Surprise, surprise! Or maybe it isn’t that unexpected that there are many more inspiring quotes that I love and often live by as a writer (100 more in fact!). I share them here with you today in case the truth of these wise words resonates with any other lovers of the written word.
- “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
- “I am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing.”
― Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934
- “I choose to write because it’s perfect for me. It’s an escape, a place I can go to hide. It’s a friend, when I feel out casted from everyone else. It’s a journal, when the only story I can tell is my own. It’s a book, when I need to be somewhere else. It’s control, when I feel so out of control. It’s healing, when everything seems pretty messed up. And it’s fun, when life is just flat-out boring.”
― Alysha Speer
- “The desire to write grows with writing.”
― Desiderius Erasmus
- “The art of writing is discovering what you believe.”
― Gustave Flaubert
- “Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.”
― Truman Capote
- “Writers write while dreamers procrastinate.”
― Besa Kosova
- “If you want to be a writer, you have to write every day… You don’t go to a well once but daily. You don’t skip a child’s breakfast or forget to wake up in the morning…”
― Walter Mosley
- “It’s not my brain that’s writing the book, it’s these hands of mine.”
― Madeleine L’Engle
- “I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.”
― William Carlos Williams
- “Sometimes a book isn’t a heartbreaking work of staggering genius.
Sometimes it’s the only story you knew how to tell.”
― Tahereh Mafi
- “Making a decision to write was a lot like deciding to jump into a frozen lake.”
― Maya Angelou
- “You don’t need to wait for inspiration to write. It’s easier to be inspired while writing that while not writing…”
― Josip Novakovich, Fiction Writer’s Workshop
- “Sometimes the most beautiful people are beautifully broken.”
― Robert M. Drake
- “I would rather be attacked than unnoticed. For the worst thing you can do to an author is to be silent as to his works.”
― Samuel Johnson
- “Read everything. Read fiction and non-fiction, read hot best sellers and the classics you never got around to in college. ”
― Jennifer Weiner
- “There is no such thing as an “aspiring writer”. You are a writer. Period.”
― Matthew Reilly, Area 7
- “Writer’s block is real. It happens. Some days you sit down at the old typewriter, put your fingers on the keys, and nothing pops into your head. Blanko. Nada. El nothingissimo. What you do when this happens is what separates you from the one-of-these-days-I’m-gonna-write-a-book crowd.”
― James N. Frey, How to Write a Damn Good Novel: A Step-by-Step No Nonsense Guide to Dramatic Storytelling
- “We write by the light of every story we have ever read.”
― Richard Peck
- “Writers don’t write from experience, although many are hesitant to admit that they don’t. …If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.”
― Nikki Giovanni
- “If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, you’re a writer.”
― A. Salvatore
- “If you only write when inspired, you may be a fairly decent poet, but you’ll never be a novelist.”
― Neil Gaiman
- “I write because I must. It’s not a choice or a pastime; it’s an unyielding calling and my passion.”
― Elizabeth Reyes
- “We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.”
― Somerset Maugham
- “A book comes and says, ‘Write me.”
― Madeleine L’Engle
- “I learned to write by reading the kind of books I wished I’d written.”
― Barbara Kingsolver
- “You can’t judge a book by its cover but you can sure sell a bunch of books if you have a good one.”
― Jayce O’Neal
- “If you don’t write the book you have to write, everything breaks.”
― M. Homes
- “10 Steps to Becoming a Better WriterWrite more.
Write even more.
Write even more than that.
Write when you don’t want to.
Write when you do.
Write when you have something to say.
Write when you don’t.
Write every day.
― Brian Clark
- “If you dedicate your attention to discipline in your life you become smarter while you are writing than while you are hanging out with your pals or in any other line of work.”
― Russell Banks
- “My books are mine, and yet they are alien to me–as a child belongs to a parent and yet has a life of its own. I can guide and hope and nudge my characters this and that way, but in the end, they become what they become. I don’t always like what they become myself but like a parent, there are times when I just don’t know what to do about it. Other times when I’m so proud of them I could bust.”
― Laura Kinsale
- “Words have weight.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
- “Of all human activities, writing is the one for which it is easiest to find excuses not to begin – the desk’s too big, the desk’s too small, there’s too much noise, there’s too much quiet, it’s too hot, too cold, too early, too late. I had learned over the years to ignore them all, and simply to start.”
― Robert Harris, The Ghost
- “The writer’s life: Hard days, lots of work, no money, too much silence. Nobody’s fault. You chose it. ”
― Bill Barich
- “Old words are reborn with new faces.”
― Criss Jami, Killosophy
- “What do you want? What are you willing to give up to get it? Writing requires you make sacrifices. Be prepared to work hard to be a writer.”
― Sandra Brown
- “Writing for me is a kind of compulsion, so I don’t think anyone could have
made me do it, or prevented me from doing it.”
― K. Rowling
- “In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway.”
― Junot Díaz
- “What is a writer?
A writer is a magician who can create a masterpiece
With a wave of a pencil
A writer has the key to a new world
Capturing readers and taking them on a roller coaster ride away from reality
But a writer can be a commanding tyrant
Or a hypnotist stealing mindsWhat is a writer?
A writer is a powerful being, an intelligent thinker
And an artist creating mind pictures through words.
A writer is a keeper of secrets
Or like a roomful of words waiting for a book
But a writer is also a puppet master taking control
With no strings attachedWhat is a writer?
A writer is a true friend
Using words to spread smiles to the world
A writer is…..
The voice of the hear”
― Carol Archer
- “Not long ago, I advertised for perverse rules of grammar, along the lines of “Remember to never split an infinitive” and “The passive voice should never be used.” The notion of making a mistake while laying down rules (“Thimk,” “We Never Make Misteaks”) is highly unoriginal, and it turns out that English teachers have been circulating lists of fumblerules for years. As owner of the world’s largest collection, and with thanks to scores of readers, let me pass along a bunch of these never-say-neverisms:* Avoid run-on sentences they are hard to read.
* Don’t use no double negatives.
* Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn’t.
* Reserve the apostrophe for it’s proper use and omit it when its not needed.
* Do not put statements in the negative form.
* Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
* No sentence fragments.
* Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
* Avoid commas, that are not necessary.
* If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
* A writer must not shift your point of view.
* Eschew dialect, irregardless.
* And don’t start a sentence with a conjunction.
* Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!!
* Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
* Writers should always hyphenate between syllables and avoid un-necessary hyph-ens.
* Write all adverbial forms correct.
* Don’t use contractions in formal writing.
* Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
* It is incumbent on us to avoid archaisms.
* If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
* Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck in the language.
* Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixed metaphors.
* Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
* Never, ever use repetitive redundancies.
* Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
* If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, resist hyperbole.
* Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration.
* Don’t string too many prepositional phrases together unless you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
* Always pick on the correct idiom.
* “Avoid overuse of ‘quotation “marks.”‘”
* The adverb always follows the verb.
* Last but not least, avoid clichés like the plague; seek viable alternatives.”(New York Times, November 4, 1979; later also published in book form)”
― William Safire, Fumblerules: A Lighthearted Guide to Grammar and Good Usage
- “I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”
― Somerset Maugham
- “If you are a real writer, then just surrender to the writer’s life, all of it, even the bad stuff. When you do that, the beauty appears: the peace, the meaning, the joy, the fulfillment, the sense that you are doing what you were born to do and what could be better, in the end, than that?”
― Lauren B. Davis
- “If the voices in your head make you cry, you’re a lunatic. Put their words on paper, and you’re a writer.”
― Von Thaer
- “There’s no way I can stop writing, it’s a form of insanity.”
― Charles Bukowski, Women
- “Go where the pain is, go where the pleasure is.”
― Anne Rice
- “I don’t see how you can write anything of value if you don’t offend someone.”
― Marvin Harris
- “A novel is like a dream in which everyone is you. They’re all parts of yourself.”
― Janet Fitch
- “I don’t write for a living. I live to write.”
― Marwa Ayad
- “Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.”
― Francis Bacon
- “Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.”
― Khaled Hosseini
- “The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon.”
― Robert Cormier
- “Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted.”
- “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere.”
- “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”
- “Good books don’t give up all their secrets at once.”
- “Be shocking, be daring, be bold, be passionate.”
- “The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning.”
- “A good writer is always a people watcher.”
- “Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration.”
- “Writing has…been to me like a bath from which I have risen feeling cleaner, healthier, and freer.”
- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
― Mark Twain
- “There is only one way: Go within. Search for the cause, find the impetus that bids you write.”
―Rainer Maria Rilke
- “Be yourself: Everyone else is already taken”.
- “There is no friend as loyal as a book.” ―Ernest Hemingway
- “To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.”
– Herman Melville
- “It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.”
– C. J. Cherryh
- “If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.”
– David Brin
- “A writer without interest or sympathy for the foibles of his fellow man is not conceivable as a writer.”
– Joseph Conrad
- “One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.”
—Lawrence Block, WD
- “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”
—Harper Lee, WD
- “If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.”
- “Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.”
- “Writing is a delicious agony.”
- “Good writing is rewriting.”
- “If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.”
– Edgar Rice Burroughs
- “I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.”
– Gustave Flaubert
- “You learn by writing short stories. Keep writing short stories. The money’s in novels, but writing short stories keeps your writing lean and pointed.”
– Larry Niven
- “Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil—but there is no way around them.”
– Isaac Asimov
- “Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.”
– Orson Scott Card
- “Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.”
– Jane Yolen
- “I really think that if there’s any one enemy to human creativity, especially creative writing, it’s self-consciousness.”
—Andre Dubus III
- “Being a writer requires an intoxication with language.”
- “Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.”
- “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”
85. “If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes.”
—St. Clement of Alexandra
- “Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.”
—Leonardo da Vinci
- “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”
88. “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.”
—George S. Patton
- “I discovered that rejections are not altogether a bad thing. They teach a writer to rely on his own judgment and to say in his heart of hearts, ‘To hell with you.’”
- “No one put a gun to your head and ordered you to become a writer. One writes out of his own choice and must be prepared to take the rough spots along the road with a certain equanimity, though allowed some grinding of the teeth.”
- “Failure is success if we learn from it.”
- “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.”
- “I think that you have to believe in your destiny; that you will succeed, you will meet a lot of rejection and it is not always a straight path, there will be detours —so enjoy the view.”
96. “Writing is the hardest work in the world. I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you — as if you haven’t been told a million times already — that writing is harder. Lonelier. And nobler and more enriching.”
– Harlan Ellison
- “It’s better to write about things you feel than about things you know about.”
– L. P. Hartley
- “Really, in the end, the only thing that can make you a writer is the person that you are, the intensity of your feeling, the honesty of your vision, the unsentimental acknowledgment of the endless interest of the life around and within you. Virtually nobody can help you deliberately — many people will help you unintentionally.”
– Santha Rama Rau
- “Writing is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to those who have none.”
– Jules Renard
- “Engrave this in your brain: EVERY WRITER GETS REJECTED. You will be no different.”
– John Scalzi