Harlan Ellison – Writing Quote Wednesday

Harlan Ellison Qo

Writing Quote created by Paul Jenny using Flickr photo by Cory Doctorow

I really love making these Writing Quote Wednesday posters for Stories are the Wildest Things. I get to look for images on Flickr.com that are listed as Creative Commons. I love doing research about the writers quoted and sometimes add their work to my TBR list. I learn something about writing and myself with each quote I publish.

I especially love that I’m quoting Harlan Ellison using a photo put on Flickr by Cory Doctorow (CC License) of two covers of pulp fiction novels by the “author of Sex Gang, Paul Merchant”, who also happens to be Harlan Ellison. (You should definitely click on that link to Sex Gang over at Amazon.com. You’ll be amazed at what price that collectible novel is going for. If you buy it, let me know.)

Today’s quote is one that I originally saw on Twitter via Jon Winokur on @AdvicetoWriters. Jon has tons of great advice and I’ve been following his Twitter feed and the Advice to Writers site for some time. I’m always inspired by what he puts out there. Thanks for the inspiration, Jon!

Here’s a video from Harlan Ellison’s YouTube channel called “Pay the Writer” from Erik Nelson’s definitive Ellison doc, Dreams With Sharp Teeth. (Some NSFW language in typical Ellison style) Enjoy!

Please leave a comment about staying a writer, Harlan Ellison, Jon Winokur (or anything else you’re inspired to share) in the comments section. I love hearing from you.

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5 thoughts on “Harlan Ellison – Writing Quote Wednesday

  1. Thanks for sharing. Loved the video–he’s so right. But we’ve been trained as writers to give our work away for free. Most literary journals pay nothing. Most publishers today pay no advances, So many e-books are given away for free. And then there’s blogging . . . at least we are writing on our own terms and sharing with others who are doing the same thing.

    I also get Jon’s Twitter advice. Good stuff.

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    • Thanks for leaving a comment, Deborah. I think we’ve moved into a different “mind-set” or “paradigm” about how to get our work out there in the world. Chris Anderson of the Wall Street Journal has written a great article about this called The Economics of Giving It Away. The article starts, “Over the past decade, we have built a country-sized economy online where the default price is zero — nothing, nada, zip. Digital goods — from music and video to Wikipedia — can be produced and distributed at virtually no marginal cost, and so, by the laws of economics, price has gone the same way, to $0.00.” He also goes on to say, “the marginal cost of anything digital falls by 50% every year” and that we have to be good at coming up with things that our customers (readers) will also pay for. Here’s a link. The Economics of Giving It Away Let me know what you think!

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  2. ‘An Early Life Furnished in Poverty’ is my favorite short story by Ellison. In addition to his prowess as a story teller, he is a fine essayist. He’s a man who feels passionately about the things he believes in and articulates those feelings and beliefs in his own inimitable and always interesting fashion. He’s a fascinating man and a wonderful writer.

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