“I wanted mystery, romance, psychology I suppose. And now more than anything I want beautiful prose. I relish it more and more exquisitely. And I enjoy satire more … I enjoy intellectuality.” — Virginia Woolf, A Writer’s Diary
I guess every writer, who take their art seriously, have been inspired by other writers — dead or alive, young or old, famous or otherwise. My love of writing started with my love for reading. I’ve read perhaps a thousand books running the gamut from mystery to history, romance to theology, fantasy to conspiracy theory. For me, books are like chocolate. Delicious. Seductive. Addictive.
“Therefore I would ask you to write all kinds of books, hesitating at no subject however trivial or however vast. By hook or by crook, I hope that you will possess yourselves of money enough to travel and to idle, to contemplate the future or the past of the world, to dream over books and loiter at street corners and let the line of thought dip deep into the stream.” — Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
When I decided I wanted to start writing fiction, I took a lot of inspiration from Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. I imagined she had read my mind when she wrote, “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.”
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” — J. D. Salinger
My sentiments exactly. I wish J. D. Salinger were my friend after reading The Catcher In The Rye. I would have invited him for dinner and talk about Holden Caulfield’s rebellious character ( because my son is beginning to act like him ). Or join Ernest Hemingway on his boat and sail to Cuba for a week while he gives me tips on writing well.
“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.” — Ernest Hemingway
So be it.