I've gone on the wagon, but my body doesn't believe it.
I imagine that my characters have become much more complicated than when I first began, which would be normal.
There are too many books I haven't read, too many places I haven't seen, too many memories I haven't kept long enough.
In a novel, it's hard to keep track of everybody.
If football players were armed with guns, there wouldn't be stadiums large enough to hold the crowds.
An absolutely necessary part of a writer's equipment, almost as necessary as talent, is the ability to stand up under punishment, both the punishment the world hands out and the punishment he inflicts upon himself.
The writer works in a lonely way.
Writing for the theater, you find yourself living a nocturnal life.
In America, we have the feeling of the doomed young artist. Fitzgerald was the great example of that.
Special-interest magazines are dangerous places for writers to start out in because the writing quickly falls into a routine and people are likely to find themselves artistically exhausted when they want to work on something of their own.
My attitudes have changed, but somebody would have to read all my books to find out how they have.
Curiously, the United States is full of writers who have one big work in their life and that's all.
Writing is like a contact sport, like football. You can get hurt, but you enjoy it.
You must avoid giving hostages to fortune, like getting an expensive wife, an expensive house, and a style of living that never lets you aford the time to take the chance to write what you wish.
All writers are the same - they forget a thousand good reviews and remember one bad one.
The romantic idea is that everybody around a writer must suffer for his talent. I think a writer is a citizen of humanity, part of his nation, part of his family. He may have to make some compromises.
The great writers just kept bringing them out. They didn't care if they repeated themselves.
In the theater, characters have to cut the umbilical cord from the writer and talk in their own voices.
Writing is finally play, and there's no reason why you should get paid for playing.
I'm not as hopeful as I was when I was young.
The theater went from just weekend shows to Wednesday and Thursday also,
A writer is a human being. He has to live with a sense of honor.
I reach my readers regardless of what the critics have written.
If you're young enough, any kind of writing you do for a short period of time is a marvelous apprenticeship.
No writer need feel sorry for himself if he writes and enjoys it, even if he doesn't get paid.
You have to expect the raps when you have achieved popularity as a writer.
What do I care for the colored pins on a General's map It's not a fair bargain--this exchange of my life for a small part of a colored pin.
Posterity makes the judgments. There are going to be a lot of surprises in store for everybody.
I don't think that the writer is regarded as a freak by Americans.
Kennedy was a man who liked writers and even I got invited to the White House.
People who light up like Roman candles come down in the dark very quickly.
The last paragraph, in which you tell what the story is about, is almost always best left out.
At the height of the McCarthy period, writers were being hounded.
Writers of fiction, when they begin, are more likely to try the short form.
I never show anything to anybody until I've finished it.
I never drink while I'm working, but after a few glasses I get ideas that would never have occurred to me dead sober.
My views naturally have mellowed. Most of the critics have been more or less nice to me.
A writer has to live with a sense of honor.
I haven't stuck to any formula. Most great writers stick to the same style, but I wanted to be more various.
A good editor understands what you're talking and writing about and doesn't meddle too much.
My favorite short-story writer is John Cheever.
You go to the multiplex and you don't see anyone you know, ... invariably you see someone you know. It's like old home week.
I cringe when critics say I'm a master of the popular novel. What's an unpopular novel?
It's those damn critics again.
Ernest Hemingway did a great deal toward making the writer an acceptable public figure; obviously, he was no sissy.
They do an excellent job, ... They really care about it and look into it.
Isaac Singer was born in Poland and doesn't write in English. Still, he's an American.
Every novelist has a different purpose - and often several purposes which might even be contradictory.
I am forced to say that I have many fiercer critics than myself.
In Europe, a writer is supposed to improve up until he's about 75.
More Irwin Shaw Quotations (Based on Topics)
Writing - Criticism - Movies - America - Time - Honor - People - Mastery & Expertise - Sense & Perception - Performance Arts - Chance - Life - Humanity - Football - Sports - Fame - Posterity - Emotions - Musicians - View All Irwin Shaw Quotations
Thomas Hardy - Pearl S. Buck - Miguel de Cervantes - Louisa May Alcott - J. R. R. Tolkien - J. D. Salinger - Erich Segal - Amy Tan - Alexander Solzehnitsyn - Alexander Dumas