100 Writing Quotes

These are some of my favourite quotes by authors or about writing. Enjoy!


It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.
– Ernest Hemingway

Be ruthless about protecting writing days. I.e do not cave in to endless requests to have “essential” and “long overdue” meetings on those days.
– J.K. Rowling

Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it. Finish it.
– Neil Gaiman

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.
– Stephen King

Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.
– Anne Lamott

A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.
– E.B. White

If today were the last day of your life, would you want to do what you are about to do today?
– Steve Jobs

Everything that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And later on you can use it in some story.
– T Bagge

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.
– Earnest Hemingway

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
– Anaïs Nin

Fiction is the truth inside the lie.
– Stephen King

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.
E.L. Doctorow

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
– Winston S. Churchill

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.
– Louis L’Armour

Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.
– Ray Bradley

You can fix anything but a blank page.
– Nora Roberts

The first step – especially for young people with energy and drive and talent, but not money – the first step to controlling your world is to control your culture. To model and demonstrate the kind of world you demand to live in. To write the books. Make the music. Shoot the films. Paint the art.
― Chuck Palahniuk

Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.
– Franz Kafka

Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.
― Flannery O’Connor

Write about the emotions you fear the most.
― Laurie Halse Anderson

Writer’s block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol.
― Steve Martin

If you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.
― Stephen King

Always be a poet, even in prose.
― Charles Baudelaire

Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time.
― Howard Nemerov

The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.
― Anaïs Nin

I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.
― Joss Whedon

So what? All writers are lunatics!
― Cornelia Funke

I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.
― Mark Twain

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
― Albert Camus

Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.
― John Steinbeck

I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky.
― Sharon Olds

A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it
― Roald Dahl

Poems are never finished – just abandoned
― Paul Valéry

Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.
― Natalie Goldberg

Nothing’s a better cure for writer’s block than to eat ice cream right out of the carton.
― Don Roff

Writers are the exorcists of their own demons.
― Mario Vargas Llosa

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.
― Gloria Steinem

Some writers enjoy writing, I am told. Not me. I enjoy having written.
― George R.R. Martin

Only those things are beautiful which are inspired by madness and written by reason.
― André Gide

A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.
― Mark Twain

There is creative reading as well as creative writing.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I was supposed to write a romantic comedy, but my characters broke up.
― Ann Brashares, The Second Summer of the Sisterhood

Like madness is the glory of this life.
― William Shakespeare

Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?
― Anne Lamott

Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon.
― Raymond Chandler

I write whenever it suits me. During a creative period I write every day; a novel should not be interrupted.
― François Mauriac

If you wrote something for which someone sent you a cheque, if you cashed the cheque and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.
― Stephen King

Write to amuse? What an appalling suggestion! I write to make people anxious and miserable and to
worsen their indigestion.
― Wendy Cope

Wrote that matter. Wrote that love.
Helvy Tiana Rosa

“You have to stop and freeze the moment,” he told me I had told her. “You have to make yourself remember by repeating it in your head over and over. You have to write to preserve your sanity.”
― Jenny Hubbard

Until you know who you are you can’t write.
― Salman Rushdie

A novel is an impression, not an argument; and there the matter must rest.
― Thomas Hardy

The historian records, but the novelist creates.
― E.M. Forster

No book can be written till it wants to be written, till it shouts to be written, and raises up a persistent din in the writer’s head. And then, if you want peace, you just have to pull it out and freeze it in print. Nothing less would do.
― Jyoti Arora

The hard part is putting one word after another.
― Jo Linsdell

Writer’s Block is just an excuse by people who don’t write for not writing.
― Giando Sigurani

To write is your last resort when you’ve betrayed someone.
― Jean Genet

“What is your advice to young writers?”
“Drink, fuck and smoke plenty of cigarettes.”
― Charles Bukowski

The awful part of the writing game is that you can never be sure the stuff is any good.
― P.G. Wodehouse

Writing is a gift to both the writer and the reader.
― Cheryl Alleway

The Fiction defense. Sometimes I just need to use it.
― C. Kennedy

I think horror, when done well, is one of the most direct and honest ways to get to the core of the human experience because terror reduces all of us to our most authentic forms.
― Alistair Cross

A lack of narrative structure, as you know, will cause anxiety.
― John Dufresne

You never know who you’re inspiring or uninspiring. People notice more than you think.
― Amaka Imani Nkosazana

My English teacher said that a writer is the worst judge of his own work.
― Ilsa J. Bick

The surest path to success is to learn to have a healthy relationship with failure. If we aren’t failing, then we aren’t doing anything interesting.
― Kristen Lamb

I was trying to learn to write, commencing with the simplest things, and one of the simplest things of all and the most fundamental is violent death.
― Ernest Hemingway

For a moment, I debated whether I should tell someone about the words I’d started writing down, but I couldn’t. In a way, I felt ashamed, even though my writing was the one thing that whispered okayness in my ear. I didn’t speak it, to anyone.
― Markus Zusak

Publication is a marathon, not a sprint. Writing the book is only the start.
― Jo Linsdell

Writing is not about the voices in your head, but the voices that make the great leap to the page.
― J.H. Glaze

First-person narrators is the way I know how to write a book with the greatest power and chance of artistic success.
― Anne Rice

Don’t try to visualize the great mass audience. There is no such audience—every reader is a different person.
― William Zinsser

Best-selling horror fiction is indeed necessarily conservative because it must entertain a large number of readers. It’s like network television. I’m your local cable access station.”
― Thomas Ligotti

I now understand that writing fiction was a seed planted in my soul, though I would not be ready to grow that seed for a long time.
― Sue Monk Kidd

If you want to see the consequences of ideas, write a story. If you want to see the consequences of belief, write a story in which somebody is acting on the ideas or beliefs that she has.
― Charles Baxter

Writing is a manual labor of the mind: a job, like laying pipe.
― John Gregory Dunne

I’m writing. The pages are starting to stack up. My morale is improving the more I feel like a writer.
– Neil Gaiman

Happy children do not seem to grow up to be writers.
― Piers Anthony

Content is King. Promotion is Queen
― Bob Mayer

You can’t just write and write and put things in a drawer. They wither without the warm sun of someone else’s appreciation.
― Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Write what will stop your breath if you don’t write.
― Grace Paley

Writing takes a combination of sophistication and innocence; it takes conscience, our belief that something is beautiful because it is right.
― Anne Lamot

Some part of me knew from the first that what I wanted was not reality but myth.
― Stephen King

Accept criticism. If you do not offer your work for criticism and accept that criticism, meaning give it serious thought and attention, then you will never improve.
― Theodora Goss

Writing is the great invention of the world.
― Abraham Lincoln

Work like hell! I had 122 rejection slips before I sold a story.
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

When a character comes to life, it’s like meeting a new friend for the first time.
― Lynette Mather

I wrote a novel because I had a yen to do it. I believe this is sufficient reason to set out to tell a story.
― Umberto Eco

Less is more.
― William Zinsser

Stories do not change the world. I’ve learned that. But perhaps in some secret, subtle way…. I mean it’s not the world I want to change.
― Carol Emshwiller

I intend all my characters must escape from impossible situations; if they are not in trouble, then as a writer, I am.
― Cleveland W. Gibson

Vigorous writing is concise.
― William Strunk Jr.

Sometimes I’ll read a book and feel it was written just for me. Then I’ll flip the book over to look at the cover to see who wrote it, only to discover that it feels like it was written for me because it was written by me.
― Jarod Kintz

If you can’t write clearly, you probably don’t think nearly as well as you think you do.
― Kurt Vonnegut

Dear, I can’t write, it’s all a fantasy: a kind of circling obsession.
― Philip Larkin

How can I expect readers to know who I am if I do not tell them about my family, my friends, the relationships in my life? Who am I if not where I fit in the world, where I fit in the lives of the people dear to me?
― Rabih Alameddine


Don’t judge it. Just write it. Don’t judge it. It’s not for you to judge it.
― Philip Roth

St. Bernard said, ‘Every word one writes smites the Devil.
― Lillian Stewart Carl

Writing is easy: just stare at the screen of your computer until a tear drops on your keyboard.
― Paulo Coelho

I’d rather be nine people’s favorite thing than a hundred people’s ninth favorite thing.
― Jeff Bowen

Which quote was your favourite?


One thought on “100 Writing Quotes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s