There’s an awful temptation to just keep on researching. There comes a point where you just have to stop, and start writing.
I felt that I had to write. Even if I had never been published, I knew that I would go on writing, enjoying it and experiencing the challenge.
When a man is in doubt about this or that in his writing, it will often guide him if he asks himself how it will tell a hundred years hence.
I can fairly be called an amateur because I do what I do, in the original sense of the word – for love, because I love it. On the other hand, I think that those of us who make our living writing history can also be called true professionals.
The Twist was a guided missile launched from the ghetto into the heart of suburbia. The Twist succeeded, as politics, religion and law could never do, in writing in the heart and soul what the Supreme Court could only write on the books.
I started writing when I was about thirteen.
Poems have a different music from ordinary language, and every poem has a different kind of music of necessity, and that’s, in a way, the hardest thing about writing poetry is waiting for that music, and sometimes you never know if it’s going to come.
I don’t want boys to use their pencils for improper writing.
Writing a memoir is such a private, personal experience that it’s intimidating to think of adapting it for television.
By the age of nine or ten, I knew that I loved history and writing. It got hold of me and never turned loose.