The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector. This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it.
Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
They can't yank a novelist like they can a pitcher. A novelist has to go the full nine, even if it kills him.
The writer must write what he has to say, not speak it.
Prose is architecture, not interior decoration, and the Baroque is over.
I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can.
A serious writer is not to be confounded with a solemn writer. A serious writer may be a hawk or a buzzard or even a popinjay, but a solemn writer is always a bloody owl.
There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.