Saturday, May 16, 2009

Twain on Amateur Writers

Twain takes a pretty good whack at writers of the non-professional type here. I lifted it from his autobiography. Wonder what he would have thought about blogs. Probably nothing very good.
"A person untrained in shoemaking does not offer his services as a shoemaker to the foreman of a shop – not even the crudest literary aspirant would be so unintelligent as to do that. He would see the humor of it; he would see the impertinence of it; he would recognize as the most commonplace of facts that an apprenticeship is necessary in order to qualify a person to be a tinner, bricklayer, stonemason, printer, horse-doctor, butcher, brakeman, car conductor, midwife – and any and every other occupation by which a human being acquires bread and fame. But when it comes to doing literature, his wisdoms vanish all of a sudden and he thinks he finds himself now in the presence of a profession which requires no apprenticeship, no experience, no training – nothing whatever but conscious talent and a lion’s courage."
I picked this picture because in it he looks kind of mean. If you squint your eyes a little when you look at it he looks like he might just be ready to bite someone's head off for being stupid.


my name is Amanda said...

Haha! I want that quote in my blog.

Laurie said...

Once you turn 46, you don't need to squint. Twain be d____! I am an amateur and I will write. Badly perhaps but I have the right to write.