Writer’s Quote Wednesday // Kurt Vonnegut

Hello, hello dear reader, and welcome to the middle of the week. If you are feeling a little run down or if Friday is feeling a little too far away, I encourage you to check out Writer’s Quote Wednesday, a weekly event hosted by Colleen of Silver Threading and Ronovan of Ronovan Writes. My contribution for the week is from American novelist and satirist, Kurt Vonnegut.

kurt_vonnegut_1972Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was born on November 11, 1922, in Indianapolis, Indiana, the youngest of three children.

Vonnegut attended Cornell University, but dropped out in January 1943 and enlisted in the United States Army. He was deployed to Europe to fight in World War II, nd was captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. He was interned in Dresden and survived the Allied bombing of the city by taking refuge in a meat locker. After the war, Vonnegut married Jane Marie Cox, with whom he had three children. He later adopted his sister’s three sons, after she died of cancer and her husband died in a train accident.

In a career spanning over 50 years, Vonnegut published fourteen novels, three short story collections, five plays, and five works of non-fiction. He is most famous for his darkly satirical, best-selling novel Slaughterhouse-Five . The book’s antiwar sentiment resonated with its readers amidst the ongoing Vietnam War, and its reviews were generally positive. After its release, Slaughterhouse-Five went to the top of The New York Times Best Seller list, thrusting Vonnegut into fame. He was invited to give speeches, lectures, and commencement addresses around the country and received many awards and honors.

Later in his career, Vonnegut published several autobiographical essay and short-story collections, including Fates Worse Than Death, and A Man Without a Country. After his death in 2007, he was hailed as a morbidly comical commentator on the society in which he lived, and as one of the most important contemporary writers. Vonnegut’s son Mark published a compilation of his father’s unpublished compositions, titled Armageddon in Retrospect.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame inducted Vonnegut posthumously in 2015.

“When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.”

// Kurt Vonnegut

Oh man, Vonnegut hit the nail on the head with this one! For me, whenever I write, I just feel like I am flailing about making nothing but a huge mess. I am for sure not creating anything new, sophisticated, or even what could be considered art. Ijust feels like a bunch of lines on a paper that amount to nothing. It’s a whole lot of work and it look nothing like what I meant for it to. Yeah, coloring with a crayon in your mouth is a lot like what this feels like.

This week has been tough for me and my relationship with writing. I still love writing it’s just that it is so hard to do! I almost chose a different quote, one from Jim Rohn: “Don’t wish it was easier wish you were better”. All week I had been wishing writing weren’t such a hard thing but I realized it was the challenge that made it all worthwhile. Instead, I should be wishing I had more skill, and even better than wishing I should be working to acquire that skill.

The love-hate relationship I have with the craft is something I hope to be exploring my whole life. I imagine I will always be trying to get better and writing will humble me continually by showing me that there is always more I don’t know, and there is always be someone better than me. I have to be strong and remember that learning is part of what makes writing fulfilling and having people be better than me means there is always more to be inspired by.

I will keep fumbling and flailing about my whole life and just keep hoping that I am getting closer to saying the thing I need to say and that there are a few someones out there who needed to read it. From what I understand those who flail about the most, who write the most crap, who put up with the near constant fear of failure, and who can still find the something they enjoy in all the effort are the ones who will find success.

It’s hard work, but in my heart, I know that I can do it. Maybe….

***

Bonus: An inspiring list of 10 Famous Writers Who Hated Writing

Original image via frankieleon

Biographical information via Wikipedia

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Lisa

Hello! My name is Lisa. I find the human condition fascinating and I often write stuff about that. I blog at zenandpi.com but you can also find me on Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram, and if you like what I do, consider signing up for my newsletter. Thanks :)

7 thoughts on “Writer’s Quote Wednesday // Kurt Vonnegut”

  1. Oh, Lisa! I love this quote. I feel it here lately too. You know I am finding that if I push myself too hard, the words just won’t come. It’s like if I make writing “work” I lose my mojo! LOL! I think everyone goes through this to some extent. Writing is not a get rich quick scheme. It is a craft and the only way you can get better is to practise and keep working at it. I really enjoyed your thoughts. Well done!!!! <3

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    1. I am glad you like it! The fact that writing isn’t a get rich quick scheme is what draws me to it. When it comes to writing we all have the potential but we only get the reward when we work hard, usually anyway. :)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow, what a quote. And oddly accurate in its portrayal. Writing is such a labyrinth of an act and yet, when we find our way of the maze, the masterpieces that result from it…there are no words at the end :)

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