Tag: WilliamFaulkner

Cat on books

15 Quotes About Writing from Famous Authors

Whether you’re an aspiring writer, an avid reader, or none of the above you can’t help but admit the power and influence the written word has on us all. Writing can be cathartic, informative, distracting, devastating, connecting, and everything in-between.


I love writing and words and all the ways in which they can effect our lives so much (seriously) that I’m at a complete and total loss for them right now. 


So, I’m just going to let these fifteen quotes from famous authors do the rest of the talking.



“If I waited for perfection…I would never write a word.” —Margaret Atwood




“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” —Maya Angelou



“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” —Joan Didion



“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”—Virginia Woolf



“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.” —Enid Bagnold




“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” —Anaïs Nin



“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”  —Sylvia Plath



“When I’m writing I know I’m doing the thing I was born to do.” —Anne Sexton



“I am writing all this down in blue ink, so as to remember that all words, not just some, are written in water.” —Maggie Nelson



“In the diary you find proof that in situations which today would seem unbearable, you lived, looked around and wrote down observations, that this right hand moved then as it does today.” —Franz Kafka



“A person who writes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down.” —Edna St. Vincent Millay



“Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” —William Faulkner



Who am I? I’m just a writer. I write things down. I walk through your dreams and invent the future. Sure, I sink the boat of love, but that comes later. And yes, I swallow glass, but that comes later.” —Richard Siken



“Not all poetry wants to be storytelling. And not all storytelling wants to be poetry. But great storytellers and great poets share something in common: They had something to say, and did.” —Sarah Kay



“The secret to being a writer is that you have to write. It’s not enough to think about writing or to study literature or plan a future life as an author. You really have to lock yourself away, alone, and get to work.” —Augusten Burroughs





Featured Image Via Pinterest

Walt Whitman

These 10 Writers Had the Most Intense Facial Hair

If you are a man and you want to be a writer, you have two things you must do: 1. Write a book; and 2. Look more like Ernest Hemingway. That is the curriculum. When aged, experienced folks in the publishing industry ask young writers, “Have you read Hemingway,” they are really asking if you have fully embraced the possibility of facial hair. If you can grow a beard, have you tried growing his beard? If you cannot grow a beard like Hemingway’s, then that’s fine too. Your author photo will just be seriously lacking.


If you need inspiration on how to style your facial vegetation, or you want fuel for your imagination of what a beard might look like on your hairless face, then look no further than these literary greats.


1. Mark Twain


Mark Twain moustache facial hair

I also don’t know how he ate. | Image Via Biography


2. Friedrich Nietzche


Friedrich Nietzche moustache insane funny

I don’t think this even counts as a face. It’s 90% hair. | Image Via Encyclopedia Britannica


3. Michael Chabon


Michael Chabon beard

When you want to look like you don’t give a care, but you sneaky give many cares. | Image Via Pioneer Press


4. Walt Whitman


Walt Whitman

Tolkien’s inspiration for Radagast the Brown. | Image Via Social Justice For All


5. Fyodor Dostoyevsky


Fyodor Dostoyevsky crazy beard funny

Rocking the neckbeard since 1821. Beat that, reddit. | Image Via The Arc of Grace


6. Herman Melville


Melville beard square crazy

For those who wish a box hung off their jaw. | Image Via Bio


7. William Faulkner


William Faulkner cool stylish moustache elegant

What you get when googling “debonair.” | Image Via Bio


8. Terry Pratchett


Terry Pratchett beard smile

A beard as sharp as his wit. | Image Via Humanists UK


9. Patrick Rothfuss


Patrick Rothfuss long crazy wild beard

That beard is older than me. | Image Via Wikipedia


10. Ernest Hemingway


Ernest Hemingway great beard facial hair cool glorious

Image Via Bio





Oh, and a bonus one: Young Stephen King


Young Stephen King crazy Beard wtf

Image Via reddit


Feature Image Via Social Justice for All


If You Like Whiskey, Then Enjoy These 10 William Faulkner Quotes

American writer William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi in 1897. Much of his early work was poetry, but he became famous for his novels set in the American South, frequently in his fabricated Yoknapatawpha County with works that include The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, and Absalom, Absalom!


He pioneered new techniques in form and style, helping revolutionise the notion of the “narrative.” His contemporaries have described him as a somewhat aloof character, fond of whiskey, infidelity, and blowing off work. Having dropped out of high school before its completion, he lived most of his life in obscurity. One could say the story of William Faulkner is a tale of perseverance, failure, creativity, and, eventually, success. Faulkner won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949 for his “powerful and artistically unique contribution to the Modern American novel.” This dude knew how to turn things around!


William Faulkner

Image Via Pinterest


1. We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.


2. Nothing can destroy the good writer. The only thing that can alter the good writer is death. Good ones don’t have time to bother with success or getting rich.


3. Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.


4. There is no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others. But a man shouldn’t fool with booze until he’s fifty; then he’s a damn fool if he doesn’t.


5. Given the choice between the experience of pain and nothing, I would choose pain.


6. You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.


7. A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.


8. Clocks slay time… time is dead as long as it is being clicked off by little wheels; only when the clock stops does time come to life.


9. It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.


10. I never know what I think about something until I read what I’ve written on it.


11. To live anywhere in the world today and be against equality because of race or color is like living in Alaska and being against snow.


Faulkner at the University of Mississippi

Image Via LettersofNote.com


Feature Image Via The Guardian

where writers write

A Revolving Shed and Other Strange Places Classic Books Were Written

One day, after years of reading Bookstr’s articles, you may sit down and write a novel of your own. But where? It might be anywhere from a quiet, secluded garden hut to a bustling café surrounded by troves of coffee hunters. The stories we read are influenced by the surroundings in which they were written, be it their landscape, soundscape, or time of day. Many great writers find their creative comfort sitting at a desk, whereas other literary luminaries venture beyond this traditional perch and create their own ideal writing spots. Here are a few notable locations where your favourite novels, poems, or short stories were written.



Who? George Bernard Shaw.

What? Pygmalion.

Where? A custom-made rotating hut in his yard.


First on our list isn’t the most peculiar spot I’ve heard of. But that doesn’t take away from how awesome it is. Like most of Shaw’s work, Pygmalion was written in a custom-made rotating hut on the grounds of his home in Hertfordshire, UK. Shaw liked to write in the line of sunlight, so he designed a work space that could be manually maneuvered from the inside in order to keep himself in the sun’s path. The hut was called “London,” which continued as a sort of running joke in his household so that whenever someone was looking for him, they would be met with the honest-yet-deceptive answer, “in London.” We unearthed a photo of this hut to show you guys:


George's Hut

Image Via Wikipedia



Who? Wallace Stevens.

What? Poetry.

Where? In transit.


Stevens' Home

Image Via WikimediaCommons


Master stylist and poetic craftsman Wallace Stevens composed poetry between his doorstep pictured above and the Hartford Accident and Imdemnity Insurance Co., where he worked as vice president. The American modernist poet commented on his place of creative comfort, saying, “I write best when I can concentrate, and do that best while walking.” In his poem “Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction,” which was published in 1942 and is roundly considered Stevens’ best poem on the nature and definition of poetry, he makes an assertion in the opening stanza of the seventh section, which reads: “Perhaps / The truth depends on a walk around a lake, / A composing as the body tires…” His creative process makes a lot of sense. Some of my best ideas come to me while I’m out walking or cycling around, which is about the only time I don’t have a pen and paper at my expense. Oops.



Who? Dame Edith Sitwell.

What? Poetry.

Where? Coffin.


Edith Sitwel

Image Via Wikipedia


British poet and critic Edith Sitwel (1887-1964) had a ritual of lying down before she set pen to paper. Rather than reclining on a bed or a couch, though, she chose to climb into an open coffin. A COFFIN. In those morbidly tight quarters, the eccentric poet found inspiration for her work and published over twenty collections of poetry. One thing is certain, this doesn’t sit well with me.



Who? Sir Walter Scott.

What? His poem “Marmion.”

Where? On horseback.



Image Via Pinterest


Scottish poet, historian, novelist, and biographer Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) crafted “Marmion,” his bestselling epic poem on horseback in the undulating hills near Edinburgh, Scotland. Scott is considered to be the inventor and greatest practitioner of the historical novel. Though one might assume a leisurely pace is necessary for creative concentration atop a horse, Scott preferred to contemplate the lines of the poem at a faster clip. “I had many a grand gallop among these braes when I was thinking of ‘Marmion,’” he recalled. The image I have in my head of this man jotting down ideas about his emotional ties to Scotland whilst galloping is both absurd and also very, very badass.



Who? William Faulkner.

What? As I Lay Dying.

Where? A power plant.


Faulkner (1897-1962): American author, winner of the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature, and a creative unmatched for his extraordinary structural and stylistic resourcefulness and persistence in exploring fundamental human questions. Said to have been somewhat incapable of holding onto sobriety and employment, Faulkner worked a night shift at a power plant after being forced to resign from another job at the University of Mississippi in order to make ends meet, and it was at this plant that he wrote his novel As I Lay Dying. Seeing as the power plant did not burn down and the novel became a world-renowned classic, the author’s toilings at 3 a.m. were all worth it.



Image Via Gulflive.com


Are you inspired yet?


Feature Image Via Kibin

brief wondrous life of oscar wao----skippy dies book covers

Like This Book? Then Try This One!

It’s not hard to come by book recommendations, but it’s hard to find recommenders who make a compelling case for just why you should take a leap of faith with a new book. As a result, we have decided to directly compare these newer or underrated gems to better-known works you’ve probably read, so that they may find the wider/louder audience they deserve. It’s never a bad idea to read what you know!


  1. Like this?: ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ by John Green

          Try this!: ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ by Ned Vizzini


fault in our stars----its kind of a funny story

Image courtesy of DaFont and Amazon


Like ‘TFIOS,’ ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ explores what it’s like to be a teenager grappling with illness and newfound romance amid a vibrant and affecting supporting cast. Thankfully, the ending of this book is not nearly as sad.


  1. Like this?: ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ by Jodi Picoult

          Try this!: ‘The Dovekeepers’ by Alice Hoffman


my sisters keeper-------the dovekeepers

Image courtesy of Jodi Picoult and Amazon


Picoult has established herself as one of the best contemporary writers of women’s voices. Hoffman does her one better by venturing far back into the ancient past to breathe life into a handful of Jewish women who find themselves at the crossroads of history when their people take up arms against their Roman overseers. These novels have more than “keeper” in common. 


  1. Like this?: ’The Glass Castle’ by Jeannette Walls

         Try this!: ‘Priestdaddy’ by Patricia Lockwood


the glass castle------priestdaddy

Image courtesy of Amazon and Goodreads


Like Walls, Lockwood bears the blessings and curses of an unconventional upbringing, describing her eccentric parents—her father is a Roman Catholic priest who prefers boxer shorts to white collars—with a compelling mixture of love and shame.


  1. Like this?: ‘Slaughterhouse Five’ by Kurt Vonnegut

         Try this!: ‘Eddies in the Space-Time Continuum’ by J.M. Hushour


slaughterhouse five-------eddies in the spacetime continuum

Image courtesy of Goodreads


While Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim finds himself unstuck in time, Hushour’s Eddie can’t escape time at all—or he can, but not in a way that is good for his mental health. Which future is the real one? Not even the continuum has the answers.


  1. Like this?: ‘As I Lay Dying’ by William Faulkner

         Try this!: ‘Salvage the Bones’ by Jesmyn Ward


As I Lay Dying--------Salvage the Bones

Image courtesy of Goodreads


‘As I Lay Dying’ tells the tale of a desperately poor southern family preparing for a funeral. ‘Salvage the Bones’ also documents the lives of a desperately poor southern clan preparing for another sort of funeral—Hurricane Katrina, which will bring an entire region and way of life to the verge of extinction. Like Faulkner, Ward is a southerner with a gothic sensibility. Unlike Faulkner, she is a young black women giving a voice to those not often found in our national discourse until recently.


  1. Like this?: ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ by Douglas Adams

         Try this!: ‘City of Thieves’ by David Benioff


hitchhiker's guide--------city of thieves

Image courtesy of Amazon


Though there are no intergalactic shenanigans to be found in Benioff’s novel, this account of brotherly camaraderie and whirlwind adventure amid unimaginable destruction and cosmically surreal cruelty has shades of Douglas’s masterwork. You’ll never look at eggs the same way again.


  1. Like this?: ‘The Lovely Bones’ by Alice Sebold

         Try this!: ‘Everything I Never Told You’ by Celeste Ng


the lovely bones-------everything I never told you

Image courtesy of Wikipedia and Amazon


In an average town in 1970’s America, a young girl goes missing and is later found dead. This is the bare-bones plot (heh) of both ‘The Lovely Bones’ and ‘Everything I Never Told You.’ But where Sebold lingers on slain teen Susie and her family’s struggle to find peace, Ng hones in on issues of race, alienation, and thwarted dreams that are entirely her own.


  1. Like this?: ‘The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao’ by Junot Diaz

         Try this!: ‘Skippy Dies’ by Paul Murray


brief wondrous life of oscar wao------skippy dies

Image courtesy of Wikipedia


When a young life ends tragically, how can we come to terms with what happened and move on? Though Díaz and Murray use vastly different vernaculars and frames of reference to provide their own perceptions of a seemingly grim matter, they both provide a riveting and humorous take on the fraught and too-short lives of its title characters. Like Oscar, Skippy will stay in your head and your heart long after you put the book down.


  1. Like this?: ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn

         Try this!: ‘Tell No One’ by Harlan Coben


gone girl---------tell no one

Image courtesy of Girl to Mom and Amazon


David Beck is living a contented life with a beautiful wife, Elizabeth—until Elizabeth is suddenly and cruelly taken from him. But is she really dead? ‘Gone Girl’ may be one of a kind, but Flynn definitely doesn’t have a monopoly on absent wives and twisted marriages.



  1. Like this?: ‘War Horse’ by Michael Morpurgo

         Try this!: ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’ by Garth Stein


War Horse-------The Art of Racing in the Rain

Image courtesy of The Scholastic Teaching Store and Garth Stein


Yes, ‘War Horse’ is aimed at children while ‘Racing’ is geared towards adults. But if you like animal narrators and purging your tears, as ‘War Horse’ readers are wont to do, then you will probably get a thrill from this novel about one very wise dog. Nearing the end of his life, lab-terrier mix Enzo looks back on a happy existence with his owner Denny, a racecar driver confronted with one misfortune after another. He may only be a dog, but Enzo is determined to help his best friend. Can he do it?



  1. Like this?: ‘Between the World and Me’ by Ta-Nehisi Coates

         Try this!: ‘The Fire Next Time’ by James Baldwin


between the world and me-------the fire next time

Image courtesy of Penguin Random House and Mahogany Circle


Coates drew rave reviews for his painful and unyielding letter to his young son about the harsh realities of being a black man in the U.S. Baldwin—who Coates has cited as an influence—did something quite similar with ‘The Fire Next Time,’ structured in part as a blunt and sociologically-pointed missive to the nephew named for him. You will be spellbound and dismayed at just how little has changed from 1963 to 2015.


Featured image courtesy of Wikipedia.