Writing by Florence Ifeoma Ezekafor