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Harlan Ellison: Truth and the Writer (Young and Old)


To hell with the swimming pools and balling the starlets and impressing everybody.
Because, you see, I’m nothing. 

     I’m nothing at all without writing. Without truth, my truth, the only truth I know, it’s all a gambol in the pasture without rhythm or sense. It’s empty. God gave it to me (so help me, Deist or no, I believe that!) and I can’t cheat myself or you or them or anyone by not doing it the best way I know how.

That’s the heart and head of the writer, to set it all down before they put him down the hole. To get it all out the right way, the best way, the truest way you know how.
Do you feel it?
Do you know what I mean?
Then you and I are family. 

We aren’t authors, we’re writers and we live off what we do, not where we appear.
Published on The Writer’s Digest Guide to Good Writing

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