Quotes About Writing

Quotes tagged as "writing" (showing 1,801-1,830 of 3,000)
Brenda Ueland
“Don't always be appraising yourself, wondering if you are better or worse than other writers. "I will not Reason and Compare," said Blake; "my business is to Create." Besides, since you are like no other being ever created since the beginning of Time, you are incomparable. ”
Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit

Anna Kamieńska
“I write in order to comprehend, not to express myself.”
Anna Kamieńska

Susan Sontag
“If I thought that what I'm doing when I write is expressing myself, I'd junk the typewriter. Writing is a much more complicated activity that that.”
Susan Sontag

Brenda Ueland
“Work freely and rollickingly as though you were talking to a friend who loves you. Mentally (at least three or four times a day) thumb your nose at all know-it-alls, jeerers, critics, doubters.”
Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write: A Book about Art, Independence and Spirit

Stephen King
“Many writing texts caution against asking friends to read your stuff, suggesting you're not apt to get a very unbiased opinion[.] ... It's unfair, according to this view, to put a pal in such a position. What happens if he/she feels he/she has to say, "I'm sorry, good buddy, you've written some great yarns in the past but this one sucks like a vacuum cleaner"?

The idea has some validity, but I don't think an unbiased opinion is exactly what I'm looking for. And I believe that most people smart enough to read a novel are also tactful enough to find a gentler mode of expression than "This sucks." (Although most of us know that "I think this has a few problems" actually means "This sucks," don't we?)”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Jean Webster
“What do you think is my favourite book? Just now, I mean; I change every three days. "Wuthering Heights." Emily Bronte was quite young when she wrote it, and had never been outside of Haworth churchyard. She had never known any men in her life; how could she imagine a man like Heathcliff?

I couldn't do it, and I'm quite young and never outside the John Grier Asylum - I've had every chance in the world. Sometimes a dreadful fear comes over me that I'm not a genius. Will you be awfully disappointed, Daddy, if I don't turn out to be a great author?”
Jean Webster, Daddy-Long-Legs

Lawrence Block
“If you want to write fiction, the best thing you can do is take two aspirins, lie down in a dark room, and wait for the feeling to pass.”
Lawrence Block, Writing the Novel: From Plot to Print

Marianne Moore
“Any writer overwhelmingly honest about pleasing himself is almost sure to please others.”
Marianne Moore

Charles Baxter
“When I'm writing, I'm waiting to see somebody, and I'm waiting to hear them. It's almost like conjuring spirits out of the air, using your own imaginative instability.”
Charles Baxter

Paul Valéry
“What one wrote playfully, another reads with tension and passion; what one wrote with tension and passion, another reads playfully.”
Paul Valéry

Robert   Harris
“A book unwritten is a delightful universe of infinite possibilities. Set down one word, however, and it immediately becomes earthbound. Set down one sentence and it’s halfway to being just like every other bloody book that’s ever been written.”
Robert Harris, The Ghost. A Novel.

Peter Brooks
“Woman, especially her sexuality, provides the object of endless commentary , description, supposition. But the result of all the telling only deepens the enigma and makes woman's erotic force something that male storytelling can never quite explain or contain.”
Peter Brooks

George Bernard Shaw
“In literature the ambition of the novice is to acquire the literary language; the struggle of the adept is to get rid of it.”
George Bernard Shaw

Joyce Carol Oates
“The novel is perhaps the highest art form because it so closely resembles life: it is about human relationships. It's technique, page by page, resembles our technique of living day by day--a way of relating.”
Joyce Carol Oates

Richard Ford
“It is no loss to mankind when one writer decides to call it a day. When a
tree falls in the forest, who cares but the monkeys?”
Richard Ford, The Sportswriter

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

James Joyce
“Ineluctable modality of the visible: at least that if no more, thought through my eyes. Signatures of all things I am here to read, seaspawn and seawrack, the nearing tide, that rusty boot. Snotgreen, bluesilver, rust: coloured signs. Limits of the diaphane. But he adds: in bodies. Then he was aware of them bodies before of them coloured. How? By knocking his sconce against them, sure. Go easy. Bald he was and a millionaire, MAESTRO
DI COLOR CHE SANNO. Limit of the diaphane in. Why in? Diaphane, adiaphane. If you can put your five fingers through it it is a gate, if not a door. Shut your eyes and see.”
James Joyce, Ulysses

Joyce Carol Oates
“I'm drawn to write about upstate New York in the way in which a dreamer might have recurring dreams. My childhood and girlhood were spent in upstate New York, in the country north of Buffalo and West of Rochester. So this part of New York state is very familiar to me and, with its economic difficulties, has become emblematic of much of American life.”
Joyce Carol Oates

William Hazlitt
“The only impeccable writers are those who never wrote.”
William Hazlitt

Sue Grafton
“I write letters to my right brain all the time. They're just little notes. And right brain, who likes to get little notes from me, will often come through within a day or two.”
Sue Grafton

Paul Quarrington
“I had another reason for seeking Him, for trying to espy His face, a professional one. God and literature are conflated in my mind. Why this is, I’m not sure. Perhaps because great books seem heavensent. Perhaps because I know that each nove is a puny but very valiant attempt at godlike behavior. Perhaps because there is no difference between the finest poetry and most transcendent mysticism. Perhaps because writers like Thomas Merton, who are able to enter the realm of the spirit and come away with fine, lucid prose. Perhaps because of more secular writers, like John Steinbeck, whose every passage, it seems to me, peals with religiousity and faith. It once occured to me that literature — all art really — is either talking to people about God, or talking to God about people.”
Paul Quarrington, The Boy on the Back of the Turtle: Seeking God, Quince Marmelade, and the Fabled Albatross

Sue Monk Kidd
“Finally, I began to write about becoming an older woman and the trepidation it stirred. The small, telling "betrayals" of my body. The stalled, eerie stillness in my writing, accompanied by an ache for some unlived destiny. I wrote about the raw, unsettled feelings coursing through me, the need to divest and relocate, the urge to radically simplify and distill life into a new, unknown meaning.”
Sue Monk Kidd

S.A.R.K.
“Inside" Children

Inside each of us are the children we were at each developmental stage.

With regard to our creative dreams, these inside children can prevent us from living them by "acting out" in order to try to get our attention. Your inner 5-year-old is not going to patiently wait as you learn intricate metalworking techniques or study impressionist painting. Yet, your inner 10-year-old may be perfectly suited to learn and observe new skills.

What's really needed is parenting of these inside children so that we bring them to age-appropriate activities.”
S.A.R.K.

Wendy Swore
“Sometimes writing everyday is like pulling teeth, painful, but necessary.”
Wendy Swore

Nick Hornby
“I don't mind nothing happening in a book, but nothing happening in a phony way--characters saying things people never say, doing jobs that don't fit, the whole works--is simply asking too much of a reader. Something happening in a phony way must beat nothing happening in a phony way every time, right? I mean, you could prove that, mathematically, in an equation, and you can't often apply science to literature.”
Nick Hornby, The Polysyllabic Spree

Roberto Bolaño
“Another time, talking about his books, the baroness confessed that she had never bothered to read any of them, because she hardly ever read 'difficult' or 'dark' novels like the ones he wrote. With the years, too, this habit had grown entrenched, and once she turned seventy the scope of her reading was restricted to fashion or news magazines.”
Roberto Bolaño, 2666

Mark Vonnegut
“Writing was a spiritual exercise for my father, the only thing he really believed in.”
Mark Vonnegut, Armageddon in Retrospect

Anita Philmar
“And you are?”

She fluttered her hand over her face and
brushed a wisp of light brown hair from her brow.

The governor calls me Kitty. It’d probably be best if you did, too.”

What an alluring name? It makes me think of a cat with its lips covered by a luscious coat of cream.”

Jack stared at Kitty’s mouth, and his tongue tingled at the idea of tasting her rich, flavorful lust.

She giggled and wove her hand through the crook in his arm. The soft swell of her breast bumped against his arm. “Oh, you’re naughty, but I love the alluring image.”

Then, I hope you’ll let me have a taste later.”

He didn’t crowd her but allowed her to step back.

She led him across the entranceway to a door on the other side.

Remember she’s a princess.”
Anita Philmar

William Faulkner
“And George Farr had the town, the earth, the world to himself and his sorrow. Music came faint as a troubling rumor beneath the spring night, sweetened by distance: a longing knowing no ease. (Oh God, oh God!)
At last George Farr gave up trying to see her. He had 'phoned vainly and time after time, at last the telephone became the end in place of the means: he had forgotten why he wanted to reach her. Finally he told himself that he hated her, that he would go away; finally he was going to as much pains to avoid her as he had been to see her. So he slunk about the streets like a criminal, avoiding her, feeling his his very heart stop when he did occasionally see her unmistakable body from a distance. And at night he lay sleepless and writhing to think of her, then to rise and don a few garments and walk past her darkened house, gazing in slow misery at the room in which he knew she lay, soft and warm, in intimate slumber, then to return to home and bed to dream of her brokenly.”
William Faulkner, Soldiers' Pay

Jincy Willett
“(N)ot writing was hard work, almost as hard as writing.”
Jincy Willett, The Writing Class

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