Quotations on Listening and Writing

May 11, 2008
It is insight into human nature that is the key to the communicator’s skill. For whereas the writer is concerned with what he puts into his writings, the communicator is concerned with what the reader gets out of it. He therefore becomes a student of how people read or listen. — William Bernbach

The discipline of the writer is to learn to be still and listen to what his subject has to tell him.  — Rachel Louise Carson

Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up on rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. — Meg Chittenden

I have learned as much about writing about my people by listening to blues and jazz and spirituals as I have by reading novels. — Ernest Gaines

If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don’t listen to writers talking about writing or themselves. — Lillian Hellman

I learned to write by listening to people talk. I still feel that the best of my writing comes from having heard rather than having read. — Gayl Jones

Between the writing of plays, in the vast middle of the night, when our children and their mother slept, I sat alone, and my thoughts drifted back in time, murmuring the remembrance of things past into the listening ear of silence; fashioning thoughts to unspoken words, and setting them down upon the sensitive tablets of the mind. — Sean O’Casey

All speech, written or spoken, is a dead language, until it finds a willing and prepared listener. — Robert Louis Stevenson

Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole. — Eudora Welty

The discipline of the writer is to learn to be still and listen to what his subject has to tell him. — Anonymous


Photo originally uploaded to FLickr by [phil h]; late night discussion (or what I’m trying to tell myself…)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: