Challenge,  On Writing,  publishing

Two Sayings On My Office Wall

Both Have Been On My Wall For Decades…

And they were on my office walls before that. So when we moved this last spring and early summer, I took the two sayings down and brought them with me for my new office.

So what kind of sayings would I carry with me for so many decades? Almost since I started writing.

The first, framed in a cheap mat and dirty and faded says simply…

“If we could dare to write as ill as those whose voices haunt us still…”

That is part of an Edward Gosse poem written way back and the poem is in the public domain. But think about that saying. Especially those of you who are beginners and think top bestsellers can’t write.

And a little of that saying is where “Dare to be bad” came from.

The second quote is from a Louis L’Amour Sackett novel. One of his characters is talking and I thought what the character said was exactly right. So I typed it up in a big font and put it on my wall.

“…there are two kinds of people in this world, those who wish and those who will, and the world and its goods will always belong to those who will.”

If you put those two sayings together, you pretty much get my writing belief system.

Combine them both with Heinlein’s Rules and forty years later I am still here and having a blast and writing like crazy.

So tonight I put both sayings back up on my new office wall. Just thought I would let you all know. Or warn you. (grin)




    • dwsmith

      DS, wow, I have read that poem a number of times over the decades and never once caught the most important line… “Too much afraid of faults to be…” Does that describe exactly why so many writers can’t seem to write? Wow. Thank you!!

  • Gretchen Rix

    For a while I kept your words DARE TO BE BAD taped to my computer screen where I could see it every day. I don’t need the reminder any more. And many thanks for that old blog post.

    • Kenny

      I’ve got Dare to be Bad on my monitor at thee moment. I’ve also got ‘It’s Time to Play’ on there too.

  • Harvey Stanbrough

    Good stuff. Mine are more simple.

    “Writers write.”

    “Just write the next sentence.

    Both, combined with Heinlein’s Rules, have gotten me through some otherwise dead times, and both came directly from you.

    • Jo

      I also got ‘write scenes’ from Dean.

      To me that’s sorta the most you can really keep in your head at one time, what’s going on in a scene.

      I also have ‘cycle back’ which is fine for when I get stuck. ‘write scenes’ gets me started. ‘cycle back’ keeps me going.

  • Maree

    I just came across a new fav writing quote the other day

    “If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.”-Edgar Rice Burroughs

    • Philip

      I love this, Maree. That’s probably where Ray Bradbury got his famous line about writing a short story a week: “It’s impossible to write 52 bad stories in a row!” I love that.

      • Maree

        I had to google the exact wording, so I read lots of great comments he made on writing. He had a lot to say.