Quotes About Writing

Quotes tagged as "writing" (showing 331-360 of 3,000)
Leo Tolstoy
“The best stories don't come from "good vs. bad" but "good vs. good.”
Leo Tolstoy

Nicole Krauss
“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 it in and give it back again differently, so that everything is used and nothing is lost. Because it's something to do to pass the time until she is old enough to experience the things she writes about.”
Nicole Krauss

Nathaniel Hawthorne
“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

Stephen King
“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, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

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

Markus Zusak
“...there would be punishment and pain, and there would be happiness, too. That was writing.”
Markus Zusak

Anne Lamott
“If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

W. Somerset Maugham
“Only a mediocre person is always at his best. ”
W. Somerset Maugham

Philip Pullman
“I am a strong believer in the tyranny, the dictatorship, the absolute authority of the writer.”
Philip Pullman

Criss Jami
“When a poet digs himself into a hole, he doesn't climb out. He digs deeper, enjoys the scenery, and comes out the other side enlightened.”
Criss Jami, Venus in Arms

Ernest Hemingway
“If a writer stops observing he is finished. Experience is communicated by small details intimately observed.”
Ernest Hemingway

Octavia E. Butler
“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, Bloodchild and Other Stories

Henry David Thoreau
“Write while the heat is in you. The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. He cannot inflame the minds of his audience.”
Henry David Thoreau

Stephen King
“Let's get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn't to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

William Shakespeare
“Like madness is the glory of this life.”
William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens

Ludwig van Beethoven
“I would rather write 10,000 notes than a single letter of the alphabet.”
Ludwig van Beethoven

Julia Quinn
“I can't imagine a romance novel published today where the hero rapes the heroine and she falls in love with him.”
Julia Quinn

Stephen King
“The trick is to teach yourself to read in small sips as well as long swallows.”
Stephen King

Junot Díaz
“You guys know about vampires? … You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all. I was like, “Yo, is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don’t exist?" And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might see themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it.”
Junot Díaz

Cormac McCarthy
“I don't know why I started writing. I don't know why anybody does it. Maybe they're bored, or failures at something else.”
Cormac McCarthy

Frank Herbert
“The gift of words is the gift of deception and illusion.”
Frank Herbert, Children of Dune

Mark Twain
“Write what you know.”
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer & Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Junot Díaz
“You see, in my view a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. 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."

[Becoming a Writer/ The List, O Magazine, November 2009]”
Junot Díaz

Steven Wright
“I'm writing an unauthorized autobiography.”
Steven Wright

Stephen King
“Bad writing is more than a matter of shit syntax and faulty observation; bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do― to face the fact, let us say, that murderers sometimes help old ladies cross the street.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Anne Lamott
“Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

André Gide
“Do not do what someone else could do as well as you. Do not say, do not write what someone else could say, could write as well as you. Care for nothing in yourself but what you feel exists nowhere else. And, out of yourself create, impatiently or patiently, the most irreplaceable of beings.”
André Gide

Margaret Atwood
“It's impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because of what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too many parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances; too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described, too many flavors, in the air or on the tongue, half-colors, too many.”
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

Ernest Hemingway
“Remember to get the weather in your damn book--weather is very important.”
Ernest Hemingway

Franz Kafka
“The Kafka paradox: art depends on truth, but truth, being indivisable, cannot know itself: to tell the truth is to lie. thus the writer is the truth, and yet when he speaks he lies.”
Franz Kafka

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