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Writing Quotes

Book Quotes and Quotes about Writing

Book Pages with Heart Shape Writing Quotes


If you want to write, pour your heart into it and love will emerge from it’s pages. Happy Life Quotes

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


Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. William Wordsworth

There are thousands of thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen and writes. William Makepeace Thackeray

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

A classic is classic not because it conforms to certain structural rules, or fits certain definitions (of which its author had quite probably never heard). It is classic because of a certain eternal and irrepressible freshness. Edith Wharton

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

A good style should show no signs of effort. What is written should seem a happy accident. W. Somerset Maugham

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

A man will turn over half a library to make one book. Samuel Johnson

A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure. Henry David Thoreau

A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end… but not necessarily in that order. Jean Luc Godard

A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one. Baltasar Gracián

A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket. Charles Peguy

A writer’s mind seems to be situated partly in the solar plexus and partly in the head. Ethel Wilson

A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. Thomas Mann

A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer. Karl Kraus

A year ago, six months ago, I thought I was an artist. I no longer think about it, I am. Henry Rollins

All my best thoughts were stolen by the ancients. Ralph Waldo Emerson

An author in his book must be like God in the universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere. Gustave Flaubert

An author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it. Colette

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

As for my next book, I am going to hold myself from writing it till I have it impending in me: grown heavy in my mind like a ripe pear; pendant, gravid, asking to be cut or it will fall. Virginia Woolf

As to the adjective, when in doubt, strike it out. Mark Twain

Asking a writer what he thinks about criticism is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs. John Osborne

Authors and lovers always suffer some infatuation, from which only absence can set them free. Samuel Johnson

Be obscure clearly. E.B. White

Becoming a writer means being creative enough to find the time and the place in your life for writing. Heather Sellers

Being an author is having angels whisper in your ear – and devils, too. Graycie Harmon

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

Books want to be born: I never make them. They come to me and insist on being written, and on being such and such. Samuel Butler

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. Scott Adams

Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen? Friedrich Nietzsche

Don’t die with unwritten words still in your heart. If you want to write, start writing now and don’t wait a moment longer…that desire is there for a reason. Happy Life Quotes

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. Anton Chekhov

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

Drama, instead of telling us the whole of a man’s life, must place him in such a situation, tie such a knot, that when it is untied, the whole man is visible. Leo Tolstoy

Easy reading is damn hard writing. Nathaniel Hawthorne

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. Ben Franklin

Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will. Goethe

Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. The chasm is never completely bridged. We all have the conviction, perhaps illusory, that we have much more to say than appears on the paper. Isaac Bashevis Singer

Every great and original writer, in proportion as he is great and original, must himself create the taste by which he is to be relished. William Wordsworth

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

Every writer I know has trouble writing. Joseph Heller

Fiction is a pack of lies that masquerades as truth. Don’t risk spoiling your carefully crafted lies with too much truth—or with too little. Randy Ingermanson

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

For me, a page of good prose is where one hears the rain [and] the noise of battle. John Cheever

Having imagination, it takes you an hour to write a paragraph that, if you were unimaginative, would take you only a minute. Or you might not write the paragraph at all. Franklin P. Adams, Half a Loaf, 1927

He that uses many words for the explaining any subject doth, like the cuttlefish, hide himself for the most part in his own ink. John Ray

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. Henry David Thoreau, Journal, 19 August 1851

I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent re-writer. James Michener

I asked Ring Lardner the other day how he writes his short stories, and he said he wrote a few widely separated words or phrases on a piece of paper and then went back and filled in the spaces. Harold Ross

I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work. Pearl S. Buck

I do not like to write – I like to have written. Gloria Steinem

I even shower with my pen, in case any ideas drip out of the waterhead. Graycie Harmon

I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts. John Locke

I keep little notepads all over the place to write down ideas as soon as they strike, but the ones that fill up the quickest are always the ones at my nightstand. Terri Guillemets

More Writing Quotes

I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork. Peter De Vries

I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. James Michener

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

I want to write books that unlock the traffic jam in everybody’s head. John Updike

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again. Oscar Wilde

If I’m trying to sleep, the ideas won’t stop. If I’m trying to write, there appears a barren nothingness. Carrie Latet

If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad. Lord Byron

If I fall asleep with a pen in my hand, don’t remove it – I might be writing in my dreams. Terri Guillemets

If a true artist were born in a pigpen and raised in a sty, he would still find plenty of inspiration for his work. The only need is the eye to see. Willa Cather

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

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

If writers stopped writing about what happened to them, then there would be a lot of empty pages. Elaine Liner

If you can’t play all the instruments in the orchestra of story, no matter what music may be in your imagination, you’re condemned to hum the same old tune. Robert McKee

If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time or the tools to write. Stephen King

If you want to get rich from writing, write the sort of thing that’s read by persons who move their lips when they’re reading to themselves. Don Marquis

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

Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies. Terri Guillemets

Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn’t we? Terri Guillemets

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

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…Vita Sackville-West

It is the little writer rather than the great writer who seems never to quote, and the reason is that he is never really doing anything else. Havelock Ellis

It seems to me that those songs that have been any good, I have nothing much to do with the writing of them. The words have just crawled down my sleeve and come out on the page. Joan Baez

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

Keep a diary and one day it’ll keep you. Mae West

Let’s hope the institution of marriage survives its detractors, for without it there would be no more adultery and without adultery two thirds of our novelists would stand in line for unemployment checks. Peter S. Prescott

Life can’t ever really defeat a writer who is in love with writing, for life itself is a writer’s lover until death – fascinating, cruel, lavish, warm, cold, treacherous, constant. Edna Ferber

Like most—maybe all— writers, I learned to write by writing and, by example, by reading books. Francine Prose

Literature flourishes best when it is half a trade and half an art. William Ralph Inge

Loafing is the most productive part of a writer’s life. James Norman Hall

Love letters and poems aren’t the least bit difficult to write, if you write directly from your heart into the ink and don’t channel through your brain first. Graycie Harmon

Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason. They made no such demand upon those who wrote them. Charles Caleb Colton

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

Most editors are failed writers – but so are most writers. T.S. Eliot

No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published. Russell Lynes

No man should ever publish a book until he has first read it to a woman. Van Wyck Brooks

No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous. Henry Brooks Adams

Novelists… fashioning nets to sustain and support the reader as he falls helplessly through the chaos of his own existence. Fay Weldon

One must be drenched in words, literally soaked in them, to have the right ones form themselves into the proper pattern at the right moment. Hart Crane

One ought only to write when one leaves a piece of one’s own flesh in the inkpot, each time one dips one’s pen. Leo Tolstoy

On plenty of days the writer can write three or four pages, and on plenty of other days he concludes he must throw them away. Annie Dillard

Pen names are masks that allow us to unmask ourselves. C. Astrid Weber

Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. Unknown

Publication – is the auction of the Mind of Man. Emily Dickinson

Sleep on your writing; take a walk over it; scrutinize it of a morning; review it of an afternoon; digest it after a meal; let it sleep in your drawer a twelvemonth; never venture a whisper about it to your friend, if he be an author especially. A. Bronson Alcott

Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it. Hannah Arendt

Substitute “damn” every time you’re inclined to write “very;” your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. Mark Twain

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium. Norbet Platt

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. Agatha Christie

The coroner will find ink in my veins and blood on my typewriter keys. C. Astrid Weber

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

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. Mark Twain

The maker of a sentence launches out into the infinite and builds a road into Chaos and old Night, and is followed by those who hear him with something of wild, creative delight. Ralph Waldo Emerson

The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and all time. George Bernard Shaw

The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes. André Gide, Journals 1894

The muscles of writing are not so visible, but they are just as powerful: determination, attention, curiosity, a passionate heart. Natalie Goldberg

The novelist’s ambition is not to do something better than his predecessors but to see what they did not see, say what they did not say. Milan Kundera

The only cure for writer’s block is insomnia. Merit Antares

The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible. Vladimir Nabakov

The process of writing has something infinite about it. Even though it is interrupted each night, it is one single notation. Elias Canetti

There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein. Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith

There’s only one person who needs a glass of water oftener than a small child tucked in for the night, and that’s a writer sitting down to write. Mignon McLaughlin

There are men that will make you books, and turn them loose into the world, with as much dispatch as they would do a dish of fritters. Miguel de Cervantes

The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think. Edwin Schlossberg

The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say. Mark Twain

The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new. Samuel Johnson

The wastebasket is a writer’s best friend. Isaac Bashevis Singer

The writer, like everyone else, is equipped in infancy with a thick padding of things he believes to be true, but which aren’t. Jon Franklin

The writer writes in order to teach himself, to understand himself, to satisfy himself; the publishing of his ideas, though it brings gratification, is a curious anticlimax. Alfred Kazin

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. Elbert Hubbard

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the inner music the words make. Truman Capote

To withdraw myself from myself has ever been my sole, my entire, my sincere motive in scribbling at all. Lord Byron

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

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

Whatever an author puts between the two covers of his book is public property; whatever of himself he does not put there is his private property, as much as if he had never written a word. Gail Hamilton

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

What no wife of a writer can ever understand is that a writer is working when he’s staring out of the window. Burton Rascoe

What things there are to write, if one could only write them! My mind is full of gleaming thought; gay moods and mysterious, moth-like meditations hover in my imagination, fanning their painted wings. But always the rarest, those streaked with azure and the deepest crimson, flutter away beyond my reach. Logan Pearsall Smith

What would there be in a story of happiness? Only what prepares it, only what destroys it can be told. André Gide

When a man is in doubt about this or that in his writing, it will often guide him if he asks himself how it will tell a hundred years hence. Samuel Butler

When once the itch of literature comes over a man, nothing can cure it but the scratching of a pen. But if you have not a pen, I suppose you must scratch any way you can. Samuel Lover, 1842

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

When we see a natural style we are quite amazed and delighted, because we expected to see an author and find a man. Blaise Pascal, 1670

Without a pen I feel naked, but it’s writing that is my exhibitionism. Carrie Latet

Without craft, art remains private. Without art, craft is merely hackwork. Joyce Carol Oates

Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them. Nathaniel Hawthorne

Words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes. Theodore Dreiser, 1900

Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable. Francis Bacon

Writer’s block is a disease for which there is no cure, only respite. Terri Guillemets

Writers are just people who have a whole lot on the inside that they need to get to the outside, with pen and paper as their preferred method of transport. Same with dancers, artists, and singers – all the same urges with differing transportation. Graycie Harmon

Writers are not just people who sit down and write. They hazard themselves.
Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake. E.L. Doctorow

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

Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting 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

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

Writing comes more easily if you have something to say. Sholem Asch

Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it’s just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it. David Sedaris

Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself. Truman Capote

Writing is a product of silence. Carrie Latet

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

Writing is a struggle against silence. Carlos Fuentes

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

Writing is both mask and unveiling. E.B. White

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

Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself—it is the occurring which is difficult. Stephen Leacock

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

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

You could compile the worst book in the world entirely out of selected passages from the best writers in the world. G.K. Chesterton

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

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. Unknown

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


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