Thursday, September 23, 2010

Writing Quote Gallery

A collection of various writer/writing quotes I've stumbled upon throughout the years. Not all of them are happy or inspiring, but they will make you think. Enjoy! Newest ones will always appear at the top. 

"I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity." - Edgar Allen Poe

"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." ~Anton Chekhov

"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." ~William Wordsworth

 "When writing a novel, that's pretty much entirely what life turns into: 'House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day.'"
-- Neil Gaiman

"It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop." ~Vita Sackville-West



"Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say." ~Sharon O'Brien

"I do a first draft as passionately and as quickly as I can. I believe a story is valid only when it's immediate and passionate, when it dances out of your subconscious. If you interfere in any way, you destroy it. ... Let your characters have their way. Let your secret life be lived." - Ray Bradbury

"Eventually quantity will make for quality". --Ray Bradbury

"The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible." ~Vladimir Nabakov

"If writers wrote as carelessly as some people talk, then adhasdh asdglaseuyt[bn[pasdlgkhasdfasdf."-- Lemony Snicket


Write your first draft with your heart. Re-write with your head. ~Finding Forrester

Read over your compositions, and when you meet a passage which you think is particularly fine, strike it out. ~Samuel Johnson

Coleridge was a drug addict. Poe was an alcoholic. Marlowe was killed by a man whom he was treacherously trying to stab. Pope took money to keep a woman's name out of a satire then wrote a piece so that she could still be recognized anyhow. Chatterton killed himself. Byron was accused of incest. Do you still want to a writer - and if so, why?
- Bennett Cerf

"It's not like you don't have a choice, because you do--you can either type or kill yourself" Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird

“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” E. L. Doctorow

"I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork." Peter De Vries

The Poet's voice need not merely be the record of ma, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail." William Faulkner.

"If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh. Otherwise they'll kill you." - Oscar Wilde

"Shut up and write" -- Natalie Goldberg



"I had hardly begun to read
I asked how can you ever be sure
that what you write is really
any good at all and he said you can't
you can't you can never be sure
you die without knowing
whether anything you wrote was any good
if you have to be sure don't write"
--W.S. Merwin's "Berryman"

There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside of you -Maya Angelou-Z.N. Hurston

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you. ~Ray Bradbury

The coroner will find ink in my veins and blood on my typewriter keys. ~C. Astrid Weber

An author in his book must be like God in the universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere. ~Gustave Flaubert

And if I have to be a thieving, immoral crow in order to write a book, then by God, I'll grow black feathers on my fanny and croak as loud as I can. ~Pasi Jääskeläinen

I write for the same reason I breathe - because if I didn't, I would die.~Isaac Asimov

"This writing business. Pencils and what-not. Over-rated, if you ask me. Silly stuff. Nothing in it." --Eeyore, from Winnie The Pooh

The story I am writing exists, written in absolutely perfect fashion, some place, in the air. All I must do is find it, and copy it. -Jules Renard

"If I were told I only had six minutes to live, I'd type a little faster." -- Isaac Asimov

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."
~Jack London

"If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light. If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you." -- Henry Rollins

"Without a reader, I cannot write. It's like a kiss: they cannot be done alone.”--John Cheever

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
–Albert Einstein

“I'm all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters.”
–Frank Lloyd Wright

“The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.”
–Tom Clancy

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

"These words I write keep me from total madness" - Charles Bukowski

Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. ~Graycie Harmon

Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. ~Gene Fowler

The only cure for writer's block is insomnia. ~Merit Antares

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those, who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in a human condition” - Graham Greene.


"Fiction is a lie, and good fiction is the truth inside the lie." Stephen King

"How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live." Henry David Thoreau

"You have to write whichever book it is that wants to be written. And then, if it's going to be too difficult for adults, you write it for children." Madeleine L'Engle

"There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." W. Somerset Maugham

"Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague." William Safire

"If I fall asleep with a pen in my hands, don't remove it; I might be writing in my dreams." Danzae Pace

-Always remember to never split an infinitive.
-Who needs rhetorical questions?
-Avoid Alliteration. Always.
-Don't repeat yourself; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.
-Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

"Why should I believe there are poems waiting for me which I am not writing? Because I miss them, these shadows like birds dying of cold on the branches, their life diminished as I move closer to them. I frighten them with my nearness." -- Mary Kinzie [Poetry, v. 186, no. 2 (2005 May)]


"Writing a book is a long, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand." --George Orwell

If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. --Toni Morrison

"Why one writes is a question I can answer easily, having so often asked it of myself. I believe one writes because one has to create a world in which one can live. I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art. "
The Diary of Anaïs Nin Vol. 5 (1947-1955), as quoted in Woman as Writer (1978) by Jeannette L. Webber and Joan Grumman, p. 38

"Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel like I should be doing something else." ~ Gloria Steinem

"To finish is a sadness to a writer--a little death. He puts the last word down and it is done. But it isn't really done. The story goes on and leaves the writer behind, for no story is ever done." - John Steinbeck

"Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters." - Neil Gaiman

'Read as much as you can. Keep writing and then throwing it away until one day you do something that you don't think belongs in the bin. Stick to writing what you know about. Don't give up.' J.K. Rowling


“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Maya Angelou, Reader’s Digest, June 2001 issue, page 73

"There are two types of writers: those who write with their brains, and those who write with their souls."

"Writers aren't exactly people...they're a whole lot of people trying to be one person."-F. Scott Fitzgerald


"In the end though, my quest for Atlantis did teach me something. In all our pasts lie our futures. By our own hands and decisions we will be damned and we will be saved. Whatever you do, put forth your best effort even if all you're doing is chasing a never-ending rainbow. You might never reach the end of it, but along the way you'll meet people who will mean the world to you and make memories that will keep you warm on even the coldest nights." ~ Tory, (Sherrilyn Kenyon's Acheron)

"I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat." ~Edgar Allen Poe

 "To write is to live forever."
- Unknown


"Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
- Cyril Connolly

"Write the damn book."
- Jane Yolen

"I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by." - Douglas Adams


"If you have a little voice inside your head that talks to you, don't worry you're human. If you have three or four voices that argue with each other, don't worry, you're a writer."

"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individuals from the successful ones is a lot of hard work." -Stephen King

"Of all the ways of acquiring books, writing them oneself is regarded as the most praise worthy method." - Walter Benjamin

"Lies are attempts to hide the truth by willfully denying facts. Fiction, on the other hand, is an attempt to reveal the truth by ignoring the facts." -John Green

"Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original; Whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring two pence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original." -CS Lewis

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

The waste basket is the writers best friend- Isaac Bashevis Singer

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. - Socrates

Every production of genius must be the production of enthusiasm. - Benjamin Disraeli

Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies. ~Emme Woodhull-Bäche

Easy reading is damn hard writing- Nathaniel Hawthorne

"Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality." - Jules de Gaultier.

The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes. ~Agatha Christie

"No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader." by Robert Frost

"Murder your darlings." ~Arthur Quiller-Couch

"Ears are sloppy and eyes are precise; accordingly, speech can be loose but writing should be tight." --William Safire

"Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite-
'Fool,' said my Muse to me, 'look in thy heart and write.'"
--Astrophil and Stella's First Sonnet

'There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.'
Ernest Hemingway

We do not write because we want to, we write because we have to.
-W. Somerset Maugham.

"There are times when quantity is at least as important as quality in learning an art."
Lawrence Watt-Evans

"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

I begin with writing the first sentence—and trusting to Almighty God for the second. ~ Laurence Sterne

"I mean, what can you say about how you write your books? What I mean is, first you've got to think of something, and then when you've thought of it you've got to force yourself to sit down and write it. That's all." ~ Mrs. Oliver in Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie

I have always wanted to write in such a way that will make people think, 'Why, I've always thought that but never found the words for it.' ~ Pamela Johnson

"The art of writing is to apply the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair."







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