Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"Talent is such a small part of it. Willingness to work hard to learn the skills. (Including the nuts and bolts like spelling and grammar.) Patience to do the necessary revising and if necessary rewriting to get it right. Persistence in the face of rejection. Judgment in deciding what advice to listen to and whom not to trust. Humility to know when you're exerting suction. Knowledge, all sorts of knowledge, knowledge of what's been written, knowledge of the world and its peoples, knowledge of physical science, knowledge of at least one other language to give you perspective on your own. And most important of all: understanding of human beings and why they act the way they do and the way they interact with each other, which can take a lifetime to master but without it a writer is a failure. Maybe a clever failure, maybe sometimes an entertaining one, but a failure all the same."
William Sanders

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