Quote For The Weekend (Saroyan Edition)

The Man.

How do you write? You write, man, you write, that’s how, and you do it the way the old English walnut tree puts forth leaf and fruit every year by the thousands. . . . If you practice an art faithfully, it will make you wise, and most writers can use a little wising up.

William Saroyan (1981)

I obsessed on W.S.’s use of man when I first read this. Was he wielding it—the word man—earthily (as in eyes half-lidded, Birkenstocks on his feet and pen held between fingers like a joint) or in a British (I blame the English walnut tree reference for this next musing) pip-pip manner (as in he’s wearing one of those Brigadier General ribbed sweaters with patches on the shoulders and sleeves and there’s a giant, slightly burnt banger on his fork that he’s waving in your face)? No, no. Neither. I know it. You know it. Saroyan. Man. Saroyan. What ho! He’s right. He also advised writers:

Try to learn to breathe deeply; really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell.

Ha ha! Merci, W.S. Sleep well.


About PB Rippey

Writer, wife, mother, grateful. Fiction, memoir, poetry, kidlit (MG), member SCBWI. pbwrites.wordpress.com
This entry was posted in Fiction, Writer quotes, Writer's Angst, Writing, Writing Tips and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Quote For The Weekend (Saroyan Edition)

  1. Great entry. I especially love the quote at the end when he’s giving advice to other writers. What fantastic advice. Thanks for the information. :o)

  2. I agree. The “man” changes everything in the meaning of this quote. Laugh like hell.

  3. Beth Hull says:

    Perfect timing, man, perfect timing.
    Now I’m going to sleep, really sleep, now. Until the baby wakes me up in three minutes.

  4. sonofwalt says:

    Good stuff, P.B., I needed that. Gonna really sleep now. 😉

  5. Now that is wonderful, the best prescription for making the most of life I ‘ve read in ages!
    Thank you.

Words do not escape you

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