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Quotes About Writing

Quotes tagged as "writing" (showing 331-360 of 3,000)
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“There is creative reading as well as creative writing.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tim O'Brien
“That's what fiction is for. It's for getting at the truth when the truth isn't sufficient for the truth.”
Tim O'Brien

Ian McEwan
“A story was a form of telepathy. By means of inking symbols onto a page, she was able to send thoughts and feelings from her mind to her reader's. It was a magical process, so commonplace that no one stopped to wonder at it.”
Ian McEwan, Atonement

Harper Lee
“Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself...It's a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.”
Harper Lee

Douglas Adams
“My favourite piece of information is that Branwell Brontë, brother of Emily and Charlotte, died standing up leaning against a mantle piece, in order to prove it could be done.

This is not quite true, in fact. My absolute favourite piece of information is the fact that young sloths are so inept that they frequently grab their own arms and legs instead of tree limbs, and fall out of trees.

However, this is not relevant to what is currently on my mind because it concerns sloths, whereas the Branwell Brontë piece of information concerns writers and feeling like death and doing things to prove they can be done, all of which are pertinent to my current situation to a degree that is, frankly, spooky.”
Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

Jarod Kintz
“Is a picture really worth a thousand words? What thousand words? A thousand words from a lunatic, or a thousand words from Nietzsche? Actually, Nietzsche was a lunatic, but you see my point. What about a thousand words from a rambler vs. 500 words from Mark Twain? He could say the same thing quicker and with more force than almost any other writer. One thousand words from Ginsberg are not even worth one from Wilde. It’s wild to declare the equivalency of any picture with any army of 1,000 words. Words from a writer like Wordsworth make you appreciate what words are worth.”
Jarod Kintz, This is the best book I've ever written, and it still sucks

Jarod Kintz
“It’s not: I jumped in, and it was cold. No. It was cold, and I jumped in. Always arrange a sentence so you appear to be fearless, when in fact you are far less than fearless—you are clueless.”
Jarod Kintz, At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.

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

Madeleine L'Engle
“I have advice for people who want to write. I don't care whether they're 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can't be a writer if you're not a reader. It's the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it's for only half an hour — write, write, write.”
Madeleine L'Engle

Coco J. Ginger
“You don’t deserve my image in your head. You don’t deserve my memories in your chest.”
Coco J. Ginger

Ann Brashares
“I was supposed to write a romantic comedy, but my characters broke up.”
Ann Brashares, The Second Summer of the Sisterhood

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

Toni Morrison
“I never asked Tolstoy to write for me, a little colored girl in Lorain, Ohio. I never asked [James] Joyce not to mention Catholicism or the world of Dublin. Never. And I don't know why I should be asked to explain your life to you. We have splendid writers to do that, but I am not one of them. It is that business of being universal, a word hopelessly stripped of meaning for me. Faulkner wrote what I suppose could be called regional literature and had it published all over the world. That's what I wish to do. If I tried to write a universal novel, it would be water. Behind this question is the suggestion that to write for black people is somehow to diminish the writing. From my perspective there are only black people. When I say 'people,' that's what I mean.”
Toni Morrison

Flannery O'Connor
“There is something in us, as storytellers and as listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands that what falls at least be offered the chance to be restored. The reader of today looks for this motion, and rightly so, but what he has forgotten is the cost of it. His sense of evil is diluted or lacking altogether, and so he has forgotten the price of restoration. When he reads a novel, he wants either his sense tormented or his spirits raised. He wants to be transported, instantly, either to mock damnation or a mock innocence.”
Flannery O'Connor, Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose

Alice Munro
“A story is not like a road to follow … it's more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.”
Alice Munro, Selected Stories, 1968-1994

William Shakespeare
“Like madness is the glory of life.”
William Shakespeare

Fernando Pessoa
“I'm astounded whenever I finish something. Astounded and distressed. My perfectionist instinct should inhibit me from finishing: it should inhibit me from even beginning. But I get distracted and start doing something. What I achieve is not the product of an act of my will but of my will's surrender. I begin because I don't have the strength to think; I finish because I don't have the courage to quit. This book is my cowardice.”
Fernando Pessoa

Criss Jami
“When you're socially awkward, you're isolated more than usual, and when you're isolated more than usual, your creativity is less compromised by what has already been said and done. All your hope in life starts to depend on your craft, so you try to perfect it. One reason I stay isolated more than the average person is to keep my creativity as fierce as possible. Being the odd one out may have its temporary disadvantages, but more importantly, it has its permanent advantages.”
Criss Jami, Killosophy

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

Woody Allen
“You rely too much on brain. The brain is the most overrated organ.”
Woody Allen

Edgar Allan Poe
“A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.”
Edgar Allan Poe

Virginia Woolf
“Was not writing poetry a secret transaction, a voice answering a voice?”
Virginia Woolf, Orlando

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

Jarod Kintz
“People always ask me if I’m into sports, and I say, “Well, isn’t writing a sport? If you’re doing it right, and you have a deadline, you should be sweating.”
Jarod Kintz, Who Moved My Choose?: An Amazing Way to Deal With Change by Deciding to Let Indecision Into Your Life

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

James Joyce
“Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives. The English reading public explains the reason why.”
James Joyce

Stephen Fry
“I have written it before and am not ashamed to write it again. Without Wodehouse I am not sure that I would be a tenth of what I am today -- whatever that may be. In my teenage years, his writings awoke me to the possibilities of language. His rhythms, tropes, tricks and mannerisms are deep within me.
But more than that, he taught me something about good nature. It is enough to be benign, to be gentle, to be funny, to be kind.”
Stephen Fry

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

Raymond Chandler
“Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon.”
Raymond Chandler

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