Tag Archives: imagination

Billy Connolly (b. November 24): “I think my securities far outweigh my insecurities….”

24 Nov


“I think my securities far outweigh my insecurities. I am not nearly as afraid of  myself and my imagination as I used to be.”

~ Billy Connolly, b. 24 November 1942



J.G. Ballard (b. November 15): “Fiction is a branch of neurology” & other quotes

15 Nov

J.G. Ballard (born 15 November 1930, died 19 April 2009) was an English novelist, short story writer, and prominent member of the New Wave movement in science fiction. His best-known books are Crash and the semi-autobiographical Empire of the Sun, made into a film by Steven Spielberg, based on Ballard’s boyhood during the Second World War.

His work has given rise to the adjective ‘Ballardian’, defined by the Collins English Dictionary as ‘resembling or suggestive of the conditions described in J. G. Ballard’s novels and stories, especially dystopian modernity, bleak man-made landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments’.

Quotes on writing:

  1. Any fool can write a novel but it takes real genius to sell it. 
  2. I felt the pressure of imagination against the doors of my mind was so great that they were going to burst.
  3. Fiction is a branch of neurology: the scenarios of nerve and blood vessels are the written mythologies of memory and desire.
  4. But I wouldn’t recommend writing. You can be a successful writer and never meet another soul. I’m not sure that’s a good thing.
  5. Given that external reality is a fiction, the writer’s role is almost superfluous. He does not need to invent the fiction because it is already there. 
  6. I work for three or four hours a day, in the late morning and early afternoon. Then I go out for a walk and come back in time for a large gin and tonic.
  7. I’ve never suffered from writer’s block. I have plenty of ideas, sometimes too many. I’ve always had a strong imagination. If it dries up I’ll stop and look for another career.
  8. If their work is satisfying people don’t need leisure in the old-fashioned sense. No one ever asks what Newton or Darwin did to relax, or how Bach spent his weekends. 
  9. I believe in the power of the imagination to remake the world, to release the truth within us, to hold back the night, to transcend death, to charm motorways, to ingratiate ourselves with birds, to enlist the confidences of madmen.

Sam Shepard (b. November 5): “Without writing I’d feel completely useless” & other quotes on writing

5 Nov


Sam Shepard, born 5 November 1943, is an author, playwright, actor and director. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Buried Child, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in The Right Stuff

Quotes on writing:

  1. I think without writing I would feel completely useless.
  2. When you hit a wall – of your own imagined limitations – just kick it in.
  3. I’ve heard writers talk about ‘discovering a voice’, but for me that wasn’t a problem. There were so many voices that I didn’t know where to start.
  4. The great thing for me, now, is that writing has become more and more interesting. Not just as a craft but as a way into things that are not described. 
  5. I’m a writer. The more I act, the more resistance I have to it. If you accept work in a movie, you accept to be entrapped for a certain part of time, but you know you’re getting out. I’m also earning enough to keep my horses, buying some time to write.
  6. My first job was with the Burns Detective Agency. They sent me over to the East River to guard coal barges during these god-awful hours like three to six in the morning. It wasn’t a very difficult job — all I had to do was make a round every fifteen minutes — but it turned out to be a great environment for writing. I was completely alone in a little outhouse with an electric heater and a little desk.

Yiyun Li (b. November 4): “One should be able to imagine being somebody else”

4 Nov

Yiyun Li, born 4 November 1972, is a Chinese American writer whose works include the short story collections A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, and the novel The Vagrants

Quotes on writing:

  1. I think I’m just writing about human nature and it just so happens that my characters are Chinese.
  2. To write about a struggle amidst the struggling: one must hope that the muddling will end someday.
  3. What a long way it is from one life to another: yet why write if not for that distance; if things can be let go, every before replaced by an after.
  4. Oftentimes if a story didn’t work, I would rescue one character or two characters—or one paragraph—from the story and start all over. Which actually was very efficient for me, I think. You can spend so much time revising.
  5. When I first started writing, I thought a lot about the shape of the stories—do you have a triangle or a rectangle, or do you have a mirror image? Is one character a mirror image of the other? What variation did you do with the characters to make that interesting? 
  6. I wish people would ask me about the importance of the imagination. I really believe that one should be able to imagine being somebody else. This is important for writers, but it’s also important for readers, and for all human beings to be able to imagine being somebody else.

John Keats (b. October 31): “My imagination is a monastery…”

31 Oct


“My imagination is a monastery and I am its monk.”

~ John Keats, b. 31 October 1795



Christopher Isherwood (b. August 26): “Life’s not so bad if you have a good physique…”

26 Aug


“Life is not so bad if you have plenty of luck, a good physique, and not too much imagination.” 

~ Christopher Isherwood, b. 26 August 1904


Sir Francis Bacon (b. January 22): “Imagination was given to man to compensate him…”

22 Jan


“Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is.”

~ Sir Francis Bacon, b. 22 January 1561



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