Writers On Writing Quotes

Quotes tagged as "writers-on-writing" Showing 1-30 of 1,257
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

Owen Wister
“Forgive my asking you to use your mind. It is a thing which no novelist should expect of his reader...”
Owen Wister, The Virginian: A Horseman of the Plains

“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

Hunter S. Thompson
“I have no taste for either poverty or honest labor, so writing is the only recourse left for me.”
Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

Hunter S. Thompson
“I've always considered writing the most hateful kind of work. I suspect it's a bit like fucking, which is only fun for amateurs. Old whores don't do much giggling.”
Hunter S. Thompson, The Great Shark Hunt: Strange Tales from a Strange Time

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 Diaz

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

“The whole world's writing novels, but nobody's reading them.”
Robert Galbraith, The Silkworm

Vladimir Nabokov
“Ink, a Drug.”
Vladimir Nabokov, Bend Sinister

“...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

“Remove the comma, replace the comma, remove the comma, replace the comma...”
R.D. Ronald

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

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

Quentin R. Bufogle
“Writing is the dragon that lives underneath my floorboards. The one I incessantly feed for fear it may turn and devour my ass. Writing is the friend who doesn't return my phone calls; the itch I'm unable to scratch; a dinner invitation from a cannibal; elevator music for a narcoleptic. Writing is the hope of lifting all boats by pissing in the ocean. Writing isn't something that makes me happy like a good cup of coffee. It's just something I do because not writing, as I've found, is so much worse.”
Quentin R. Bufogle

Walter Farley
“I believe that half the trouble in the world comes from people asking 'What have I achieved?' rather than 'What have I enjoyed?' I've been writing about a subject I love as long as I can remember--horses and the people associated with them, anyplace, anywhere, anytime. I couldn't be happier knowing that young people are reading my books. But even more important to me is that I've enjoyed so much the writing of them.”
Walter Farley, The Black Stallion

Martin Amis
“The first thing that distinguishes a writer is that he is most alive when alone.”
Martin Amis (Author)

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

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

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

Philip Sidney
“Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:
"Fool!" said my muse to me, "look in thy heart, and write.”
Philip Sidney, Astrophel And Stella

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

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

Philip K. Dick
“The authentic human being is one of us who instinctively knows what he should not do, and, in addition, he will balk at doing it. He will refuse to do it, even if this brings down dread consequences to him and to those whom he loves. This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people; they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance. Their deeds may be small, and almost always unnoticed, unmarked by history. Their names are not remembered, nor did these authentic humans expect their names to be remembered. I see their authenticity in an odd way: not in their willingness to perform great heroic deeds but in their quiet refusals. In essence, they cannot be compelled to be what they are not.”
Philip K. Dick

E.B. White
“There is nothing harder to estimate than a writer's time, nothing harder to keep track of. There are moments—moments of sustained creation—when his time is fairly valuable; and there are hours and hours when a writer's time isn't worth the paper he is not writing anything on.”
E.B. White, One Man's Meat

Nicole  Lyons
“I hope that someday when I am gone, someone, somewhere, picks my soul up off of these pages and thinks, "I would have loved her.”
Nicole Lyons

Robert A. Heinlein
“...I have this one nasty habit. Makes me hard to live with. I write...

...writing is antisocial. It's as solitary as masturbation. Disturb a writer when he is in the throes of creation and he is likely to turn and bite right to the bone... and not even know that he's doing it. As writers' wives and husbands often learn to their horror...

...there is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized. Or even cured. In a household with more than one person, of which one is a writer, the only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room, where he can endure the acute stages in private, and where food can be poked in to him with a stick. Because, if you disturb the patient at such times, he may break into tears or become violent. Or he may not hear you at all... and, if you shake him at this stage, he bites...”
Robert Heinlen

“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

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

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