‘The impulse can be made to sound theoretical, and even philosophical, but it is, no doubt, as physical as our blood and marrow. This inhsatiable desire to write something before I die, this ravaging sense of shortness and feverishness of life, make me cling… to my one anchor – so Virginia Woolf, in her diary, speaks for us all.’

– Joyce Carol Oates, The Faith of a Writer

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‘Since writing is ideally a balance between the private vision and the public world, the one passionate and inchoate, the other formally constructed, quick to categorise and assess, it’s necessary to think of this art as a craft. Without craft, art remains private. Without art, craft is merely hackwork.’

– Joyce Carol Oates, The Faith of a Writer

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‘When writing goes painfully, when it’s hideously difficult, and one feels real despair (ah, the despair, silly as it is, is real!)–then naturally one ought to continue with the work; it would be cowardly to retreat. But when writing goes smoothly–why then one certainly should keep on working, since it would be stupid to stop. Consequently one is always writing or should be writing.’

– Joyce Carol Oates (Quote of the day on Advice to Writers)

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