Saturday, March 16, 2013

Writing - do it in private

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”

― Robert A. Heinlein


Anonymous said...

Captain Lambert,

I have no idea who Robert A. Heinlein is, and I did not Goggle him either, but what he said in his wording concerning your post is way out in left field, in my opinion, I have been somewhat relieved by the words that I have been able to apply to many things that I have written, and I have never had to wash my hands afterwards. He is right in his statement that this writing must be done in private, which allows for clear thinking, if one has a mind for that, but if clear thinking requires that one must wash their hands afterwards there are many things wrong that should have been corrected before words were penned to paper.

Very Respectfully,

Heinlein reader said...

You should have Googled him. After he went to the naval academy and served on the USS Lexington prior to WWII. Later he became one of the finest American science fiction writers. Military themes appeared in many of his works, including "Starship Troopers", which was far better than the late 90s movie based on the book. If you are going to read just one Heinlein book, start with "Stranger in a Strange Land".

Among other things present in much of his writing is a rich sense of humor...which emerges in the quote about the private nature of writing.

Fr. Phil said...

I recently re-read Starship Troopers. I believe it was written for adolescent males, of whom I was one about 50 years ago. I enjoyed it throughly then, and even on re-reading as a senior citizen (CPO retired) it stands up as a story and definitely shows the author's military background. By comparison, many of the contemporary authors are really lacking. David Drake has slacked off significantly. I haven't found a new author I can really recommend without reservation, who can write in the genre.

Fr. Phil said...

Starship Troopers stands up quite well although I read it 50 years ago: no doubt due to Heinlein's military background. If I'm not mistaken he was medically retired, and that's why he turned to writing.

Anonymous said...

Heinlein reader,

You are absolutely correct, sir, I should have Googled Heinlein, I could have learned much, but my old mind these days does not seem to allow for words that I am instantly opposed to, which were the words that appeared in this original post. In the 40’s and 50’s I read every book that I could find, Westerns, Mysteries, Science Fiction, Adventure, Historical Novels and anything that a young lad or a Sailor could find to fill his mind with lively and interesting thoughts. I am glad that I spent my young life doing that, I settled on reading Arthur C. Clarke in general as his words seemed to show the way to the real future, Mr. Heinlein who had so many pen names to his many works evidently escaped my eye in those days.
I will, sir, attempt to follow your advice and read “Stranger in a Strange Land “