Victory Crayne, Author

Victory Crayne
Author

Quotations on Writing

Musing by others on writing


Quotations on Writing

Musing by others on writing

by Victory Crayne

Copyright 2016

I write for the same reason I breathe - because if I didn't, I would die. - Isaac Asimov

Good work doesn't happen with inspiration. It comes with constant, often tedious and deliberate effort. If your vision of a writer involves sitting in a cafe, sipping an aperitif with one's fellow geniuses, become a drunk. It's easier. - William Hefferman

Being a writer is like having homework every night for the rest of your life. - Lawrence Kasdan

On the whole, audiences prefer that art be not a mirror held up to life, but a Disneyland of the soul, containing Romanceland, Spyland, Pornoland and all the other escapelands which are so much more agreeable than the complex truth. - Geoffrey Wiseman

I think of an author as somebody who goes into the marketplace and puts down his rug and says, "I will tell you a story," and then he passes the hat. - Robertson Davies (1913-1995), Canadian novelist, journalist.

The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to their dream. - Joan Didion

Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money. - Moliere

Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic fear which is inherent in a human situation. - Graham Greene

Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known. - Oscar Wilde

You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you. And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke. - Arthur Polotnik

When you are developing your writing skills, the first step is to be aware. Identify the part that is holding you back. Concentrate on it. Do something about it. - Stephen Wilbers

A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. - Thomas Mann, novelist, Nobel laureate (1875-1955)

Anyone who has a choice and doesn't choose to write is a fool. The work is hard, the perks are few, the pay is terrible, and the product, when it's finally finished, is pure joy. - Mary Lee Settle

The solitude of writing is also quite frightening. It's quite close to madness; one just disappears for a day and loses touch. - Nadine Gordimer

I learned that the only way you are going to get anywhere in life is to work hard at it. Whether you're a musician, a writer, an athlete or a businessman, there is no getting around it. If you do, you'll win - if you don't, you won't. - Bruce Jenner

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

The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you didn't write. - Unknown

When this question comes up... and it will... 'When are you going to get a real job?' Just say 'my job is not reaching my death bed with regrets about dreams I was too scared to pursue. You should look into it.' That generally shuts people right up. - Stephen King

Only a mediocre writer is always at his best. - Maugham, W. Somerset

Writing is easy. All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead. - Gene Fowler 1890-1960

It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous. - Robert Charles Benchley, author

If a book is not alive in the writer's mind, it is as dead as year-old horse-shit. - Stephen King

The effort involved in writing a short story is as intense as beginning a novel, where everything must be defined in the first paragraph: structure, tone, style, rhythm, length, and sometimes even the personality of a character. -Gabriel Gacia Marquez, in 'Strange Pilgrims"

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. - W. Somerset Maugham

There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be. - Doris Lessing

The first thing you have to consider when writing a novel is your story, and then your story--and then your story! - Ford Madox Ford

Anybody can write a short story --a bad one, I mean-- who has industry and paper and time enough; but not everyone may hope to write even a bad novel. It is the length that kills. The accepted novelist may take his novel up and put it down, spend days upon it in vain, and write not any more that he makes haste to blot. Not so the beginner. Human nature has certain rights; instinct --the instinct of self-preservation-- forbids that any man (cheered and supported by the consciousness of no previous victory) should endure the miseries of unsuccessful literary toil beyond a period to be measured in weeks. - Robert Louis Stevenson, My first book "Treasure Island"

If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is worth any number of old ladies. - William Faulkner (1897-1962), U.S. novelist.

Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear. - Ezra Pound (1885-1972), U.S. poet, critic.

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer's loneliness, but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day. - Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), U.S. author.

What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he's staring out the window. - Rudolph Erich Rascoe

I'm not a big believer in disciplined writers. What does discipline mean? The writer who forces himself to sit down and write for seven hours every day might be wasting those seven hours if he's not in the mood and doesn't feel the juice. I don't think discipline equals creativity. - Bret Easton Ellis

Beginning writers must appreciate the prerequisites if they hope to become writers. You pay your dues - which takes years. - Alex Haley

A ratio of failures is built into the process of writing. The wastebasket has evolved for a reason. - Margaret Atwood

When I sit at my table to write, I never know what it's going to be until I'm under way. I trust in inspiration, which sometimes comes and sometimes doesn't. But I don't sit back waiting for it. I work every day. - Alberto Moravia

An absolutely necessary part of a writer's equipment, almost as necessary as talent, is the ability to stand up under punishment, both the punishment the world hands out and the punishment he inflicts upon himself. - Irwin Shaw

I get a fine warm feeling when I'm doing well, but that pleasure is pretty much negated by the pain of getting started each day. Let's face it, writing is hell. - William Styron

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure. - Samuel Johnson

If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead & rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing. - Benjamin Franklin

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug. - Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

Writing is a struggle between presence and absence. - Lu Ji

The only end of writing is to enable readers better to enjoy life or better to endure it. - Samuel Johnson

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children. - Madeleine L'Engle

Your manuscript is both good and original. But the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good. - Samuel Johnson

The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea. - Thomas Mann

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. - Rudyard Kipling

The difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make sense. - Tom Clancy

Once you start rewriting, you're not able to stop. With each draft the fundamental banality and worthlessness of the material becomes more evident even as its vitality and spontaneity are drained from it. - Barry N. Malzberg

...talents of the novelist:...observation of character, analysis of emotion, people's feelings, personal relations... - Virginia Woolf

Next to the originator of a sentence is the first quoter of it. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

They're fancy talkers about themselves, writers. If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves. - Lillian Hellman (1905-84), U.S. playwright. New York Times (21 Feb. 1960).

It's very hard to be a gentleman and a writer. - W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), British author.

Any writer, I suppose, feels that the world into which he was born is nothing less than a conspiracy against the cultivation of his talent. - James Baldwin (1924-87), U.S. author.

For a creative writer possession of the "truth" is less important than emotional sincerity. - George Orwell (1903-50), British author. Inside the Whale and Other Essays, "Inside the Whale" (1940).

That's one thing I like about Hollywood. The writer is there revealed in his ultimate corruption. He asks no praise, because his praise comes to him in the form of a salary check. In Hollywood the average writer is not young, not honest, not brave, and a bit overdressed. But he is darn good company, which book writers as a rule are not. He is better than what he writes. Most book writers are not as good. - Raymond Chandler (1888-1959), U.S. author.

Nowadays three witty turns of phrase and a lie make a writer. - G. C. Lichtenberg (1742-99), German physicist, philosopher.

An author who speaks about his own books is almost as bad as a mother who talks about her own children. - Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81), English statesman, author.

There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don't see them. - Elie Wiesel (b. 1928), Rumanian-born U.S. writer.

No one ever committed suicide while reading a good book, but many have tried while trying to write one. - Robert Byrne

When I am dead,
I hope it may be said:
"His sins were scarlet,
but his books were read."
- Hilaire Belloc

I don't believe in personal immortality; the only way I expect to have some version of such a thing is through my books. - Isaac Asimov

Often while reading a book one feels that the author would have preferred to paint rather than write; one can sense the pleasure he derives from describing a landscape or a person, as if he were painting what he is saying, because deep in his heart he would have preferred to use brushes and colors. - Pablo Picasso

Getting even is one reason for writing. - William Gass

Writing is not a profession but a vocation of unhappiness. - Georges Simonen

Few men make themselves masters of the things they write or speak. - Tirso de Molina

A novel should be an experience and convey an emotional truth rather than arguments. - Joyce Cary

Every novelist has a different purpose - and often several purposes which might even be contradictory. - Irwin Shaw

I've always believed in writing without a collaborator, because where two people are writing the same book, each believes he gets all the worries and only half the royalties. - Agatha Christie

Nothing beats a good book. - Nunzio Nappi

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer. - Barbara Kingsolver

However great a man's natural talent may be, the act of writing cannot be learned all at once. - Jean Jacques Rousseau

No, it's not a very good story - its author was too busy listening to other voices to listen as closely as he should have to the one coming from inside. - Stephen King, The Body

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. - Muriel Rukeyser

Nothing leads so straight to futility as literary ambitions without systematic knowledge. - H.G. Wells

All bad writers are in love with the epic. - Ernest Hemingway

You have to simply love writing, and you have to remind yourself often that you love it. - Susan Orlean

The number one thing I am earnestly attracted to is intelligence. Writers are thus the pinnacle of intelligence. While actors are great and awesome, writers literally create new worlds from scratch. What is sexier than that? Personally, I don’t know why every person out there isn’t dating a writer. - Rachel Bloom

Write your first draft with your heart. Re-write with your head. - Finding Forrester

When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing. - Enrique Jardiel Poncela

Writing a book is a horrible, usting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. - George Orwell, "Why I Write," 1947

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. - Ray Bradbury

We live and breathe words. .... It was books that made me feel that perhaps I was not completely alone. They could be honest with me, and I with them. Reading your words, what you wrote, how you were lonely sometimes and afraid, but always brave; the way you saw the world, its colors and textures and sounds, I felt--I felt the way you thought, hoped, felt, dreamt. I felt I was dreaming and thinking and feeling with you. I dreamed what you dreamed, wanted what you wanted--and then I realized that truly I just wanted you. - Cassandra Clare

Start early and work hard. A writer's apprenticeship usually involves writing a million words (which are then discarded) before he's almost ready to begin. That takes a while. - David Eddings

Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. - Best-selling Author, Stephen King

Our admiration of fine writing will always be in proportion to its real difficulty and its apparent ease. - Charles Caleb Colton

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

You can't think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block. - John Rogers

If you want to be a writer, write. If you want to be a good writer, learn the craft and the art of writing. If you want to be a published writer, don't give up. - Larry Lovan

If you never write anything terrible, you will never write anything great. - Unknown

You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is that we notice when we're doing it. - Neil Gaiman

It is as easy to dream a book as it is hard to write one. - Balzac

Never ever forget that you enlisted in the ranks--you weren't press ganged or drafted. Nobody owes you anything--least of all respect for your work--until you've earned it with what you put on the page. - T. F. Rigelhof

Don't classify me, read me. I'm a writer, not a genre. - Carlos Fuentes

To you, this is all work, but you have to remember that to your audience, it's pure entertainment. - Randy Jackson

The highest privilege of being a writer is being able to say, 'Open your mind to me and I'll take you to another world.' - Alxed Maxim Russell

When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs. - Margaret Laurence

Bad writing precedes good writing. This is an infallible rule, so don't waste time trying to avoid bad writing. (That just slows down the process.) Anything committed to paper can be changed. The idea is to start, and then go from there. - Janet Hulstrand

I suspect I have spent just about exactly as much time actually writing as the average person my age has spent watching television, and that, as much as anything, may be the real secret here. - William Gibson

The novel is an event in consciousness. Our aim isn’t to copy actuality, but to modify and recreate our sense of it. The novelist is inviting the reader to watch a performance in his own brain. - George Buchanan

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything good. - William Faulkner

A story is not something of this world. A real story requires a kind of magical baptism to link the world on this side with the world on the other side. - Haruki Muakami

I mean being a writer is like being a psycho, but you don’t get any patients. - Al Alvarez

Becoming a writer is about becoming conscious. When you're conscious and writing from a place of insight and simplicity and real caring about the truth, you have the ability to throw the lights on for your reader. He or she will recognize his or her life and truth in what you say, in the pictures you have painted, and this decreases the terrible sense of isolation that we have all had too much of. - Anne Lamott

You know how writers are...they create themselves as they create their work. Or perhaps they create their work in order to create themselves. - Orson Scott Card

It's a wonderful thing to be able to create your own world when you want to. - Woody Allen

Good artists copy, great artists steal. - Picasso

Most important of all, there is no right or wrong way to write--there's only what works for you. - Tamora Pierce

Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted. - Jules Renard

I have spent a good many years since--too many, I think--being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that's all. - Stephen King

All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives lies a mystery. Writing a book is a long, usting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. - George Orwell

Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the strength of its ability to engage you, to make you think, to give you a glimpse into someone else's head. - Malcolm Gladwell

Successful writers are not the ones who write the best sentences. They are the ones who keep writing. They are the ones who discover what is most important and strangest and most pleasurable in themselves, and keep believing in the value of their work, despite the difficulties. - Bonnie Friedman

Stop thinking about writing as art. Think of it as work. If you're an artist, whatever you do is art. If you're not an artist, at least you can do a good day's work. - Paddy Chayefsky

Writing is hard work; it's also the best job I've ever had. - Robert Frost

The most common human act that writing a novel resembles is lying. The working novelist lies daily, very complexly and at great length. If not for our excessive vanity and our over-active imaginations, novelists might be unusually difficult to deceive. - William Gibson

Writing is a solitary business. It takes over your life. In some sense, a writer has no life of his own. Even when he's there, he's not really there. - Paul Auster

A great novel isn't written by accident, you create it on purpose. - David Farland

Writing is not a profession, occupation or job; it is not a way of life: it is a comprehensive response to life. - Gregory McDonald

When readers find a book they like, they want more of the same. Series provide that. Standalone books, while perhaps still all written in your voice, don’t always translate into more of the same for the reader. You know how some families vacation at the same spot every year? It’s the same for readers. When they fall in love with a place and characters you’ve written, they want to go back there. Again and again and again. - Kristen Painter, author

If you’ve never written connected books in your life and aren’t interested in writing connected books, you’re going to have a hard row to hoe in self-publishing. Standalone books are great--I’m not dissing them--but we’re talking about how to be successful here. And series is where it’s at. (I have proof of this in my own work.) - Unknown

You must learn to be three people at once: writer, character, and reader. - Nancy Kress

If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends) 'Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?' Chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real ones are scared to death. - Steven Pressfield, The War of Art

There is nothing more valuable in the writing process than a friend to hold you accountable to your own potential. - J. R. Young

The first duty of the novelist is to entertain. It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, traveling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying. Books are written by the alone for the alone. - Donna Tartt

You have to resign yourself to wasting lots of trees before you write anything really good. That's just how it is. It's like learning an instrument. You've got to be prepared for hitting wrong notes occasionally, or quite a lot. That's just part of the learning process. And read a lot. Reading a lot really helps. Read anything you can get your hands on. - J. K. Rowling

The most important things to remember about back story are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn't very interesting. - Stephen King

Without this playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable. - Carl Jung

I don’t write the chapters in the order that you read them. I do switch. I’ll get in a Tyrion groove, where I’ll write four or five Tyrion chapters, and I hit a sing point or something like that. Or I’ll realize that I’m way ahead on Tyrion, and I gotta catch up with the other characters. And I’ll go back and switch to Arya or Sansa or something like that. It’s always difficult switching gears, because the characters have very different voices and very different ways of thinking about the world. I’ll be writing up a storm and doing pages every day, and the minute I switch to a different character, that first day it’s like, “Oh, God, I have to read all these characters again. I have Sansa sounding like Tyrion, and that’s not good.” I have to read more of her chapters and immerse myself in Sansa. - George R. R. Martin

A writer is someone who has taught his mind to misbehave. - Oscar Wilde

No one knows whether or not he is a writer unless he has tried writing at night. - H. P. Lovecraft

Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow. - Lawrence Clark Powell

A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit. - Richard Bach

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. - Syliva Plath

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. - Sylvia Plath

My motive is to get the reader to feel impelled to turn the pages as quickly as possible. - John Grisham

Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case. - Annie Dillard

I don’t know about lying for novelists. I look at some of the great novelists, and I think the reason they are great is that they’re telling the truth. The fact is they’re using made-up names, made-up people, made-up places, and made-up times, but they’re telling the truth about the human being—what we are capable of, what makes us lose, laugh, weep, fall down, and gnash our teeth and wring our hands and kill each other and love each other. - Maya Angelou

We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans — because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings. That’s why we paint, that’s why we dare to love someone- because we have the impulse to explain who we are. Not just how tall we are, or thin… but who we are internally… perhaps even spiritually. There’s something, which impels us to show our inner-souls. The more courageous we are, the more we succeed in explaining what we know. - Maya Angelou

The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the most valuable investment a writer can make with his time. - Raymond Chandler

If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform a million realities.”

- Maya Angelou

What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,’.... And it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.' - Maya Angelou

Each time I write a book, every time I face that yellow pad, the challenge is so great. I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out. - Maya Angelou

I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all it is cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do—the actual act of writing—turns out to be the best part. It’s like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward. - Anne Lamott

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use it, the more you have. - Maya Angelou

I am a drinker with writing problems. - Brendan Behan

The hardest part of writing is learning how to write like you. - Luke Preston

The best way is to read it all every day from the start, correcting as you go along, then go on from where you sed the day before. When it gets so long that you can’t do this every day read back two or three chapters each day; then each week read it all from the start. That’s how you make it all of one piece. — Ernest Hemingway

Only bad writers think that their work is really good. — Anne Enright

1 supplies the material; 2 lets it come out; 3 is taste; 4 is intelligence*. A great writer has all 4 — but you can still be a good writer with only 1 and 2; they’re most important. - Susan Sontag

Reread, rewrite, reread, rewrite. If it still doesn’t work, throw it away. It’s a nice feeling, and you don’t want to be cluttered with the corpses of poems and stories which have everything in them except the life they need. — Helen Dunmore

If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there. — John Steinbeck

Begin with an individual and you find that you have created a type; begin with a type and you find that you have created — nothing. — F. Scott Fitzgerald

The test of a writer is whether you want to read him again years after he should by the rules be dated. - Raymond Chandler

There is a great deal that either has to be given up or be taken away from you if you are going to succeed in writing a body of work. - Susan Sontag

Writers aren’t people exactly. Or, if they’re any good, they’re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person. - F. Scott Fitzgerald

The scariest moment is always just before you start. - Stephen King

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

Write your first draft with your heart. Re-write with your head. - Finding Forrester

Writing a book is a horrible, usting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. - George Orwell, "Why I Write," 1947

There is no royal path to good writing; and such paths as do exist do not lead through neat critical gardens, various as they are, but through the jungles of self, the world, and of craft. - Jessamyn West

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. - Elmore Leonard

It is only when you open your veins and bleed onto the page a little that you establish contact with your reader. If you do not believe in the characters or the story you are doing at that moment with all your mind, strength, and will, if you don't feel joy and excitement while writing it, then you're wasting good white paper, even if it sells, because there are other ways in which a writer can bring in the rent money besides writing bad or phony stories. - Paul Gallico

Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.” - Neil Gaiman

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. - Sylvia Plath

Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either. - Meg Cabot

It's the great writers who teach us how to write. - Madeleine L'Engle

The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it. - Ernest Hemingway

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster. - Isaac Asimov

You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write. - Saul Bellow

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. - Henry David Thoreau

One always has a better book in one's mind than one can manage to get onto paper. - Michael Cunningham

If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you. - Oscar Wilde

At night, when the objective world has slunk back into its cavern and left dreamers to their own, there come inspirations and capabilities impossible at any less magical and quiet hour. No one knows whether or not he is a writer unless he has tried writing at night. - H.P. Lovecraft

You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander. We build this place with the sand of memories; these castles are our memories and inventiveness made tangible. So part of us believes that when the tide starts coming in, we won't really have lost anything, because actually only a symbol of it was there in the sand. Another part of us thinks we'll figure out a way to divert the ocean. This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won't wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be. - Anne Lamott

Writing is a delicious agony. - Gwendolyn Brooks

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. - G.K. Chesterton

Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. - Franz Kafka

The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them--words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear. - Stephen King

So what- All writers are lunatics! - Cornelia Funke

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

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

Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal. - Thomas Sterns Eliot (T. S. Eliot)

By now, it is probably very late at night, and you have stayed up to read this book when you should have gone to sleep. If this is the case, then I commend you for falling into my trap. It is a writer's greatest pleasure to hear that someone was kept up until the unholy hours of the morning reading one of his books. It goes back to authors being terrible people who delight in the suffering of others. Plus, we get a kickback from the caffeine industry... - Brandon Sanderson

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

Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. - Rainer Maria Rilke

A lot of people talk about writing. The secret is to write, not talk. - Jackie Collins

A great writer reveals the truth even when he or she does not wish to. - Tom Bissell

True alchemy lies in this formula: ‘Your memory and your senses are but the nourishment of your creative impulse’. - Arthur Rimbaud

A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing. - Eguene Ionesco

People who engage in expressive writing report feeling happier and less negative than before writing. Similarly, reports of depressive symptoms, rumination, and general anxiety tend to drop in the weeks and months after writing about emotional upheavals. - James W. Pennebaker in "Writing to Heal"

It's hard to explain how much one can love writing. If people knew how happy it can make you, we would all be writing all the time. It's the greatest secret of the world. - Andrea Barrett

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world. - Philip Pullman

The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell the truth without humiliating himself. - Eleanor Rossevelt

The love between a writer and a reader is never celebrated. - Patricia Duncker

You either have to write or you shouldn't be writing. That's all. - Joss Whedon

When you have a good romance, find ways to make their lives miserable and hellish... Do you think 'Titanic' would have been so popular if they had both lived- Not a prayer. - Orson Scott Card

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything good. - William Faulkner

If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them. - George Orwell

In order to write the book you want to write, in the end you have to become the person you need to become to write that book. - Junot Diaz

I am simply of the opinion that you cannot be taught to write. You have to spend a lifetime in love with words. - Craig Claiborne

There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don't want to, don't much like what you're writing, and aren't writing particularly well. - Agatha Christie

Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got. - Philip Jose Farmer

The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone's neurosis, and whe'd have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads. - William Styron

There are different rules for reading, for thinking, and for talking. Writing blends all three of them. - Mason Cooley

Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public. - Winston Churchill

The novel is an event in consciousness. Our aim isn’t to copy actuality, but to modify and recreate our sense of it. The novelist is inviting the reader to watch a performance in his own brain. - George Buchanan

As we (hopefully!) improve in our craft, we get a better appreciation of not only the basic nuts and bolts, do's and don'ts, etc., but also of the additional potential if only we're smart enough to capture it. - Malcom Macdonald

When writing is great, Mitchell told me of the books he loved as a reader, 'your mind is nowhere else but in this world that started off in the mind of another human being. There are two miracles at work here. One, that someone thought of that world and people in the first place. And the second, that there’s this means of transmitting it. Just little ink marks on squashed wood fiber. Bloody amazing.'- Wyatt Mason, journalist, writing of David Mitchell, British novelist

At last I understood that writing was this: an impulse to share with other people a feeling or truth that I myself had. - Brenda Ueland, "If You Want to Write"

To write is, above all else, to construct a self. …the most fundamental human need to know oneself deeply and in relationship to the world. - Deena Metzger, "Writing for Your Life"

I have written because it fulfilled me. I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever. - Stephen King, "On Writing"

Writing is refined thinking. - Stephen King, "On Writing"

I write because only when I read my words do I learn what I think. - Flannery O’Connor

Imagination in art consists in knowing how to find the most complete expression of an existing thing. - Gustave Courbet

Like everyone else, I am going to die. But the words – the words live on for as long as there are readers to see them, audiences to hear them. It is immortality by proxy. It is not really a bad deal, all things considered. — Michael Straczynski

When you are developing your writing skills, the first step is to be aware. Identify the part that is holding you back. Concentrate on it. Do something about it. - Stephen Wilbers

Sue Grafton says, "The smartest thing I ever did was to invent somebody who now supports me." She is, of course, referring to Private Investigator Kinsey Millhone, the protagonist of her 13 previous best selling alphabet mysteries. - Patricia Ann Jones, in a review of Grafton's "'N' is for Noose"

Our admiration of fine writing will always be in proportion to its real difficulty and its apparent ease. - Charles Caleb Colton

Writing is a job, a talent, but it's also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon. - Ann Patchett, Truth and Beauty

A writer who is afraid to overreach himself is as useless as a general who is afraid to be wrong. - Raymond Chandler, Pearls are a Nuisance

Writing a novel is not merely going on a shopping expedition across the border to an unreal land: it is hours and years spent in the factories, the streets, the cathedrals of the imagination. - Janet Frame

Good fiction always begins with story and progresses to theme; it almost never begins with theme and progresses to story. - Stephen King

The hardest thing for a writer to conquer is fear. - Raymond E. Feist

Never save anything for your next book, because that possible creation may not be properly shaped to hold the thoughts you’re working with today. In fiction especially, anything that could happen, should happen. - Tam Mossman

Life is too short to write stories that don’t excite us. Write what you love, not what you think your mother, your professor, your spouse or your friends expect you to write. Forget about the opinions of others. Silencing your internal critic is hard enough. Don’t let them take the joy out of your writing (or reading). - Mia Botha

Being an author is being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. - Terri Guillemets or Graycie Harmon

Writers and artists know that ethereal moment, when just one, fleeting something--a chill, an echo, the click of a lamp, a question--ignites the flame of an entire work that blazes suddenly into consciousness. - Nadine C. Keel

Science fiction is something that could happen - but you usually wouldn't want it to. Fantasy is something that couldn't happen - though you often only wish that it could. - Arthur C. Clarke

Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science fiction is the improbable made possible. - Rod Serling

The only way you can write is by the light of the bridges burning behind you. - Richard Peck

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

It's better not to know authors personally, because the real person never corresponds to the image you form of him from reading his books. - Italo Calvino

What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers. -Logan Pearsall Smith

Authors like cats because they are such quiet, lovable, wise creatures, and cats like authors for the same reasons. - Robertson Davies

If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of 'The Elements of Style.' The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy. - Dorothy Parker

A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise. - Carlos Ruiz Zafón

There is no idea so brilliant or original that a sufficiently-untalented writer can't screw it up. - Raymond E. Feist

Good writers define reality; bad ones merely restate it. A good writer turns fact into truth; a bad writer will, more often than not, accomplish the opposite. - Edward Albee

Authors must spend months, years making fantasy believable in a single work while reality runs rampant and complete chaos elsewhere. - Don Roff

There is no point in writing cinematic fiction. That's what movies do best. What fiction does that no other medium can is show us what's inside the character's heads. Therefore, you need to show thoughts. – Orson Scott Card

Learn to write by doing it. Read widely and wisely. Increase your word power. Find your own individual voice through practicing constantly. Go through the world with your eyes and ears open and learn to express that experience in words. - P. D. James

Genre is a bookstore problem, not a literary problem. - Rick Moody

It's such a confidence trick, writing a novel. The main person you have to trick into confidence is yourself. - Zadie Smith

I write because I am an addict. I only feel alive when the pen scratches the paper, when the ink becomes words, when my characters begin to live. It is all I can think about. I crave my next chance to write. I NEED it. - Amber Lee

I'm more interested by my own interests than anyone else's. Writers have to enterain themselves, or they can't entertain anyone else. - Laurell K. Hamilton

Writing is work. It's also gambling. You don't get a pension plan. Other people can help you a bit, but essentially you're on your own. Nobody is making you do this: you chose it, so don't whine. - Margaret Atwood

Writing is like hunting. There are brutually cold afternoons with nothing in sight, only the wind and your breaking heart. Then the moment when you bag something big. The entire process is beyond intoxicating. - Kate Braverman

First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won't. Habit is persistence in practice. - Octavia E. Butler

Good fiction creates its own reality. - Nora Roberts

Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder. - Raymond Chandler

Action, reaction, motivation, emotion, all have to come from the characters. Writing a love scene requires the same elements from the writer as any other. - Nora Roberts

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money. - Jules Renard

A great novel isn't written by accident, you create it on purpose. - David Farland

The only sensible ends of literature are, first, the pleasurable toil of writing; second, the gratification of one's family and friends; and lastly, the solid cash. - Nathaniel Hawthorne

When I was a young boy, they called me a liar. Now that I'm all grown up, they call me a writer. - Isaac Bashevis Singer

It was unavoidable, my writing. I feel I had no choice in the matter, no more than I had about an unfortunate bone structure and a healthy head of hair. - Maureen Howard

If you’ve never written connected books in your life and aren’t interested in writing connected books, you’re going to have a hard row to hoe in self-publishing. Standalone books are great--I’m not dissing them--but we’re talking about how to be successful here. And series is where it’s at. (I have proof of this in my own work.)
When readers find a book they like, they want more of the same. Series provide that. Standalone books, while perhaps still all written in your voice, don’t always translate into more of the same for the reader. You know how some families vacation at the same spot every year? It’s the same for readers. When they fall in love with a place and characters you’ve written, they want to go back there. Again and again and again. - Kristen Painter, author

All my life, I've been frightened at the moment I sit down to write.- Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Writing, I think, is not apart from living. Writing is a kind of double living. The writer experiences everything twice. Once in reality and once in that mirror which waits always before or behind. - Catherine Drinker Bowen, Atlantic, December 1957

There is a zone to writing. It takes some effort, some hours of struggle to reach, but once you're there, the words flow as if from a spigot. Thoughts fill up the page. Your fingers function independently of your body and brain as you tap out the poetry. It's the groove that baseball hitters speak of. The hot hand that basketball players relish. It is that sweet moment in a race car when everything slows down despite the speedometer reading 175 miles per hour. Everything doable in life has a zone like this. Find it and get into it. - Joe Kita, "What I Know" (Heaven on Earth), Wisdom of Our Fathers, 1999

It is impossible to discourage the real writers — they don't give a damn what you say, they're going to write. - Sinclair Lewis

Writing did not save my life... but it has continued to do what it always has done: it makes my life a brighter and more pleasant place. Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.... Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up. - Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, 2000

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. - G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

You know you're a writer when...you've written your death bed speech before you've turned 25. - Unknown

I'm a writer. Therefore. I am not sane. - Edgar Allan Poe

I'm a writer. I don't have to be normal. - Unknown

I'm a writer and, therefore, automatically a suspicious character. - Alfred Hitchcock

Write hard and clear about what hurts. - Ernest Hemingway

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

We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories. - Jonathan Gottschall, The Storytelling Animal: How stories Make Us Human

I believe myself that a good writer doesn't really need to be told anything except to keep at it. - Chinua Achebe

Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure only death can stop it. - Ernest Hemingway

Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can't, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it. - Robert Frost

Write until it becomes as natural as breathing. Write until not writing makes you anxious. - Unknown

Resist the urge to compare yourself to other artists and other writers. You are unique. - Jonathan Malm

To be the kind of writer you want to be, you must first be the kind of thinker you want to be. - Ayn Rand

Be courageous and try to write in a way that scares you a little. - Holley Grerth

Science fiction is the most important literature in the history of the world, because it's the history of ideas, the history of our civilization birthing itself...Science fiction is central to everything we've ever done, and people who make fun of science fiction writer's don't know what they're talking about. - Ray Bradbury

I don't remember deciding to become a writer. You decide to become a dentist or a postman. For me, writing is like being gay. You finally admit that this is who you are, you come out, and hope no one runs away. - Mark Haddon

To write means more than putting pretty words on a page; the act of writing is the share a part of your soul with the world. - Unknown

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

Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary. - Boris Pasternak

Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent. - Neil Gaiman

I have a writer's memory which make everything worse than maybe it actually was. - Amy Tan

In composing, as a general rule, run your pen through every other word you have written; you have no idea what vigor it will give your style. - Sidney Smith

Each new story, no matter how many you've written before, is a new,vunlimited promise--to yourself. - Nancy Kress

The writer's job is to be a troublemaker! Stir up as many levels of conflict and problems for your protagonist (hero) as you can. Let one set of problems grow out of another. And never, never, never solve a problem until you've raised at least two more. It is the unsolved problems that form the chain of promises that keeps the reader interested. - Ben Bova.

If you don't feel enthusiastic about what you are writing, readers (and editors) won't feel that way about it either. I say this to people who talk of having "writers' block" because they think of writing as drudgery. If they're going to have to slog through it, so will the reader, so the writer may as well just go become an accountant! - Kim Costello

Of course truth is stranger than fiction; fiction has to make sense. - Mark Twain

We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. Carlos Castaneda

If the truth of a proposition depended on the number of people who believed it, the Earth would still be flat. - Richard Prebble

Every journalist has a novel in him, which is an excellent place for it. - "Russel Lynes

It was once projected that a million monkeys with a million typewriters could, by random typing, eventually reproduce the works of Shakespeare. Now, thanks to the Internet, we know that this is not true. - Unknown

Everywhere I go, I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher. - Flannery O"Connor

What an author says in the morning, will determine the rest of their day. What an author says to others, will determine their image. What an author says in their books, will determine their future. - Ron Knight

Write what you know will always be excellent advice for those who ought not to write at all. – Gore Vidal

Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today. - Robert McAfee Brown

Why I write: Because kidnapping people and forcing them to act out your interesting make-believe worlds is technicallly illegal. - Unknown

Some writers thrive on the contact with the commerce of success; others are corrupted by it. Perhaps, like losing one's virginity, it is not as bad (or as good) as one feared it was going to be. - V. S. Pritchett

No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money. - Samuel Johnson

Published writers still struggle with the writing process. - Laurence Pringle

If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor. - Edgar Rice Burroughs

Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential. - Jessamyn West

Those who write are writers. Those who wait are waiters. - A. Lee Martinez

Somebody gets into trouble, then gets out of it again. People love that story. They never get tired of it. - Kurt Vonnegut

Writing's still the most difficult job I've ever had--but it's worth it. - John Grisham

Not everyone who drinks is a poet. Some of us drink because we are not poets. - Dudley Moore

I believe that, like most writers, my personality comes through in the fiction. So in that respect my writing can't be like any other author's really. - Paul Kane

The writer's only responsibility is to his art. - William Faulkner

Writers will happen in the best of families. - Ria Mae Brown

In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway. - Junot Diaz

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. - Ernest Hemingway

Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. - E. L. Doctorow

A bad beginning makes a bad ending. - Euripides

The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words. - William H. Gass

Writing is something you do alone. It's a profession for introverts who wanna tell you a story but don't wanna make eye contact while doing it. - John Green

When all else fails, write what your heart tells you. You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. - Mark Twain

I write stories to entertain not to be the best. - Lemony Snicket

A true piece of writing is a dangerous thing. It can change your life. - Tobias Wolff

Writing is the most fun you can have by yourself. - Terry Pratchett

10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer:
1 Write
2 Write more
3 Write even more
4 Write even more than that
5 Write when you don't want to
6 Write when you do
7 Write when you have something to say.
8 Write when you don't
9 Write every day
10 Keep writing
- Brian Clark

You have the itch for writing born in you. It's quite incurable. What are you going to do with it? - L. M. Montgomery

We should write because writing brings clarity and passion to the act of living. Writing is sensual, experiential, grounding. We should write because writing is good for the soul. - Julia Cameron

A good writer should draw the reader in by starting in the middle of the story with a hook, then go back and fill in what happened before the hook. Once you have the reader hooked, you can write whatever you want as you slowly reel them in. - Roland Smith

The glory of a good tale is that it is limitless and fluid; a good tale belongs to each reader in its particular way. - Stephen King

I must keep my opwn style and go on in my own way; and though I may never succeed again in that, I am convinced that I should totally fail in any other. - Jane Austen

Writing is...being able to take something whole and fiercely alive that exists inside you in some unknowable combination of thought, feeling, physicality, and spirit, and to then store it like a genie in tense, tiny black symbols on a calm white page. - Mary Gaitstill

You can't judge a book by its cover but you can sure sell a bunch of books if you have a good one. - Jayce O'Neal

People will tell you that writing is too difficult, that it's impossible to get your work published, that you might as well hang yourself. Meanwhile, they'll keep writing and you'll have hanged yourself. - John Gardner

The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it. - Leo Rosten

When I stop working the rest of the day is posthumous. I'm only really alive when I'm writing. - Tennessee Williams

I have always held the old-fashioned opinion that the primary object of a work of fiction should be to tell a story. - Wilkie Collins

If you really want to be a writer, nobody can stop you--and if you don't, nobody can help you. - Alma Alexander

When the writer (or the artist in general) says he has worked without any thought to the rules of the process, he simply means he has was working without realizing he knew the rules. - Umberto Eco

Some days you don't feel like doing your job. But there is no 'teacher's block' or 'dentist's block.' I can's figure out why we have created this mysterious phrase...only for writers..which only means 'don't feel like doing this right now.' - Lois Lowry

I write because I must. It's not a choice or a pastime, it's an unyielding calling and my passion. - Elizabeth Reyes

What could be more encouraging to the struggling writer that to realize his/her work is unquestionably better than that of someone who actually got paid for his/her stuff? - Stephen King

The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon. - Robert Cormier

Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck. - Iris Murdoch

To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man. - Aristotle

For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can. - Ernest Hemingway

There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they'll take you. - Beatrix Potter

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world. - Philip Pullman

I do not overly-intellectualize the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story. - Tom Clancy

If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn't matter a damn how you write. - W. Somerset Maugham

Writers write while dreamers procrastinate. - Besa Kosova

Writing is a habit, an addiction, as powerful and overmastering an urge as putting a bottle to your lips or a spike in your arm. - T. C. Boyle

Write a lot, but read even more. Learn to be open to criticism. - Amanda Hocking

If you don't like someone's story, write your own. - Chinua Achebe

Writing is its own reward. - Henry Miller

Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers. - Isaac Asimov

Distinguish between mystery and confusion. It is good to keep the reader guessing. It is bad to keep the reader confused. - Rick Riordan

The faster I write, the better my output. If I'm going slow, I'm in trouble. It dreams I'm pushing the words instead of being pulled by them. - Raymond Chandler

That is part of the beauty of literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong. - F. Scott Fitzgerald

We have to be continually jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down. - Kurt Vonnegut

What do you want? What are you willing to give up to get it? Writing requires that you make sacrifices. Be prepared to work hard to be a writer. - Sandra Brown

It's hell writing and it's hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written. - Robert Hass

Write about small, self-contained incidents that are still vivid in your memory. If you remember them, it's because they contain a larger truth that your readers will recognize in their own lives. - Villiam Knowlton Zinsser

Believe in yourself and in your own voice, because there will be times in this business when you will be the only one who does... But in the end, only the strong survive. - Jayne Ann Krentz

Writers shouldn't fear criticism. Instead, they should fear silence. Criticism is healthy. It gets people thinking about your work and, even better, it get them talking and arguing. But as for silence--it is the greatest killer of writers. - Robert Fanney

Trying to write is very much like trying to put a Chinese puzzle together. We have a pattern in mind which we wish to work out in words; but the words will not fit the spaces, or, if they do, they will not match the design. - Helen Keller

I must write it all out, at any cost. Writing is thinking. It is more than living, for it is being concsious of living. - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Writing a novel is not merely going on a shopping expedition across the border to an unreal land: it is hours and years spent in the factories, the streets, the cathedrals of the imagination. - Janet Frame

No writing is wasted: the words you can't put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better. - Erin Bow

Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you've made sense of one small area. - Nadine Gordimer

Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. - Rainer Maria Rilke

I wasn't born to cook or clean, but to read and write, if you don't like me the way I am, then go fly a kite. - Besa Kosova

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows; he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. - Vita Sackville-West

Writing's inside your head! It's thinking! It's every hour of the day, every day of your life, a constant storm of pictures and voices and sometimes, if you're very lucky, insight. - Russell T. Davies

Becoming a writer is about becoming conscious. When you're conscious and writing from a place of insight and simplicity and real caring about the truth, you have the ability to throw lights on for your reader. - Ann Lamott

Writing is for ideas, action, reflection, and experience. It is not for having your ignorance exposed, your sensitivity destroyed, or your ability assessed. - Frank Smith

You don't know what love is until someone lives with you while you write a book. - Thulani Davis

Just as a good rain clears the air, a good writing day clears the psyche. - Julia Cameron

Every reader finds himself. The writer's work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself. - Marcel Proust

Most people keep their dreams to themselves, afraid to follow their hearts. Writers make their dreams a reality with each word, each line that flows from their pen. - C. K. Webb

No book an 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. - Jyoti Arora

Until you know who you are you can't write. - Salman Rushie

Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed. - Ray Bradbury

You fail only if you stop writing. - Ray Bradbury

Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way. - Ray Bradbury

I can't in good conscience tell my son that he can be whatever he wants if I have never been whatever I wanted. That is why I am a writer. - Denise Kawaii

Do you realize that all great literature is all about what a bummer if is to be a human being? Isn't it such a relief to have somebody say that? - Kurt Vonnegut

Writing is like falling in love. Even when it's hard to sit down and write, there is something distinctively adventurous about it. You're discovering the story not unlike lovers discover one another. - Jordan Legg

Fiction does not spring into the world fully grown, like Athena. It is the process of writing and rewriting that makes a fiction original, if not profound. - John Gardner

It us as easy to dream a book as it is hard to write one. - Balzac

Writing is hard work, not magic. It begins with deciding why you are writing and whom you are writing for. What is your intent? What do you want the reader to get out of it? What do you want to get out of it? It's also about making a serious time commitment and getting the project done. - Suze Orman

I am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing. - Anais Nin

I will never stop writing...Writing defines who I am. I love the feeling of holding a finished book in my hands, and then I can't wait to start the great adventure of writing the next one. - Barbara Taylor Bradford

Writing a book is a tremendous experience. It pays off intellectually. It builds credibility. It is a living engine of marketing and idea spreading, working every day to deliver your message with authority. You should write one. - Seth Godin

I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn. - Anne Frank

Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It's a way of understanding it. - Lloyd Alexander

Writing is the hardest work in the world. I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you--as if you haven't been told a million times already--that writing is harder. Lonelier. And nobler and more enriching. - Harlan Ellison

I decide who lives and dies, loves and hates, triumphs and fails...all within the universe I created from nothing. I'm a writer. - Unknown

Art is too often discounted as a secondary priority. The writer is necessary to society. - Kayla Rae Whitaker

Writing a long and substantial book is like having a friend and companion at your side, to whom you can always turn for comfort and amusement, and whose society becomes more attractive as a new and widening field of interest is lighted in your mind. - Winston Churchill

Writing is like going underwater--thank you for being there when I come back up. - Ali Shaw

Talent is extremely common. What is rare is the willingness to endure the life of the writer. - Kurt Vonnegut

The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or to say a new thing in an old way. - Richard Harding Davis

Writing is an underestimated art, you are painting colorful images in people's mind by using words of black and white. - Unknown

If you want to be a writer, you MUST do two things ABOVE all others: READ a lot and WRITE a lot. - Stephen King

Fundamentally, I started writing to save my life. Yes, my own life first. - Cherrie L. Moraga

I doubt I would have written a line...unless some minor tragedy has sort of twisted my mind out of the normal rut. - Road Dahl

Writing is the flip side of sex--it's good only when it's over. - Hunter S. Thompson

Writing is hard for every last one of us. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig. - Cheryl Strayed

There is no way of writing well and also of writing easily. - Anthony Trollope

In any art you're allowed to steal anything if you can make it better. - Ernest Hemingway

Writers turn dreams into print. - James Michener

No, there is literally nothing on the business side that I wouldn't sacrifice in a heartbeat to have an extra couple of hours' writing. Nothing. - J. K. Rowling

Don't get it right, just get it written. - James Thurber

One forges one's style on the terrible anvil of daily deadlines. - Emile Zola

Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go. - E. L. Doctorow

The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with. - William Faulkner

I still can't decide which is more fun--reading or writing. - Rex Stout

If you never write anything terrible, you will never write anything great. - Unknown

To be a writer is to open up worlds for others. - Gay Ingram

You only learn to be a better writer by actually writing. - Doris Lessing

Easy reading is damned hard writing. - Nathaniel Hawthorne

I never had any doubts about my abilities. I knew I could write. I just had to figure out how to eat while doing this. - Cormac McCarthy

Writing is the hardest work in the world not involving heavy lifting. - Pete Hamill

Your muse called. She threatened to quit if you don't start writing, right now. - Unknown

If you wish to be a writer, write! - Epictetus

Creation is a knack which is empowered by practice, and like almost any skill, it is lost if you don't practice it. - Wallace Stegner

A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. - Virginia Woolf

The desire to write grows with writing. - Desiderius Erasmus

Everybody else is working to change, persuade, tempt and control them. The best readers come to fiction to be free of all that noise. - Philip Roth

All worthy work is open to interpretations the author did not intend. Art isn't your pet--it's your kid. It grows up and talks back to you. - Joss Whedon

Black dots on paper are very enjoyable when you understand. - Adele Liles

If there is one single principle that is central to making any story more powerful, it is simply this: Raise the stakes. - Donald Maass

Suspense is achieved by information control: What you know. What the reader knows. What the characters know. - Tom Clancy

If I don't write, I become restless and ill-tempered. I become dissatisfied. My reaction to not writing is both physical and emotional. I am incomplete without my work. - Terry Brooks

I'm still in love with what I do, with the idea of making things up, so hours when I write always feel like blessed hours to me. - Stephen King

Brevity is the sister of talent. - Anton Chekhov

Notice how many of the Olympic athletes effusively thanked their mothers for their success? She drove me to my practice at four in the morning, etc. Writing is not figure skating or skiing. Your mother will not make you a writer. MY advice to any young person who wants to write is: leave home. - Paul Tehrous

The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress. - Philip Roth

What is the best way to write? Each of us has to discover her own way by writing. Writing teaches writing. No one can tell you your own secret. - Gail Sher

It's not the fear of writing that blocks people, it's fear of not writing well; something quite different. - Scott Berkun

Don't go bigger, go deeper. - Joss Whedon

You have to love [writing] in order to endure the solitude & the discipline. - Peter Benchley

I think 'slow writing' is the answer when the feeling of burn out threatens, something akin to the 'slow food' movement. Anxiety and panic are counterproductive to the creative process. - Rosaleen Love

I will write my way into another life. - Ann Patchett

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

I believe that--if you are serious about a life of writing, or indeed any creative form of expression--that you should take on this work like a holy calling. I became a writer the way other people become monks or nuns. - Elizabeth Gilbert

If a person has never given writing a try, they assume that a brilliant idea is hard to come by. But really, even if it takes some digging, ideas are out there. Just open your eyes and look at the world. Writing the ideas down, it turns out, is the real trick. - Ann Patchett

Write while the heat is in you. The writers who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. - Henry David Thoreau

Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it. - Laurence J. Peter

The most important things to remember about back story are that (a) everyone has a history and (b) most of it isn't very interesting. - Stephen King

Writing is hard work and bad for the health. - E. B. White

Writing is like sausage making in my view; you'll all by happier in the end if you just eat the final product without knowing what's gone into it. - George R. R. 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

Cram your head with characters and stories. Abuse your library privileges. Never stop looking at the world, and never stop reading to find out what sense other people have made of it. If people give you a hard time and tell you to get your nose out of a book, tell them you're working. Tell them it's research. Tell them to pipe down and leave you alone. - Jennifer Weinger

Nobody cares much whether you write or not. You just have to do it. - Natalie Goldberg

The things that make you a fuctional citizen in society--manners, discretion, cordiality--don't neccarily make you a good writer. Writing needs raw truth, wants your suffering and darkness on the table, revels in a cutting mind that takes no prisoners. - Natalie Goldberg

I have a writer's memory which makes everything worse than maybe it actually was. - Amy Tan

Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life. - Anne Lamott

Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space. - Orson Scott Card

You have to love [writing] in order to endure the solitude and the discipline. - Peter Benchely

A writer learns that easy to read is hard to write. - C. J. Heck

The writer's life: hard days, lots of work, no money, too much silence. Nobody's fault. You chose it. - Bill Barich

Becoming a writer is about becoming conscious. When you're conscious and writing from a place of insight and simplicity and real caring about the truth, you have the ability to throw the lights on for your reader. He or she will recognize his or her life and truth in what you say, in the pictures you have painted, and this decreases the terrible sense of isolation that we have all had too much of. - Anne Lamott

Four basic premises of writing: clarity, brevity, simplicity, and humanity. - William Zinsser

And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good. - John Steinbeck

Writing means sharing. It's part of the human condition to want to share things--thoughts, ideas, opinions. - Paulo Coelho

Anyone can become a writer. The trick is staying a writer. - Harlan Ellison

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth without caring twopence how often it has been told before you will, nine times out of ten, become original without every having noticed it. - C. S. Lewis

A writer is a world trapped in a person. - Victor Hugo

If you hear voices inside your head, and they talk like you're not even there...you're probably an author. - Uknown

The first chapter sells the book. The last chapter sells the next book. - Mikey Spillane

You can feel good about failure. Failure means you did something. You finished the story even if it wasn't what you'd hoped. Faiure means you're learning. Growing. Doing. - Chuck Wendig

There is no real ending. It's just the place where you stop the story. - Frank Herbert

Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence. - Alice Walker

There are two kinds of writing; the one you write and the one that writes you. The one that writes you is dangerous. You go where you don't want to go. You look where you don't want to look. - Jeanette Winterson

When you start putting pen to paper, you see a side of your personal truth that doesn't otherwise reveal itself in conversation or thought. - Anthony Kiedis

If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambing. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorius books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. - Rad Bradbury

Here's what I love: I love sitting at my desk, staring at the blank screen, and beginning that conversation with my imaginary friends. - Brad Meltzer

In writing, productivity is everything. – David Farland

The best style is the style you don't notice. - Somerset Maugham

You know you're a writer when...you have to explain that the sentence fragment was not an error. It was a deliberate stylistic choice. - Unknown

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. - Franz Kafka

Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there'll always be better writers than you and there'll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that--but you are the only you. - Neil Gaiman

What doesn't kill us gives us something new to write about. - Julie Wright

The advantage of writing from experience is that it often provides you with details that you would never think of yourself, no matter how rich your imagination. - Christopher Paolini

We have this idea that we need to be in the mood to write. We don't. - Julie Cameron

Writers are a superiod breed. No one else can face so much rejection and still thrive. - Susie Smith

If you have not done things worthy of being written about, at least write things worthy of being read. - Giacomo Casanova

Don't lament so much about how your career is going to turn out. You don't have a career. You have a life. Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue. Keep writing. And quit your b***hing (bitching). Your book has a birthday. You don't know that it is yet. - Cheryl Strayed

Don't just plan to write--write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style. - P. D. James

One writes to make a home for oneself, on paper, in time and in others' minds. - Alfred Kazin

A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it. - Ernest Hemingway

YOu must understand that when you are writing a novel you are not making anything up. It's all there and you just have to find it. - Thomas Harris

Writers write about what obsesses them. You draw those cards. I lost my mother when I was 14. My daughter died at the age of 6. I lost my faith as a Catholic. when I'm writing, the darkness is always there. I got where the pain is. - Anne Rice

Ending a novel is almost like putting a child to sleep--it can't be done abruptly. - Colm Toibin

For the length of time it takes to write a book, you need to believe that you're the only writer in existence; the only one who matters. You need to shut yourself away and allow the creativity to build up, not leak out through worry and comparisons and doubt. - Martin Cosgrove

That's why I write, because except in retrospect. You can't control life, at least you can control your version. - Chuck Lalahniuk

That is why I write--to try to turn sadness into longing, solitude into remembrance. - Paulo Coelho

Why does one begin to write? Because she feels misunderstood, I guess. Because it never comes out clearly enough when she tries to speak. Because she wants to rephrase the world, to take in and give it back differently, so that everything is used and nothing is lost. Because it's something to pass the time until she is old enough to experience the things she writes about. - Nicole Krauss

Fiction is lies; we're writing about people who never existed and events that never happened when we write fiction, whether it's science fiction or fantasy or western mystery stories or so-called literary stories. All those things are essentially untrue. But it has to have a truth at the core ot it. - George R. R. Martin

The odd thing about being a writer is you do tend to lose yourself in your books. Sometimes it seems like real life is flickering by and you're hardly a part of it. You remember the events in your books better than you remember the events that actually took place when you were writing them. - George R. R. Martin

I believe that a writer learns from every story he writes, and when you try different things, you learn different lessons. - George R. R. Martin

When we read, we start at the beginning and continue until we reach the end. When we write, we start in the middle and fight our way out. - Vickie Karp

Being a good writer is 3% hard work and 97% not getting distracted by the Internet. - Unknown

Dear Writer,
Please do me right now. On the kichen table. In your bed. On the couch. Hell, I'll even take the floor in front of the TV. I don't care. I just need you to do me like I've never been done before.
Sincerely, Your Writing.
- Unknown

Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them are called 'mad' and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called 'writers' and they do pretty much the same thing. - Ray Bradbury

Writing is a job, a talent, but it's also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginery friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon. - Ann Patchett

People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back on the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it. - Harlan Ellison

Here's the thing: The book that will most change your life is the book you write. - Seth Godin

Becoming a writer is not a 'career decision' like becoming a doctor or a policeman. You don't choose it so much as get chosen, and once you accept the fact that you're not fit for anything else, you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days. - Paul Auster

Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way. - Ray Bradbury

Great fiction is fueled by bad decisions and human weakness. - Kristen Lamb

Blessed are the weird people: poets, misfits, writers, mystics, painters, troubadours: For they teach us to see the world through different eyes. - Jacob Nordby

We are working not for work's sake. What we are trying to do is find a way to release the truth that lies in all of us. - Ray Bradbury

There is nothing more valuable in the writing process than a friend to hold you accountable to your own potential. - J.R. Young

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. - Gwendolyn Brooks

The best books come from someplace deep inside. You don't write because you want to, but because you have to. - Judy Blume

I had years of no one coming to my signings. - George R. R. Martin

The greatest rules of dramatic writing are conflict, conflict, conflict. - James Frey

All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don’t get plumbers block, and doctors don’t get doctors block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expects sympathy for it? - Philip Pullman

In creative writing classes in college, the professors will say, ‘Write what you know.’ And that’s often misinterpreted to mean you should write a thinly veiled autobiography. [Like] a graduate student in English Literature at University, writing a story in which the hero is a graduate student in English Literature at University. It would seem to, on the surface, disallow science fiction and fantasy and so forth, since none of us are actually barbarians or knights or lords or even peasants. But I think you have to interpret ‘Write what you know’ much more broadly than that. We’re talking about emotional truth here. We’re talking about reaching inside here to make your characters real. If you’re going to write about a character witnessing a loved one die, you have to dig into yourself, and say, “Did you ever remember losing a loved one?” Even if it’s only a dog that you loved as a child or something. Tap that vein of emotional energy. In some ways, it’s not terribly different from what method actors do…. We observe other people from the outside. The only person we ever really know inside and out is ourselves, and we have to reach into ourselves to find the power that makes great fiction real. – George R. R. Martin

What the detective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order. – P. D. James

When I was 26, I wrote my first mystery, ‘The Thomas Berryman Number’, and it was turned down by, I don’t know, 31 publishers. Then it won an Edgar for Best First Novel. Go figure. – James Patterson

It’s in literature that true life can be found. It’s under the mask of fiction that you can tell the truth. - Gao Xingjian

Fiction is the true inside the lie. - Stephen King

When a good writer is having fun, the audience is almost always having fun too. - stephen King

Nothing can destroy the good writer. The only thing that can alter the good writer is death. Good ones don't have time to bother with success or getting rich. - William Faulkner

Imagine that you are dying. If you had a terminal disease would you finish this book? Why not? The thing that annoys this 10-weeks-to-live self is the thing that is wrong with the book. So change it. Stop arguing with yourself. Change it. See? Easy. And no one had to die. – Anne Enright

I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within. - Gustave Flaubert

A poet can survive everything but a misprint. - Oscar Wilde

So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads. -Dr Seuss

Use the smallest word that does the job. -E.B. White

If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. -George Orwell

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. -Leonardo da Vinci

I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight, to create a sense of the hunger of life that gnaws in us all, to keep alive in our hearts a sense of the inexpressibly human. - Richard Wright

When you wish to instruct, be brief. Every word that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind. -Cicero

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. -Thomas Jefferson

I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle. - Kurt Vonnegut

Find some way to put your heart on the page. Write like it matters. Don't concentrate on the market; concentrate on your heart. - Kate DiCamillo

Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For those two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people. - Roald Dahl

The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple. Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home. - John Campbell

I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly. - Edgar Rice Burroughs

It doesn't matter what you write, what you believe will show through. - Theodore Sturgeon

A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. -Thomas Mann, novelist, Nobel laureate (1875-1955)

Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book. - Cicero (106BC-43BC)

What an author likes to write most is his signature on the back of a check. - Brendan Francis

Sure, 90% of science fiction is crud. That's because 90% of everything is crud. - Theodore Sturgeon, science fiction author

That's one thing people forget about science fiction. So many new authors focus on the science and forget that a good story is not about the science...any more than a Victorian novel is about the scenery. - Jeff Robinson

This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don’t consider it rejected. Consider that you’ve addressed it 'to the editor who can appreciate my work' and it has simply come back stamped 'not at this address.' Just keep looking for the right address. - Barbara Kingsolver

So take heart. NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING. Write on! Only make it the very best you can. The very best. - William Goldman

NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING.
If there is a Roman numeral I to this book, that's it. ...
Again, for emphasis -- NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING
Not one person in the entire motion picture field KNOWS for a certainty what's going to work. Every time out it's a guess...
They don't know [if it will work] when the movie is finished...
Did you know that Raiders of the Lost Ark was offered to every single studio in town, and THEY ALL TURNED IT DOWN?
All except Paramount.
Why did Paramount say yes? Because nobody knows anything. And why did all the other studios say no? Because nobody knows anything. And why did Universal, the mightiest studio of all, pass on Star Wars, a decision that just may cost them, when all the sequels and spinoffs and toy money and book money and video-game money are totaled, over a BILLION dollars? Because nobody, NOBODY -- not now, not ever -- knows the least goddamn thing about what is or isn't going to work at the box office.
Columbia had been sizzling, but then Annie went wildly over budget. And an expensive action film wouldn't cut together coherently. And everybody knew the set of Tootsie was not where you wanted to spend your summer vacation.
And they had passed on E.T.
Columbia had had it, developed it for a million dollars, took a survey, and discovered the audience for the movie would be too limited to make it profitable. So they let it go. (Universal picked it up and may make back the billion they didn't earn by dropping Star Wars.)
- William Goldman

I felt gratified that my first novel was well received, but I discovered that no matter how well you think things through with a novel, you’re apt to make mistakes.- David Farland

Hard writing makes easy reading. Easy writing makes hard reading. - William Zinsser

I will write my way into another life. - Ann Patchett

Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become. - C. S. Lewis

In creative writing classes in college, the professors will say, ‘Write what you know.’ And that’s often misinterpreted to mean you should write a thinly veiled autobiography. [Like] a graduate student in English Literature at University, writing a story in which the hero is a graduate student in English Literature at University. It would seem to, on the surface, disallow science fiction and fantasy and so forth, since none of us are actually barbarians or knights or lords or even peasants. But I think you have to interpret ‘Write what you know’ much more broadly than that. We’re talking about emotional truth here. We’re talking about reaching inside here to make your characters real. If you’re going to write about a character witnessing a loved one die, you have to dig into yourself, and say, “Did you ever remember losing a loved one?” Even if it’s only a dog that you loved as a child or something. Tap that vein of emotional energy. In some ways, it’s not terribly different from what method actors do…. We observe other people from the outside. The only person we ever really know inside and out is ourselves, and we have to reach into ourselves to find the power that makes great fiction real. - Elmore Leonard

It’s in literature that true life can be found. It’s under the mask of fiction that you can tell the truth. - Gao Xingjian

No one can tell your story so tell it yourself. No one can write your story so write it yourself - Unknown

Writers see the world differently. Every voice we hear, every face we see, every hand we touch could become story fabric. - Buffy Andrews

Every writer I know has trouble writing. - Joseph Heller

You don't start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence. - Octavia Butler

I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within. - Gustave Flaubert

Anecdotes don’t make good stories. Generally I dig down underneath them so far that the story that finally comes out is not what people thought their anecdotes were about. - Alice Munro

We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth. - Romain Rolland

Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying. - Arthur C. Clarke

Literature is air, and I’m suffocating in mediocrity. - Armand Assante

Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space. - Orson Scott Card

The one way of tolerating existence is to lose oneself in literature as in a perpetual orgy. - Gustave Flaubert

The fact of storytelling hints at a fundamental human unease, hints at human imperfection. Where there is perfection there is no story to tell. - Ben Okri

Writing is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none. - Jules Renard

As you're reading this, your life's
getting shorter. It's ticking away.
I'm not saying this to frighten you. Or even scare you.
Though it may. I'm saying this to you to awaken you.
To inspire you. To rise you out of your deep slumber.
To really know you won't live forever.
To share your unique gifts.
To ignite your great inner fire.
To ignite your great inner strength.
To ignite your great inner light.
To shine.
Brightly shine.
To ignite your great inner beauty. To motivate.
Yourself and others.
To love. Yourself and others.
To paint. To write. To teach. To innovate. To sing.
To dance. To care. To feel. To listen. To learn. To laugh.
The clock's ticking. The world needs you.
Make your move.
- Mike Litman

I don't believe in personal immortality; the only way I expect to have some version of such a thing is through my books. - Isaac Asimov

When I am dead,
I hope it may be said:
His sins were scarlet,
but his books were read.
- Hilaire Belloc

Someday I hope to write a book where the royalties will pay for the copies I give away. - Clarence Darrow

The difference between reality and fiction? Fiction has to make sense. - Tom Clancy

Practice listening (and using all of your senses) as if it were a form of meditation. Your job as a writer is to project your readers into the reality you create, so you must learn to be so aware of reality that you can create a detailed simulacrum of it. - Don Muchow

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

There's a difference between writing for a living and writing for life. If you write for a living, you make enormous compromises, and you might not even be able to uncompromise yourself. If you write for life, you'll work hard; you'll do what's honest, not what pays. - Toni Morrison

What makes a story tick? The time bomb that's set to explode on the next page. --Gordon R. Dickson

My biggest obstacle was that I wasn't listening to my writing voice.' ....I really do believe that we have a writing voice and that we have to discover what it is. Often, what we think we want to write is not what we were meant to write. - George Edward Stanley - *Scaredy Cats* Series, Simon & Schuster

The most original authors are not so because they advance what is new, but because they put what they have to say as if it had never been said before. - Goethe

If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. - Toni Morrison

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. - Red Smith

All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality - the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape. - Arthur Christopher Benson

Clear writers assume, with a pessimism born of experience, that whatever isn't plainly stated the reader will invariably misconstrue. - John R. Trimble

The covers of this book are too far apart. - Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

If someone tells you politely that you have a persistent problem with one aspect of writing, treat it like they've told you have spinach on your teeth or your fly is open. Once it's happened in front of friends, don't allow it to happen in front of strangers. - Don Muchow

Some old lady said that my book left a bad taste in her mouth. I wrote back to her and said, You weren't supposed to eat it. - Flannery O'Connor

I'm all in favor of taking dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters. --Frank Loyd Wright

Sit down to write what you have thought, and not to think about what you shall write. - William Cobbett

If the writer has a masterpiece within, he had better save it on paper. Otherwise, none of us will ever miss it. - Steve Martini

Asked how he became a writer: In the same way that a woman becomes a prostitute. First I did it to please myself, then I did it to please my friends, and finally I did it for money. -- Ferenc Molnar

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. - Sharon O’Brien

Easy reading is damn hard writing. - Nathaniel Hawthorne

I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top. - English Professor (Name Unknown), Ohio University

Only write from your own passion, your own truth. That's the only thing you really know about, and anything else leads you away from the pulse. - Marianne Williamson

Never save anything for your next book, because that possible creation may not be properly shaped to hold the thoughts you're working with today. In fiction especially, anything that could happen, should happen. - Tam Mossman

To write simply is as difficult as to be good. - W. Somerset Maugham

No one put a gun to your head and ordered you to become a writer. One writes out of his own choice and must be prepared to take the rough spots along the road with a certain equanimity, though allowed some grinding of the teeth. - Stanley Ellin

If writers were good businessmen, they'd have too much sense to be writers. - Irvin S. Cobb

Writing energy is like anything else: The more you put in, the more you get out. - Richard Reeves

The most valuable writing habit I have is not to answer questions about my writing habits. - Christopher Morley

The demonic paradox of writing: when you put something down that happened, people often don't believe it; whereas you can make up anything, and people assume it must have happened to you. - Andrew Holleran

Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators. - Albert Camus

Good writers are in the business of leaving signposts saying, tour my world, see and feel it through my eyes; I am your guide. - Larry King

A writer without interest or sympathy for the foibles of his fellow man is not conceivable as a writer. - Joseph Conrad

No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader’s intelligence or whose attitude is patronizing. - Joseph Conrad

Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Fiction is about stuff that’s screwed up. - Nancy Kress

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