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Carlos Fuentes

Author, Scholar & Diplomat

Carlos Fuentes: A writer is no different than a bricklayer or a bus driver in that sense. You must have discipline. Oscar Wilde said that writing is 10 percent genius, 90 percent discipline. You must have discipline for writing. It is not an easy task. It is very lonely. You're all alone. You are not in company. You are not enjoying yourself in that sense. You are enjoying yourself in another sense. You are delving into your depths, but you are profoundly lonely. It is one of the loneliest careers in the world. In the theater, you are with companions, with directors, actors. In film. In an office. In writing, you are alone. That takes a lot of strength and a lot of will to do it. You must really be in love with what you're doing to tolerate the huge loneliness of writing.
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Carlos Fuentes

Author, Scholar & Diplomat

I have friends who have practically died from writer's block. I had a good Chilean friend, José Donoso, a novelist, who had such a writer's block that I think it killed him eventually. He was so anguished. He suffered so much from that. I have never, thank God, suffered from writer's block. Never. That's why I produce so many articles and speeches and lectures at the same time, because when I do have writer's block for literature, I say, "Now is the time to write that speech. Now is the time to write that op-ed piece." So I am a well-oiled writing machine. I am always on the job.
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Athol Fugard

Playwright, Novelist and Actor

Athol Fugard: It can be very exhausting, and there comes a moment in the writing of any play where you just wish, "Oh for God's sake, do I have to go on? Can't I just push this aside?" But you get back to it. And there's one sort of touchstone. If you know what you've put on that page is truthfully how you feel, what you understand about a character you're writing about, if it rings true, that's the only yardstick you've got. I phrased it once or twice in interviews as saying -- attempting -- to be a truly honest witness that will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.
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Millard Fuller

Founder, Habitat for Humanity International

Clarence Jordan was a Bible scholar, and he pointed out to us that in the scriptures, it's taught very clearly that you should not charge interest to the poor. In fact, it's not only in the Christian scriptures, but the three great monotheistic religions of the world are Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, and all three of the monotheistic religions of the world teach that you should not charge interest to the poor. And we were doing business with that concept of saying the poor can't afford anybody to be profiteering off of them. They need to be given a break, not become objects of charity, but we need to follow this ancient scriptural wisdom of taking the burden of interest away from them, and then they will be able to make it. Well, a lot of people in our area said, "Common sense will tell you that if you don't charge any interest, and you don't make any profit, it'll fail. This is a designed-to-fail program," and they said also, "It sounds communistic and un-American." And we said, "We got it out of the Bible," and they said, "But the Bible is for church and Sunday school. This is in the middle of the week. You can't expect to practice the Bible and what the Bible teaches in the middle of the week. This is the practical world."
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