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All Quotes by author - Maria Semple
" After decades spent in rewrite rooms surrounded by other shouting writers, I discovered that I work best alone. I like being in charge of my time, working out the problems according to my own rhythms and being able to nap. That's a big one, the napping on demand! "
" An artist must create. If she doesn't, she will become a menace to society. "
" And dialogue, I'm good at it, and it's because it's the only thing you have to work with in TV writing. "
" Creating art is painful. It takes time, practice, and the courage to stand alone. "
" I drop my kid off at school and then race home, and it's a very limited time. I can only do really serious writing for a couple of hours. And then I always go on a walk, I do a one-to-two-hour walk; I don't go running or hard hiking. "
" I just feel like there's this illicit thrill in reading other people's mail and spying on their lives. "
" I keep an elaborate calendar for my characters detailing on which dates everything happens. I'm constantly revising this as I go along. It gives me the freedom to intricately plot my story, knowing it will at least hold up on a timeline. "
" I learned that comedy is born out of strong characters. I won't begin writing a character until I have a clear take on them. "
" In a lot of ways, TV writing taught me how to be a good storyteller. I learned about dialogue, scenes, moving the plot forward. "
" In my high-minded and naive way, I believed the only books worth reading were the classics. "
" In TV writing, I felt like Gulliver being tied down by the Lilliputians. There's so much more freedom in fiction writing. "
" I survived many a youth hostel bunk room reading Tolstoy by flashlight. "
" I think a novel has to be about where you are at a given moment in time. I think it really needs to represent some specific pain you're going through. it's not just a story. "
" I think because I try to keep things as real as I can, or I try to start from a place of reality, I almost don't have the imagination to write a book that's not set where I am. "
" I think that everyone in Seattle, their daily existence, is enriched by all the charitable giving that is courtesy of Microsoft. "
" I think that's the most important job of a novelist - to bring authority to their writing. "
" 'Mad About You' fit my sensibility the most of any show that I worked on, and as a result, it was really fun. It felt like a very natural fit. "
" Much of the time in the writer's room is spent working on story, and I was always challenging myself to make it more interesting, tighter and more surprising: to come at it sideways in a way that the audience wasn't expecting. "
" My father was a screenwriter, and I kind of grew up in that world. "
" My first novel didn't sell well. It was really painful and humiliating and shocking to me. "
" My strength as a TV writer was my total lack of interest in television. "
" On my walks, that's when the good ideas come. The kind of hard, gritty work is when you're sitting at the computer and it's kind of intense and you're kind of in super control of it - the walks are when you let go. That's when the really big breakthroughs come in, and it's very strange. "
" Ruthless concern with story is what I learned in television. "
" There's a happiness that comes from writing that I won't live without. "
" We need to preserve our neighborhoods, our small business, our local economy. "
" When you need a good laugh, do you reach for a book? I don't. I expect books to move me deeply and submerge me in another reality. So when a novel makes me roar with laughter, it's always a delightful surprise. "
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