Writers - Writing Quotes

The joke comes first and then the wording comes within five seconds, maybe ten seconds. My thing is to get the joke across in as few words as possible. However, sometimes a word that’s not really needed does help the rhythm of it. It’s a gut feeling.

People, particularly comedians, always say it’s all in the timing. But in written humor, the reader has to do his own timing—you have to build in the timing for the reader, which is difficult.

Let me give you one piece of advice: don’t improvise too much. It is such a waste of precious material. Make a point of writing everything down; you will thus collect and concentrate your ideas. You are denied the tranquillity and security from interruption which are the essential conditions for finishing a composition perfectly.

You know, most of my pictures, they go, don’t worry about it, we don’t have to write nothing, Richard will fix it.

Writing is like a “lust,” or like “scratching when you itch.” Writing comes as a result of a very strong impulse, and when it does come, I for one must get it out.

I would say if a man is going to write on chemistry, he learns chemistry. The same is true of Christianity.

Motown was like a fairy tale that happened to have come true. Songwriting was my love and everything I did was to protect that love. I didn’t like how my songs were being arranged, so I started arranging them. I didn’t like how they were being produced, so I started producing them. I didn’t like […]

When I started out, all I wanted to do was write some songs, make some money and get some girls — not necessarily in that order, which was not unlike the majority of the guys in my neighborhood. Most of my early songs were written on some kind of truth of my own situation.

Writing is something I’ve never particularly liked doing, but I’m better than I used to be.

I have a favorite made-up statistic that of every thousand people who set out to write, only one will become a professional writer. The others will fall out along the way in the face of constant rejection, constant rebuff, the psychic put-down that the rejection slip consistently represents or as it is interpreted.