5 Writing Quotes by John Green


John Green is one of my most favourite fiction authors. Apart from him being innovative and smart, he’s also kind and funny and he has inspired thousands of young writers and motivated them and a lot of other people to do good in the world. But this isn’t a post about why I love John Green, so without further ado, here’s 5 of his most inspiring quotes.

  1. On the collaboration between writers and readers:

“I know that books seem like the ultimate thing that’s made by one person, but that’s not true. Every reading of a book is a collaboration between the reader and the writer who are making the story up together.”

The great thing about a book or even a blog post is that you can publish it and whoever reads it will read it to themselves for different reasons, whether it be the title that appeals to them, the images or the underlying plot and message. And when they read it they’ll all understand it differently.

The only important thing that matters when you read something is the meaning that it has for you.

  1. On reading:

“I really think that reading is just as important as writing when you’re trying to be a writer because it’s the only apprenticeship we have, it’s the only way of learning how to write a story.”

You can’t learn anything about writing if you don’t read. By reading as much as you can, you’re gaining ideas, perspectives and inspiration from places you didn’t think you could before.

You’re learning what other people think and feel and how they put their stories together. Then when it comes to writing, you are able to include all of those lessons you have learned knowing that there are other people out there who have had the same experiences as you.

  1. On writing as a parallel to real life:

“Writing, or at least good writing, is an outgrowth of that urge to use language to communicate complex ideas and experiences between people. And that’s true whether you’re reading Shakespeare or bad vampire fiction – reading is always an act of empathy. It’s always an imagining of what it’s like to be someone else.”

People write from their own experiences and that means that most of what we read is a sort of parallel to the real world. Characters in books are based on people the writer has experienced, places they have been and interactions they may have seen, heard or been involved in.

Reading what other people have written is a great insight into their worlds and it helps us realise that everyone is similar in a way.

We can imagine what it is like to be the character in the book, and we can feel sorry for them, happy for them and hate the people that they hate. We practice social understanding and empathy when we read.

In books, we are able to imagine what it is like to feel a certain way or think a certain thing without actually having to feel that way in real life, so when we read we can practice in our minds the responses we would have and what we would do if those situations actually did come up.

  1. On the relationship between writers and readers:

“Different authors write different ways, have different relationships with their audiences, and those are all legitimate.”

No-one has the same writing style, they’re all unique and different and yes, some authors may write similarly to another because they are influenced and inspired by authors of the same genre.

However, all writers and their audiences have different relationships than those of other writers. Fans of one book may not necessarily be fans of another. But all of these relationships are legitimate, and they are crucial to building a community surrounding your writing.

So pay attention to those that read and comment on your blog posts, and those who email you with questions about your work – they’re all interested and it would be a shame to ignore them. The more you engage with your readers, the better the relationship will be.

  1. On understanding:

“Great books help you understand and they help you feel understood.”

Everyone wants to learn and everyone wants to be understood. When you read you get to share experiences with other people who read the same things and you get to communicate with them. You are never alone if you read because you know there are people out there in your situation. And as you write, you get to tell everyone how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking and they won’t judge.

In fact, they’ll probably tell you that they understand what you are going through, and they’ll empathise. It’s not just books that help you understand and be understood, it is also blog posts, magazine articles and song lyrics; anything that you read to which you can relate.

Remember this: Time spent reading is time well spent.

So there you have it. I hope these quotes will motivate you to keep writing and to keep loving what you write. Because you never know, there may be someone out there who really needed to read it for one reason or another.

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Wilting


on that lonely day
my soul crumbled to nothing

i couldn’t fall asleep that night
there had to be a way to
rewind time and
bring you back
to me

the bouquet of red roses
on my windowsill
now drooping toward the floor
their petals rotting
one
by
one
from the lack of love
i gave them

-how ironic

i hid myself from the world
don’t try to find me, i whispered
you can’t help this pain i feel
leave me behind, i screamed
i lock the doors and windows to my bedroom
and disappear from sight
like the sun when the day
ends
and the night
falls

why do we still love
the people who leave us?
we deserve so much more than that,
a love to devour all darkness

Photo Credit: Silvestri Matteo

My responses/imitations to the first five poems of Rupi Kaur’s new book ‘the sun and her flowers’. I hope I did them justice! Please let me know, and I’ll respond to the next few poems in the book if you like.

Whisper


I walk softly
in the field of silent flowers
can’t you see?
With echoes in every petal
grasping at whispers of wind,
I tremble

You left behind
murmurs of sunsets past
what hope did I have?
Rustling through moonlit trees
were songs of lost faith,
I shiver

I gather my thoughts and
throw them into the wild
am I lost?
Sympathetic stars carry
memories of wandering souls,
I believe

Photo Credit: Ezra Jeffrey

For Now, I Am Winter


flurries of snow fall
in a billow of white
and hold my heart
in a soft, quiet embrace

a lost floating breath
leaves my body, ghostly
as I dream away the cold
wintertime darkness

all lies in the stillness,
in the dim of lights
the world, lazy and calm,
tucks itself in to sleep

Photo Credit: Becca Tapert