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Writers Quotes

Inspirational & motivational writing quotes by famous writers, philosophers & artists

Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others. - Virginia Woolf
A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. - Thomas Mann
When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing. - George Orwell
Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.-Virginia Woolf
And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right. - Ray Bradbury
It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer. - Gerald Brenan
Unless a reviewer has the courage to give you unqualified praise, I say ignore the bastard. - John Steinbeck
We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection. - Anaïs Nin
If I had more time, I would have written you a shorter letter. — Marcus T. Cicero
However my parents - both of whom came from impoverished backgrounds and neither of whom had been to college, took the view that my overactive imagination was an amusing quirk that would never pay a mortgage or secure a pension. - J. K. Rowling
One of the most difficult things is the first paragraph. I have spent many months on a first paragraph, and once I get it, the rest just comes out very easily. - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple. - Jack Kerouac
Write about it by day, and dream about it by night.  E.B. White
The only way around is through.  Robert Frost
The writer's main job is to get the main character up a tree, and then once they are there, throw rocks at him.  Vladimir Nabokov
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
A writer never has a vaction.  For a writer, life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.  Eugene Ionesco
I don't remember deciding to become a writer.  You decide to become a dentist or a postman.  For me, writing is like being gay.  You finally admit that this is who you are, you come out and hope that no one runs away.  Mark Haddon
Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I dwell in possibility.  Emily Dickinson
When I am dead, I hope it may be said:  His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.  Hilaire Belloc
Easy reading is damn hard writing.  Attributed to Maya Angelou
A novel should create living people - people, not characters.  Ernest Hemingway
It is impossible to discourage the real writers.  They don't give a damn what you say.  They're going to write.  Sinclair Lewis
The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.  William H. Gass
No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.  No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.  Robert Frost
To get the truth, you want to get your own heart to pound while you write.  Robert McKee
How do I create something out of nothing?  And how do I create my own life?  I think it is by questioning, and saying to myself that there are no absolute truths.  Amy Tan
The difference between people who believe they have books inside of them and those who actually write books is sheer cussed persistence - the ability to make yourself work at your craft, every day - the belief, even in the face of obstacles, that you've got something worth saying.  Jennifer Weiner
Everyone has talent.  What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.  Erica Jong
I only want to write.  And there's no college for that except life.  Dodie Smith
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
A wonderful emotion to get things moving when one is stuck is anger.  It was anger more than anything else that had set me off, roused me into productivity and creativity.  Mary Garden
I use poetry to help me work through what I don't understand, but I show up to each new poem with a backpack full of everywhere else that I've been.  Sarah Kay
I don't wait for moods.  You accomplish nothing if you do that.  Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.  Pearl S. Buck
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise.  The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.  Sylvia Plath
Serious writers write, inspired or not.  Over time they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration.  Ralph Keyes
What I need for my characters in my books is a passionate heart.  I need mavericks, dissidents, adventurers, outsiders and rebels, who ask questions, bend the rules and take risks.  Isabel Allende
Fiction is the truth inside the lie.  Stephen King
We writers must know that we can never escape the common misery and that our only justification, if indeed there is a justification, is to speak up, insofar as we can, for those who cannot do so.  Albert Camus
Writing is always a process of discovery - I never know the end, or even the events on the next page, until they happen.  There's a constant interplay between the imagining and shaping of the story.  Kim Edwards
Every day we slaughter our finest impulses.  That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty.  We are all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up to discover what is already there.  Henry Miller
It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer.  Gerald Brenan
The Six Golden Rules of Writing:  Read, read, read, and write, write, write.  Ernest Gaines
An absolutely necessary part of a writer's equipment, almost as necessary as talent, is the ability to stand up under punishment, both the punishment the world hands out and the punishment he inflicts upon himself.  Irwin Shaw
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.  Maya Angelou
Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.  Benjamin Franklin
If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.  Toni Morrison
You can't wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.  Jack London
I set myself 600 words a day as a minimum output, regardless of the weather, my state of mind or if I'm sick or well.  Arthur Hailey
If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.  Margaret Atwood
You don't start out writing good stuff.  You start out writing crap and thinking it's good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.  That's why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.  Octavia Butler
In writing, there is first a creating stage - a time you look for ideas, you explore, you cast around for what you want to say.  Like the first phase of building, this creating stage is full of possibilities.  Ralph Waldo Emerson
It's a feature of our age that if you write a work of fiction, everyone assumes that the people and events in it are disguised biography - but if you write your biography, it's equally assumed you're lying your head off.  Margaret Atwood
If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.  Virginia Woolf
Writing a novel is like driving a car at night.  You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.  E.L. Doctorow
A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply reveal to them the infinite possibilities of their own souls.  Walt Whitman
The profession of book writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.  John Steinbeck
The pen is mightier than the sword.  Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Writers are not just people who sit down and write.  They hazard themselves.  Every time you compose a book, your composition of yourself is at stake.  E.L. Doctorow
No black woman writer in this culture can write
Writing is not some quiet, closet act.  Patti Smith
All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.  F. Scott Fitzgerald
Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness.  One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.  George Orwell
The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.  Albert Camus