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Quotes About Writers On Writing

Quotes tagged as "writers-on-writing" (showing 1-30 of 356)
Marcel Proust
“Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer's work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader's recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book's truth.”
Marcel Proust, Time Regained

George R.R. Martin
“I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they're going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there's going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don't know how many branches it's going to have, they find out as it grows. And I'm much more a gardener than an architect.”
George R.R. Martin

Junot Díaz
“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 Díaz

Lili St. Crow
“Discipline allows magic. To be a writer is to be the very best of assassins. You do not sit down and write every day to force the Muse to show up. You get into the habit of writing every day so that when she shows up, you have the maximum chance of catching her, bashing her on the head, and squeezing every last drop out of that bitch.”
Lili St. Crow

Red Haircrow
“Dance above the surface of the world. Let your thoughts lift you into creativity that is not hampered by opinion.”
Red Haircrow

Marguerite Duras
“When it's in a book I don't think it'll hurt any more ...exist any more. One of the things writing does is wipe things out. Replace them.”
Marguerite Duras, The Lover

Joan Didion
“The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself. I suppose that it begins or does not begin in the cradle. Although I have felt compelled to write things down since I was five years old, I doubt that my daughter ever will, for she is a singularly blessed and accepting child, delighted with life exactly as life presents itself to her, unafraid to go to sleep and unafraid to wake up. Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss.”
Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Robert Galbraith
“...writers are a savage breed, Mr. Strike. If you want life-long friendship and selfless camaraderie, join the army and learn to kill. If you want a lifetime of temporary alliances with peers who will glory in your every failure, write novels.”
Robert Galbraith, The Silkworm

“Those who write are writers. Those who wait are waiters.”
A. Lee Martinez

Eudora Welty
“I am a writer who came froma sheltered life. A sheltered life can be a daring life as well. For all serious daring starts from within.”
Eudora Welty, On Writing

Ernest Hemingway
“Mice: What is the best early training for a writer?

Y.C.: An unhappy childhood.”
Ernest Hemingway, Ernest Hemingway on Writing

Kurt Vonnegut
“I realize that some of you may have come in hopes of hearing tips on how to
become a professional writer. I say to you, "If you really want to hurt your
parents, and you don't have the nerve to be a homosexual, the least you can
do is go into the arts. But do not use semicolons. They are transvestite
hermaphrodites, standing for absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've
been to college.”
Kurt Vonnegut

C. JoyBell C.
“Living is about capturing the essence of things. I go through my life every day with a vial, a vial wherein can be found precious essential oils of every kind! The priceless, fragrant oils that are the essence of my experiences, my thoughts. I walk inside a different realm from everybody else, in that I am existing in the essence of things; every time there is reason to smile, I hold out my glass vial and capture that drop of oil, that essence, and then I smile. And that is why I have smiled, and so you and I may be smiling at the same time but I am smiling because of that one drop of cherished, treasured oil that I have extracted. When I write, I find no need to memorize an idea, a plot, a sequence of things: no. I must only capture the essence of a feeling or a thought and once I have inhaled that aroma, I know that I have what I need.”
C. JoyBell C.

F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Mostly, we authors must repeat ourselves - that's the truth. We have two or three great and moving experiences in our lives - experiences so great and moving that it doesn't seem at the time anyone else has been so caught up and so pounded and dazzled and astonished and beaten and broken and rescued and illuminated and rewarded and humbled in just that way ever before.

Then we learn our trade, well or less well, and we tell our two or three stories - each time in a new disguise - maybe ten times, maybe a hundred, as long as people will listen.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Amy Joy
“Anyone who says writing is easy isn't doing it right.”
Amy Joy

Paul Simon
“You want to be a writer, don't know how or when? Find a quiet place, use a humble pen.”
Paul Simon

“Don’t try to be different. Just be good. To be good is different enough.”
Arthur Freed

“Five common traits of good writers: (1) They have something to say. (2) They read widely and have done so since childhood. (3) They possess what Isaac Asimov calls a "capacity for clear thought," able to go from point to point in an orderly sequence, an A to Z approach. (4) They're geniuses at putting their emotions into words. (5) They possess an insatiable curiosity, constantly asking Why and How.”
James J. Kilpatrick

Karen Luellen
“If you're a writer, you'll know it by the distinct feeling of only being able to breathe properly when alone with your characters. All other times, I'm panting--just pining for the next time I can be with them.”
Karen Luellen, Winter's Awakening: The Metahumans Emerge

Christie Silvers
“Just me, my music, and the voices in my head.”
Christie Silvers

“All you have to do is put one word after another, and remember how great it feels to be a writer.”
Stephanie Lennox

Red Haircrow
“I write to believe in goodness.”
Red Haircrow

Stephen King
“There are lots of guys out there who write a better prose line than I do and who have a better understanding of what people are really like and what humanity is supposed to mean – hell, I know that.”
Stephen King, Misery

Steven Brust
“Because here’s the thing: No matter how much one tells stories of magical beasts or impossible worlds, in the end, it is always the world of here and now one is writing about. The better one understands that world, the more powerful the stories will be.”
Steven Brust

Inez Kelley
“Dear Aspiring Writer, you are not ready. Stop. Put that finished story away and start another one. In a month, go back and look at the first story. RE-EDIT it. Then send it to a person you respect in the field who will be hard on you. Pray for many many many red marks. Fix them. Then put it away for two weeks. Work on something else. Finally, edit one last time. Now you are ready to sub your first work.

Criticism is hard to take at first. Trust me, I've been there. But learn to think of crit marks as a knife. Each one is designed to cut away the bad and leave a scar. Scars prove you've lived, learned and walked away a winner. Any writer who tells you they don't need edits is lying. I don't care if they have 100 books out. Edits make you grow and if you aren't growing as a writer, you are dead.”
Inez Kelley

Boria Sax
“We writers constantly try to build up our own confidence by getting published, making sales, winning prizes, joining cliques or proclaiming theories. The passion to write constantly strips this vanity aside and forces us to confront that loneliness and the uncertainty with which human beings, in the end, live and die.”
Boria Sax

Gerard de Marigny
“A writer fails, not when a reader is not moved; but when, as a reader, the writer is not moved.”
Gerard de Marigny, Signs of War

Cyril Connolly
“A great writer creates a world of his own and his readers are proud to live in it. A lesser writer may entice them in for a moment, but soon he will watch them filing out.”
Cyril Connolly

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