Writer’s Quote Wednesday // John Green

Hello friends! Welcome to Writer’s Quote Wednesday, an event hosted by Colleen at Silver Threading. Each week bloggers share their favorite quotes to motivate and inspire one another to keep writing and working toward our goals. My contribution this week is from the American author of young adult fiction, John Green.

1406384John Michael Green was born on August 24th, 1977 in  Indianapolis, Indiana, to Mike and Sydney Green. He attended Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, and Indian Springs School outside of Birmingham, Alabama, the latter of which he later used as the inspiration for the main setting of his first book, Looking for Alaska. Green graduated from Kenyon College in 2000 with a double major in English and Religious studies.

He has spoken about being bullied and how it had made life as a teenager miserable for him.

His debut novel, Looking for Alaska, won him the  2006 Printz Award and his sixth novel, The Fault in Our Stars, debuted at number 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list in January 2012. I haven’t read the book but I did see the 2014 film adaptation, which opened at #1 at the box office, and while it wasn’t exactly “my thing” I saw the merit in it. Another film based on a Green novel, Paper Towns, was released on July 24, 2015. I have not seen this one yet.

Aside from being a novelist, Green is also known for his YouTube ventures. I actually know him from his educational videos on Crash Course where he teaches literature, history, science, economics, US government, astronomy, and politics. In fact, I had been watching the videos for months without realizing this was the guy who wrote The Fault in Our Stars. He mentioned it in one of the videos and I still had to look it up because I didn’t believe it.

Apparently he also has a channel called VlogBrothers that he runs with his brother, Hank Green. I’ve never watched those videos.

Green was included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

The funny thing about writing is that whether you’re doing well or doing it poorly, it looks the exact same. That’s actually one of the main ways that writing is different from ballet dancing.

John Green

One thing I both love and hate about writing is that whether you are writing something good or something bad you are going through the same exact motions. I love it because I can enjoy feeling of doing what I love and being a writer even when I am just starting out. I hate it because it’s so much harder to tell whether I am doing it right or not.

Unlike a physical activity, like ballet, all of the skill is housed in your brain and no one can see what is happening there except you. So, no one can tell if this is a good idea or if you have any talent at all until you have finished. It’s terrifying, and it’s the primary reason why I haven’t been working on writing a real life book as much as I should.

I am scared that I am doing it all wrong and I won’t know it because it feels like I’m doing it right. I think and I type, I do exactly what other writers do. How do you know, when you are typing along at a story you love, that you are doing a good job? How do you know you aren’t just wasting your time?

I think maybe when you are writing a story that you really want to tell, one you have to tell, there is no right or wrong way. There is only getting it out of your mind and making your inner world something tangible. You only clean it up and edit it for other people. You do this so you can share your vision in a way that can be understood. That is important but maybe it isn’t at the core of what writing is?

Biographical information via Goodreads, Wikipedia, and Green’s website.


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