Literary Birthday – 8 January – Peter Taylor

Peter Taylor was born 8 January 1917, and died 2 November 1994.

Seven Quotes

  1. I think trying to write is a religious exercise. You are trying to understand life, and you can only get the illusion of doing it fully by writing.
  2. I think you should write for yourself, for the joy of it, the pleasure of it, and for the satisfaction that you have in learning about your life.
  3. You begin with one thing, but the story itself may change your mind by the end.
  4. I often begin with a character or a situation I’ve observed or even with a joke I’ve heard. Often a very serious story has begun with a joke. If a joke or anecdote sticks in my mind for years I know there must be something in it that means something to me that I am not conscious of. This is what I mean when I say I feel one learns about oneself from writing fiction.
  5. So often ideas for stories are born out of other stories. You write one and you see some little minor theme in there that you wish to develop further.
  6. You know you have to have two things when you begin to write. You have to have some instinct for writing stories—you may write your first stories just from that, entirely—but you also have to have some ability to learn how you did it and how it’s done: how to improve upon it.
  7. If you have enough money I don’t think you should do anything but write, but if you have to earn a living, there is nothing more pleasant than teaching!

Peter Taylor was an American writer. He wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel A Summons to Memphis.

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 8th January 2015

0 thoughts on “Literary Birthday – 8 January – Peter Taylor”

  1. #1 one is perfect. It’s exactly how I feel so often while writing, but even more so as I contemplate a scene or a theme to include in a story.