Even more quotes by authors or about writing! Enjoy.
Ideas aren’t magical; the only tricky part is holding on to one long enough to get it written down.
― Lynn Abbey
Whenever I didn’t know what to write next, I put a swift river in front of his horse and sent the two of them across!”
― Leif Enger
Think of Shakespeare and Melville and you think of thunder, lightning, wind. They all knew the joy of creating in large or small forms, on unlimited or restricted canvases. These are the children of the gods.
― Ray Bradbury
Flowers don’t tell, they show. That’s the way good books should be too.
― Stephanie Skeem
It is a lie to write in such way as to be rewarded by fame offered you by some snobbish quasi-literary groups in the intellectual gazettes.
― Ray Bradbury
I edit my own stories to death. They eventually run and hide from me.
― Jeanne Voelker
For me, that emotional payoff is what it’s all about. I want you to laugh or cry when you read a story…or do both at the same time. I want your heart, in other words. If you want to learn something, go to school.
― Stephen King
For obviously the advantage for most writers is that no one sees them. The writer is invisible, which confers power.
― Joyce Carol Oates
In the country of the story the writer is king.
― Shirley Jackson
When talented people write badly, it’s generally for one of two reasons: Either they’re blinded by an idea they feel compelled to prove of they’re driven by an emotion they must express. When talented people write well, it is generally for this reason: They’re moved by a desire to touch the audience.
― Robert McKee
Start writing by thinking, not wrestling with words.
― Jonathan Price
I’m the first to admit that I don’t write right. Now, relax and enjoy the show! The sideshow, that is.
― Lori R. Lopez
What writing practice, like Zen practice does is bring you back to the natural state of mind…The mind is raw, full of energy, alive and hungry. It does not think in the way we were brought up to think-well-mannered, congenial.
― Natalie Goldberg
I write, because not breathing is not an option.
― Monice Mitchell Simms
I’ve always known that the best part of writing occurs before you’ve picked up a pen. When a story exists only in your mind, its potential is infinite; it’s only when you start pinning words to paper that it becomes less than perfect. You have to make your choices, set your limits. Start whittling away at the cosmos, and don’t stop until you’ve narrowed it down to a single, ordinary speck of dirt. And in the end, what you’ve made is not nearly as glorious as what you’ve thrown away.
― Carolyn Parkhurst
I go with the flow but I write against it.
― Tamara Jasmine Burrell
As much as I like it when a book I’m writing speeds along, the downside can be that an author becomes too eager to finish and rushes the end. The end is even more important than the first page, and rushing can damage it.
― David Morrell
I got this story from someone who had no business in the telling of it.
― Edgar Rice Burroughs
The only happy author in this world is he who is below the care of reputation.
― Washington Irving
It’s always been difficult for me to speak and express my innermost thoughts. I prefer to write. When I sit down and write, words grow very docile, they come and feed out of my hand like little birds, and I can do almost what I want with them; whereas when I try to marshal them in open air, they fly away from me.
― Philippe Claudel
Murphy is a writer’s best friend, but you have to keep an eye on him, or he’ll steal the silver.
― Patricia C. Wrede
One hasn’t become a writer until one has distilled writing into
a habit, and that habit has been forced into an obsession.
Writing has to be an obsession. It has to be something as organic,
physiological and psychological as speaking or sleeping or eating.
― Niyi Osundare
Writing is done alone. People do not talk about the things they do alone.
― Anneli Rufus
A writer doesn’t dream of riches and fame, though those things are nice. A true writer longs to leave behind a piece of themselves, something that withstands the test of time and is passed down for generations.
― C.K. Webb
If I didn’t have writing, I’d be running down the street hurling grenades in people’s faces.
― Paul Fussell
As many authors have said, if the writer is not surprised by events, then chances are that the reader will not be either, and grow bored.
― Paul Di Filippo
I go silent so I can write. When my tongue is wagging my fingers are silent.
― Sonia Rumzi
Writing is like baking cupcakes, you’re trying to make something from the raw. Like with cupcakes it’s flour and eggs and stuff, and with books it’s ideas and words. The end result is the same though, you want people to eat them up.
― Emma Shortt
Writing is talking to yourself-with the hope of being overheard.
― Marty Rubin
We all know writing is a reclusive, lonely endeavour. It just is. But nobody writes alone.
― Iain Reid
I hope I don’t write TOO many books! When I look at authors who have written too many books, I wonder to myself “When did they live?” I certainly want to write BECAUSE I live! I know I don’t want to write in order to live! My writing is an overflow of the wine glass of my life, not a basin in which I wash out my ideals and expectations.
― C. JoyBell C.
Forget it. Never explain; never apologize. You can either write posthumously or you can’t.
― Christopher Hitchens
That isn’t writing at all, it’s typing.
― Truman Capote
My advice for aspiring writers is go to New York. And if you can’t go to New York, go to the place that represents New York to you, where the standards for writing are high, there are other people who share your dreams, and where you can talk, talk, talk about your interests. Writing books begins in talking about it, like most human projects, and in being close to those who have already done what you propose to do.
― Walter Kirn
To breathe is to live, but to write unimpeded is to breathe eternal.
― M. Clifford
Somebody is observing my writings, I know that. That’s one reason why I keep reading and writing.
― Toba Beta
The ear is the only true writer and the only true reader. I know people who read without hearing the sentence sounds and they were the fastest readers. Eye readers we call them. They get the meaning by glances. But they are bad readers because they miss the best part of what a good writer puts into his work.
― Robert Frost
The music lets me see the story but the story doesn’t let me write the words.
― Elizabeth J. Kolodziej
Fiction is a great combination between experience and imagination.
― Desi Puspitasari
Make no mistake, those who write long books have nothing to say. Of course those who write short books have even less to say.
― Mark Z. Danielewski
But once an original book has been written-and no more than one or two appear in a century-men of letters imitate it, in other words, they copy it so that hundreds of thousands of books are published on exactly the same theme, with slightly different titles and modified phraseology. This should be able to be achieved by apes, who are essentially imitators, provided, of course, that they are able to make use of language.
― Pierre Boulle
In order to be created, a work of art must first make use of the dark forces of the soul.
― Albert Camus
Don’t look back until you’ve written an entire draft, just begin each day from the last sentence you wrote the preceding day. This prevents those cringing feelings, and means that you have a substantial body of work before you get down to the real work which is all in … the edit.
― Will Self
I’m either going to be a writer or a bum.
― Carl Sandburg
I am, when you stop to think of it, a member of a fairly select group: the final handful of American novelists who learned to read and write before they learned to eat a daily helping of video bullshit.
― Stephen King
The purpose of a writer is to keep civilisation from destroying itself.
― Bernard Malamud
A novel must show how the world truly is, how characters genuinely think, how events actually occur. A novel should somehow reveal the true source of our actions.
― Kevin Hood
A writer is very much like the captain on a star ship facing the unknown. When you face the blank page and you have no idea where you’re going. It can be terrifying, but it can also be the adventure of a lifetime.
― Michael Piller
If you’re a writer, write. And always strive for excellence.
― Linda W. Yezak
The rewrites are a struggle right now. Sometimes I wish writing a book could just be easy for me at last. But when I think about it practically, I am glad it’s a struggle. I am (as usual) attempting to write a book that’s too hard for me. I’m telling a story I’m not smart enough to tell. The risk of failure is huge. But I prefer it this way. I’m forced to learn, forced to smarten myself up, forced to wrestle. And if it works, then I’ll have written something that is better than I am.
― Shannon Hale
If you hear voices, you’re a lunatic. If you write down what they say, you’re an author.
― Dani Harper
Fighting and writing’s deepest layers of beauty lie not only in the physical and mental realms of what we know, but also as an incognizable instinct, a realm we will never fully know but will forever feel.
― Cameron Conaway
The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.
― Ernest Hemingway
It’s not how great the ideas are. It’s about how you write them, to make them great.
― Primadonna Angela
Like forearm veins, my interests spread in different directions and eventually led to the hands, to writing.
― Cameron Conaway
Hold your pen and spare your voice.
― Dorothy Parker
If you have a dream, keep it. But write it down and take appropriate actions to see it manifest.
― T.F. Hodge
I’ll probably never produce a masterpiece, but so what? I feel I have a Sound aborning, which is my own, and that Sound if erratic is still my greatest pride, because I would rather write like a dancer shaking my ass to boogaloo inside my head, and perhaps reach only readers who like to use books to shake their asses, than to be or write for the man cloistered in a closet somewhere reading Aeschylus while this stupefying world careens crazily past his waxy windows toward its last raving sooty feedback pirouette.
― Lester Bangs
If the novel is dead, I’m a necrophiliac.
― Tiffany Madison
I’m not trying to please anyone. I’m just trying to write a damn book.
― Richard P. Denney
When you write, you are telling a story…to yourself. When you revise, you are telling a story to yourself…over and over again.
― Kai Strand
No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.
― Julia Cameron
As a writer, I demand the right to write any character in the world that I want to write. I demand the right to be them, I demand the right to think them and I demand the right to tell the truth as I see they are.
― Quentin Tarantino
What’s writing really about? It’s about trying to take fuller possession of the reality of your life.
― Ted Hughes
Most people are much better at saying things in letters than in conversation, and some people can write artistic, inventive letters, but when they try a poem or story or novel they become pretentious.
― Charles Bukowski
All stories are love stories.
― Robert McLiam Wilson
In the world of your story, your outline is like the Ten Commandments. Unfortunately, your characters are all Atheists.
― Jefferson Smith
An idea, like a ghost, must be spoken to a little before it will explain itself.
― Charles Dickens
If I thought that what I’m doing when I write is expressing myself, I’d junk the typewriter. Writing is a much more complicated activity that that.
― Susan Sontag
I’ve always said, ‘I have nothing to say, only to add.’ And it’s with each addition that the writing gets done. The first draft of anything is really just a track.
― Gore Vidal
I tell you this true story just to prove that I can. That my frailty has not yet reached a point at which I can no longer tell a true story.
― Joan Didion
I can still remember the miraculous feeling of writing a sentence, then more sentences, telling a story. The first thing I wrote was a one-page summary of Robinson Crusoe and I am so sorry I do not have it any more; it was at that moment I became an author.
― Henning Mankell
It takes writing a billion bad words before you get to the good ones.
― Ray Bradbury
There is a problem with writers. If what a writer wrote was published and sold many, many copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold a medium number of copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold very few copies, the writer thought he was great. If what the writer wrote never was published and he didn’t have enough the money to publish it himself, then he thought he was truly great. The truth, however, was there was very little greatness. It was almost nonexistent, invisible. But you could be sure that the worst writers had the most confidence, the least self-doubt. Anyway, writers were to be avoided, and I tried to avoid them, but it was almost impossible. They hoped for some sort of brotherhood, some kind of togetherness. None of it had anything to do with writing, none of it helped at the typewriter.
― Charles Bukowski
Nothing makes a person desire improvement like failure.
― Christopher Stocking
My lips are fierce with passion. My heart spins fiery beats. A rhythm lives within my fingers and dances in my feet.
― Coco J. Ginger
Writing a novel is like going a great distance to take a small shit.
― Harlan Ellison
I love revisions…We can’t go back and revise our lives, but being allowed to go back and revise what we have written comes closest.
― Katherine Paterson
I am a drinker with writing problems.
― Brendan Behan
I write for the kid in me. . . . Often when I’m working on a story, I’ll find myself laughing at something my characters have done, or even being surprised at where they’ve taken the story. It’s as if they have a life all their own. What I do is create them and then let them go on to entertain me..
― Elvira Woodruff
I write across several genres. I’m a slut for words. I can’t keep it in my literary pants.
― Fierce Dolan
The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.
― Arthur Miller
Writing is beautiful, like putting on a gold suit and going to sleep in it.
― Mark Leidner
Goals are dreams with a deadline.
― Napoleon Hill
There were no absolutes in fiction, no certain way to deliver what was needed. So it was no surprise most technical writers considered novel-writing a gateway to madness.
― S.A. Reid
First and foremost, I am me. I’m real. I don’t write to impress. I write to express.
― RaeBeth McGee-Buda
A migraine is the cockblock of writing.
― Don Roff
When describing nature, a writer should seize upon small details, arranging them so that the reader will see an image in his mind after he closes his eyes. For instance: you will capture the truth of a moonlit night if you’ll write that a gleam like starlight shone from the pieces of a broken bottle, and then the dark, plump shadow of a dog or wolf appeared. You will bring life to nature only if you don’t shrink from similes that liken its activities to those of humankind.
― Anton Chekhov
I write because it is the only way I can reach you.
― Sanober Khan
The best thing about writing fiction is that moment where the story catches fire and comes to life on the page, and suddenly it all makes sense and you know what it’s about and why you’re doing it and what these people are saying and doing, and you get to feel like both the creator and the audience. Everything is suddenly both obvious and surprising… and it’s magic and wonderful and strange.
― Neil Gaiman
A writer’s promise is like a tiger’s smile.
― Lytton Strachey
The ‘experimental’ writer, then, is simply following the story’s commands to the best of his human ability. The writer is not the story, the story is the story. See? Sometimes this is very hard to accept and sometimes too easy. On the one hand, there’s the writer who can’t face his fate: that the telling of a story has nothing at all to do with him; on the other hand, there’s the one who faces it too well: that the telling of the story has nothing at all to do with him.
― Thomas Ligotti
I do not write poetry; I take words and dip them in feelings.
― Arti Honrao
There comes a point at which you stop writing and think all the more.
― Gustave Flaubert
Writers Are Insane. For months we are lone wolves locked in our caves. Then overnight we become publicity hounds. It’s a schizophrenic business.
― Robert Mykle
Hard writing makes easy reading.
― Wallace Stegner
Writing is turning life’s worst moments into money.
― J.P. Donleavy
The reason writers are such fragile beings, Marcus, is that they suffer from two sorts of emotional pain, which is twice as much as a normal human being: the heartache of love and the heartache of books. Writing a book is like loving someone. It can be very painful.
― Joël Dicker
All writing is filth.
― Antonin Artaud
The proper ending for any story about people it seems to me, since life is now a polymer in which the Earth is wrapped so tightly, should be the same abbreviation, which I now write large because I feel like it, which is this one.
― Kurt Vonnegut
Is there any writing quotes you know that aren’t on this list!