Jan 8, 2008

writing quotations about waiting

Here's a writing tip from Mark Twain and E.B. White. Their two great writing quotations seem contradictory, but could actually be complementary. What do you think?

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.” said Mark Twain.

Compare that with E.B. White’s writing quotation:

“Delay is natural to a writer. He is like a surfer – he bides his time, waits for the perfect wave and which to ride in. Delay is instinctive with him. He waits for the surge (of emotion? of strength? of courage?) that will carry him along,” White said.

Writing tip: The writing secret is to balance risk-taking (and possible regret) with waiting for the perfect wave. But don’t wait too long, writers. You may regret it.

E.B. White's writing quotation came from Shoptalk: Learning to Write With Writers by Donald Murray. Mark Twain's quote isn't a writing quotation at all! But I apply it to my writing habits almost every day.

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