Sunday, November 17, 2013

Top 50 Quotes on Writing

Photo courtesy of Alex France, Flickr

As a writer, I've always been interested in quotes about writing. They help to remind me that I'm not alone in writing. The writing journey is, for the most part, a solitary trek, so many of these quotes have really offered me comfort and some laughs throughout the years. I've even shared some of these quotes with my authors at MindStir Media book publishers. Here are the top 50 quotes on writing (in my opinion). While they are technically in "no particular order," I believe they all belong somewhere on this list. Enjoy!

  1. “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typwriter and bleed.” –Ernest Hemingway
  2. “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” –Maya Angelou
  3. “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” –Madeleine L’Engle
  4. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” –Stephen King
  5. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” –Stephen King
  6. “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” –Toni Morrison
  7. “Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.” –Lloyd Alexander
  8. “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” –Robert Frost
  9. “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.” –Isaac Asimov
  10. “Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.” –Neil Gaiman
  11. “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” –John Steinbeck
  12. “Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald
  13. “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” –Jack London
  14. “All that I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.” –E.B. White
  15. “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” –Thomas Jefferson
  16. “Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow.” –Margaret Atwood
  17. “Grand. There’s a word I really hate. It’s a phony. I could puke every time I hear it.” –J.D. Salinger
  18. “You can fix anything but a blank page.” –Nora Roberts
  19. “When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.” –Kurt Vonnegut
  20. “I never exactly made a book. It’s rather like taking dictation. I was given things to say. ” –C.S. Lewis
  21. “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, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.” --Graham GreeneWays Of Escape
  22. “Writing is a job, a talent, but it's also the place to go in your head. It is the imaginary friend you drink your tea with in the afternoon.” --Ann Patchett, Truth and Beauty
  23. “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
  24. “You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” --Stephen King
  25. “Write only if you cannot live without writing. Write only what you alone can write.” --Elie Wiesel
  26. “Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else.” --Gloria Steinem
  27. “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
  28. “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
  29. “Always mystify, torture, mislead, and surprise the audience as much as possible.” --Don Roff
  30. “Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.” --Khaled Hosseini
  31. “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything good.” --William Faulkner
  32. “The desire to write grows with writing.” --Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus
  33. “Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon.” --Raymond Chandler
  34. “If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it isn't expecting it.” --H.G. Wells
  35. “There is no such thing as an "aspiring writer". You are a writer. Period.” --Matthew Reilly, Area 7
  36. “If you want to be a writer-stop talking about it and sit down and write!” --Jackie Collins
  37. “Books choose their authors; the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one.” --Salman Rushdie
  38. “In the end, fiction is the craft of telling truth through lies.” --Lauren Groff
  39. “You either have to write or you shouldn't be writing. That's all.” --Joss Whedon
  40. “Writing is a delicious agony.” --Gwendolyn Brooks
  41. “One should use common words to say uncommon things.” --Arthur Schopenhauer
  42. “If you can quit, then quit. If you can't quit, you're a writer.” --R.A. Salvatore
  43. “Write,' she said, 'as if you'll never be read. That way you'll be sure to tell the truth.” --Lori Lansens, The Girls
  44. “Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing.” --E.L. Doctorow
  45. “But the truth is, it's not the idea, it's never the idea, it's always what you do with it." --Neil Gaiman
  46. “Writing is really a way of thinking--not just feeling but thinking about things that are disparate, unresolved, mysterious, problematic or just sweet.” -- Toni Morrison
  47. “It's a wonderful thing to be able to create your own world whenever you want to.” --Woody Allen
  48. “As a writer, I am just an actor in a play, telling a story that needs to be told.” --Rita Webb
  49. “I write with all my heart.” --Ursula K. Le Guin
  50. “I love revisions…We can’t go back and revise our lives, but being allowed to go back and revise what we have written comes closest.” --Katherine Paterson
  51. Top Self Publishing Company

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