500+ quotes about writing, books and being a writer

December 5, 2023   🕑 73 minutes read

Nothing inspires a writer more than really good writing. Except, of course, really good motivational quotes about writing and books.

Looking for motivational quotes to help boost your writing or your writing career? Here are over 500 quotes to lift your writing mojo.

Quotes by theme

Jacqueline Woodson quote on paper

Motivational quotes about what it means to be a writer

“You know, it’s a funny thing about writers. Most people don’t stop to think of books being written by people much like themselves. They think that writers are all dead long ago–they don’t expect to meet them in the street or out shopping. They know their stories but not their names, and certainly not their faces. And most writers like it that way.” – Cornelia Funke

“I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.” ― Peter De Vries

“A lot of writers think of this word hobby as kind of demeaning. It’s like, ‘it’s not my hobby, I’m a writer.’ A hobby is a thing you do for fun. And I write for fun. I embrace thinking of it as a hobby.” ―Aaron Burch

“There was a moment when I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you’re writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.” – Agatha Christie

“He asked, ‘What makes a man a writer?’ ‘Well,’ I said, ‘it’s simple. You either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.’ – Charles Bukowski

“Because this business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?” – Anne Lamott

There is no such thing as an ‘aspiring writer’. You are a writer. Period.” – Matthew Reilly

“I love to write, and here’s the thing: None of my books make any money, or, I haven’t made a lot of money. But I don’t care. At some point, my little grandson can say, ‘Oh, you never gave up.’ I will never stop writing. … I think this next book is going to be my best one.” – Duane Lance Filer

“I have spent a good many years since–too many, I think–being ashamed about what I write. I think I was forty before I realized that almost every writer of fiction or poetry who has ever published a line has been accused by someone of wasting his or her God-given talent. If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all.” – Stephen King

“A poet is a man who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times.” – Randall Jarell

“Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.” – T.S. Eliot

“You look up when you wish to be exalted. And I look down because I am exalted.”– Friedrich Nietzsche

“True literature can exist only where it is created, not by diligent and trustworthy functionaries, but by madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, rebels, and skeptics.” – Yevgeny Zamyatin

“I believe one of the reasons the identity of a ghostwriter is kept under wraps is because of the vulnerability we witness.” – Sharfaa Zaib

“An artist is someone who can hold two opposing viewpoints and still remain fully functional.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

“You see, in my view a writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. 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 Diaz

“I don’t know why I started writing. I don’t know why anybody does it. Maybe they’re bored, or failures at something else.” – Cormac McCarthy

“Writers are really people who write books not because they are poor, but because they are dissatisfied with the books which they could buy but do not like.” – Walter Benjamin

“You either have to write or you shouldn’t be writing. That’s all.” – Joss Whedon

“I am a strong believer in the tyranny, the dictatorship, the absolute authority of the writer.” – Philip Pullman

“A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.” ― Susan Sontag

“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

“What I like in a good author is not what he says, but what he whispers.” – Logan Pearsall Smith

“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” – Thomas Mann

“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 only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.” – Jules Renard

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” – Stephen King

“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

Motivational quotes about what it means to be a ghostwriter

“I feel like a ghostwriter is somebody who is going to help them get it on the page. Oftentimes that means you write the whole thing. You might decide what you want your house to be like, but there’s no shame in admitting that you used an architect.” – Lisa Dickey

“I’m almost like a music producer. I know how to make an album. You wouldn’t shame a musician for having a producer on their album.” – Sarah Tomlinson

“After I finish a book that I was completely immersed in, I will flip through my own photo albums and reacquaint myself with my life.” – Lisa Dickey

Motivational quotes about the power of writing

“A word after a word after a word is power.” – Margaret Atwood

“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” – Winston Churchill

“Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted.” – Jules Renard

“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” – Martin Luther

“Written words can also sing.” – Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

“You can make anything by writing.” – C.S. Lewis

“A well-composed book is a magic carpet on which we are wafted to a world that we cannot enter in any other way.” – Caroline Gordon

“Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink. Drink and be filled up.” – Stephen King

“There is no greater power on this earth than story.” – Libba Bray

“The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” – Albert Camus

“The role of a writer is not to say what we can all say, but what we are unable to say.” – Anais Nin

“All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“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

“Every word a woman writes changes the story of the world, revises the official version.” – Carolyn See

“We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art, and very often in our art, the art of words.”
– Ursula K. Le Guin

“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words.” – William H. Gass

“My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel–it is, before all, to make you see.” – Joseph Conrad

“Appearance blinds, whereas words reveal.” – Oscar Wilde

“Don’t give people what they want, give them what they need.” – Joss Whedon

“On paper, things can live forever. On paper, a butterfly never dies.” – Jacqueline Woodson

“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

“We are all refugees from our childhoods. And so we turn, among other things, to stories. To write a story, to read a story, is to be a refugee from the state of refugees. Writers and readers seek a solution to the problem that time passes, that those who have gone are gone and those who will go, which is to say every one of us, will go. For there was a moment when anything was possible. And there will be a moment when nothing is possible. But in between we can create.” – Mohsin Hamid

“If people cannot write well, they cannot think well, and if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them.” ― George Orwell

“Words bounce. Words, if you let them, will do what they want to do and what they have to do.” – Anne Carson

“The poet or the revolutionary is there to articulate the necessity, but until the people themselves apprehend it, nothing can happen … Perhaps it can’t be done without the poet, but it certainly can’t be done without the people. The poet and the people get on generally very badly, and yet they need each other. The poet knows it sooner than the people do. The people usually know it after the poet is dead; but that’s all right. The point is to get your work done, and your work is to change the world.” – James Baldwin

“A poet’s work … to name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep.” – Salman Rushdie

“You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty.” – Jessica Mitford

Truman Capote quote on characters

Motivational quotes about writing and living

“If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

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

“A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.” – Peter Handke

“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.”– Isaac Asimov

“The difference between real life and a story is that life has significance, while a story must have meaning. The former is not always apparent, while the latter always has to be, before the end.” – Vera Nazarian

“Story is metaphor for life and life is lived in time.” – Robert McKee

“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

“If a writer stops observing he is finished. Experience is communicated by small details intimately observed.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for.” – Alice Walker

“I shall live badly if I do not write, and I shall write badly if I do not live.” – Francoise Sagan

“Closed in a room, my imagination becomes the universe, and the rest of the world is missing out.” – Criss Jami

“Almost anyone can be an author; the business is to collect money and fame from this state of being.” – A. A. Milne

“Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.” – Virginia Woolf

“Writing is like prostitution. First you do it for love, and then for a few close friends, and then for money.” – Molière

“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” ― Leonard Cohen

“Most of the basic material a writer works with is acquired before the age of fifteen.” – Willa Cather

“Writers don’t make any money at all. We make about a dollar. It is terrible. But then again we don’t work either. We sit around in our underwear until noon then go downstairs and make coffee, fry some eggs, read the paper, read part of a book, smell the book, wonder if perhaps we ourselves should work on our book, smell the book again, throw the book across the room because we are quite jealous that any other person wrote a book, feel terribly guilty about throwing the schmuck’s book across the room because we secretly wonder if God in heaven noticed our evil jealousy, or worse, our laziness. We then lie across the couch facedown and mumble to God to forgive us because we are secretly afraid He is going to dry up all our words because we envied another man’s stupid words. And for this, as I said, we are paid a dollar. We are worth so much more.” – Donald Miller

“So what? All writers are lunatics!” – Cornelia Funke

“I want to be clear about this. If you wrote from experience, you’d get maybe one book, maybe three poems. Writers write from empathy.” – Nikki Giovanni

“I want to write because I have the urge to excel in one medium of translation and expression of life. I can’t be satisfied with the colossal job of merely living. Oh, no, I must order life in sonnets and sestinas and provide a verbal reflector for my 60-watt lighted head.” – Sylvia Plath

“If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.” – Mik Everett

“A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it” – Roald Dahl

“Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing.” – Norman Mailer

“Never ever forget that you enlisted in the ranks – you weren’t press ganged or drafted. Nobody owes you anything – least of all respect for your work – until you’ve earned it with what you put on the page.” – T.F. Rigelhof

“A good writer refuses to be socialized. He insists on his own version of things, his own consciousness. And by doing so he draws the reader’s eye from its usual groove into a new way of seeing things.” – Bill Barich

“For it would seem – her case proved it – that we write, not with the fingers, but with the whole person. The nerve which controls the pen winds itself about every fibre of our being, threads the heart, pierces the liver.” – Virginia Woolf

“No black woman writer in this culture can write ‘too much’. Indeed, no woman writer can write ‘too much’…No woman has ever written enough.” – Bell Hooks

“Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences.” – Sylvia Plath

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

“I have no taste for either poverty or honest labor, so writing is the only recourse left for me.” – Hunter S. Thompson

Motivational quotes about reading and writing

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” – Stephen King

“There is creative reading as well as creative writing.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.” – Annie Proulx

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” – Stephen King

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading in order to write. A man will turn over half a library to make a book.” – Samuel Johnson

“Since I became a novelist I have discovered that I am biased. Either I think a new novel is worse than mine and I don’t like it, or I suspect it is better than my novels and I don’t like it.” – Umberto Eco

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly –  they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.” – Aldous Huxley

“As for literary criticism in general: I have long felt that any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel or a play or a poem is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae or a banana split.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.” – Lisa See

“If there’s a book that you want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.” – J.D. Salinger

“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” – Stephen King

“How many times do you read a book? Me? Once. Well of course unless I have written it.” – Trina Machacek

“The trick is to teach yourself to read in small sips as well as long swallows.” – Stephen King

“The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.” ― Stephen King

“You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.” – Annie Proulx

“I believe that writing is derivative. I think good writing comes from good reading.” – Charles Kuralt

“I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read.” – Samuel Johnson

“I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” – Larry King

“Read, read, read. Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” – William Faulkner

“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” – Virginia Woolf

“Which of us has not felt that the character we are reading in the printed page is more real than the person standing beside us?” – Cornelia Funke

“Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They deepen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It’s like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can’t stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship.”– Anne Lamott

“As a child, I read because books–violent and not, blasphemous and not, terrifying and not–were the most loving and trustworthy things in my life. I read widely, and loved plenty of the classics so, yes, I recognized the domestic terrors faced by Louisa May Alcott’s March sisters. But I became the kid chased by werewolves, vampires, and evil clowns in Stephen King’s books. I read books about monsters and monstrous things, often written with monstrous language, because they taught me how to battle the real monsters in my life.

“And now I write books for teenagers because I vividly remember what it felt like to be a teen facing everyday and epic dangers. I don’t write to protect them. It’s far too late for that. I write to give them weapons–in the form of words and ideas-that will help them fight their monsters. I write in blood because I remember what it felt like to bleed.” – Sherman Alexie

“Good description is a learned skill, one of the prime reasons why you cannot succeed unless you read a lot and write a lot. It’s not just a question of how-to, you see; it’s also a question of how much to. Reading will help you answer how much, and only reams of writing will help you with the how. You can learn only by doing.” – Stephen King

“Aren’t we all waiting to be read by someone, praying that they’ll tell us that we make sense?” – Rudy Francisco

“Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.” – Eudora Welty

“I read the way a person might swim, to save his or her life. I wrote that way too.” – Mary Oliver

Ernest Hemingway quote on writing

Motivational quotes about writing as therapy

“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 Greene

“Ink, a Drug.” – Vladimir Nabokov

“Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.” – John Green

“My bursting heart must find vent at my pen.” ― Abigail Adams

“If I didn’t write, I’d go nuts because I wouldn’t have a single reason to exist.” ― Ian McEwan

“Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted.” – Jules Renard

“Loneliness sometimes gives me a quantity of creativeness – you’re drinking another glass of wine and you’re feeling even worse. Art doesn’t work without pain; art also exists for compensating pain.” ― Till Lindemann

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” – Anne Frank

“To survive, you must tell stories.” – Umberto Eco

“He asked, “What makes a man a writer?” “Well,” I said, “it’s simple. You either get it down on paper, or jump off a bridge.” – Charles Bukowski

“Writing is its own reward.” – Henry Miller

“I tried hiring a book coach—who fired me after three sessions, but not before adding that she’s ‘not a therapist.'”– Stephanie Land

“When you’re missing a piece of yourself, aching, gut wrenching emptiness begins to take over. Until you find the link that completes your very soul, the feeling will never go away. Most people find a way to fill this void, material possessions, a string of relationships, affairs, food…I bare my soul, with words, for all to see.” – Jennifer Salaiz

“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” – Gloria Steinem

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” – Ray Bradbury

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” – Anaïs Nin

“Writers live twice.” – Natalie Goldberg

“With writing, we have second chances.” – Jonathan Safran Foer

“I’m not religious, but writing be­came the closest thing to it, I suppose.” – Ai Jiang

“Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I’m always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it’s very shocking to the system.” – Flannery O’Connor

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway

“If you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favor you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.” – Dorothy Parker

“A book is a suicide postponed.” – Cioran

“Writers are the exorcists of their own demons.” – Mario Vargas-Llosa

“If I do not write to empty my mind, I go mad.” – George Gordon Byron

“It’s a big ask, to try to embrace life with only an occasional burst of sunshine. But I will let you in on a secret. The simple act of writing this letter has made me feel a lot less gloomy about the prospect of your arrival.” – Anita Chaudhuri (addressing Winter)

“The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.” – Arthur Miller

“The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.”
– Margaret Atwood

“If you are not afraid of the voices inside you, you will not fear the critics outside you.” – Natalie Goldberg

“The shame of being a man – is there any better reason to write?” – Gilles Deleuze

“Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar.” – E.B. White

“I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying—trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself.” – Roxane Gay

“If a story is in you, it has to come out.” William Faulkner

“You do not immortalize the lost by writing about them. Language buries, but does not resurrect.” – John Green

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.” – Stephen King

“I am aware of being in a beautiful prison, from which I can only escape by writing.” – Anaïs Nin

“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

“When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“The idea of the book gave me the courage to step off the rigid assembly line I’d created, a new place to focus my box-checking and type-A-ness as I figured out how to rewrite my career.” – Deena Emera

“A story is a letter that the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise.” – Carlos Ruiz Zafón

“You grow ravenous. You run fevers. You know exhilarations. You can’t sleep at night, because your beast-creature ideas want out and turn you in your bed. It is a grand way to live.” – Ray Bradbury

“You are what you write.” – Helvy Tiana Rosa

“Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself…It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.” – Harper Lee

“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.” – Virginia Woolf

“If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.” – Anne Lamott

“The point of the stories isn’t whether or not the characters are successful in connecting. I try not to make any judgments about that. But I think that in writing these stories, it was me trying to grapple with the essential loneliness of being a person.” – Ada Zhang

“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.” – Hugh MacLeod

“I hate writing, I love having written.” – Dorothy Parker

“Some writers enjoy writing, I am told. Not me. I enjoy having written.” – George R.R. Martin

“It’s hell writing and it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.” – Robert Hass

“I like to write when I feel spiteful. It is like having a good sneeze.” ― D.H. Lawrence

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

“Wasn’t writing a kind of soaring, an achievable form of flight, of fancy, of the imagination?” ― Ian McEwan

“After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love, and I was sure this was a very good story although I would not know truly how good until I read it over the next day.” – Ernest Hemingway

“I only know that learning to believe in the power of my own words has been the most freeing experience of my life. It has brought me the most light. And isn’t that what a poem is? A lantern glowing in the dark.” – Elizabeth Acevedo

“When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to. Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.” – Virginia Woolf

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” – Natalie Goldberg

“My first feeling was that there was no way to continue. Writing isn’t like math; in math, two plus two always equals four no matter what your mood is like. With writing, the way you feel changes everything.” – Stephenie Meyer

“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

“I write to find out what I’m talking about.” – Edward Albee

“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.” – Franz Kafka

“A little talent is a good thing to have if you want to be a writer. But the only real requirement is the ability to remember every scar.” – Stephen King

“Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.” ― Tennessee Williams

“Why am I compelled to write?… Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it. I write because life does not appease my appetites and anger… To become more intimate with myself and you. To discover myself, to preserve myself, to make myself, to achieve self-autonomy. To dispell the myths that I am a mad prophet or a poor suffering soul. To convince myself that I am worthy and that what I have to say is not a pile of shit… Finally I write because I’m scared of writing, but I’m more scared of not writing.” – Gloria Anzaldúa

“This tremendous world I have inside of me. How to free myself, and this world, without tearing myself to pieces. And rather tear myself to a thousand pieces than be buried with this world within me.” – Franz Kafka

“Write about the emotions you fear the most.” – Laurie Halse Anderson

“Every morning I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The landmine is me. After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.” – Ray Bradbury

“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of.” – Joss Whedon

“We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds. My stories are a way of shutting my eyes.” – Franz Kafka

“What’s writing really about? It’s about trying to take fuller possession of the reality of your life.” – Ted Hughes

“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 Nabokov

“I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.” ― Isaac Asimov

“Some things are hard to write about. After something happens to you, you go to write it down, and either you over dramatize it, or underplay it, exaggerate the wrong parts or ignore the important ones. At any rate, you never write it quite the way you want to.” – Sylvia Plath

“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout with 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

“All that I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.” – E.B. White

“You’re miserable, edgy and tired. You’re in the perfect mood for journalism.” – Warren Ellis

“There comes a time in your life when you have to choose to turn the page, write another book or simply close it.” – Shannon L. Alder

“Tears are words that need to be written.” – Paulo Coelho

“I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.” – Erica Jong

“I have always had more dread of a pen, a bottle of ink, and a sheet of paper than of a sword or pistol.” – Alexandre Dumas

“I am writing because they told me to never start a sentence with because. But I wasn’t trying to make a sentence—I was trying to break free. Because freedom, I am told, is nothing but the distance between the hunter and its prey.” – Ocean Vuong

“If you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.” – Kingsley Amis

“Sometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can’t quite keep up with gravity.” – Rainbow Rowell

“This diary is my kief, hashish and opium pipe. This is my drug and my vice.” – Anais Nin

“Why does one begin to write? Because she feels misunderstood, I guess. Because it never comes out clearly enough when she tries to speak. Because she wants to rephrase the world, to take it in and give it back again differently, so that everything is used and nothing is lost. Because it’s something to do to pass the time until she is old enough to experience the things she writes about.” – Nicole Krauss

“I felt after I finished Slaughterhouse-Five that I didn’t have to write at all anymore if I didn’t want to. It was the end of some sort of career. I don’t know why, exactly. I suppose that flowers, when they’re through blooming, have some sort of awareness of some purpose having been served. Flowers didn’t ask to be flowers and I didn’t ask to be me. At the end of Slaughterhouse-Five…I had a shutting-off feeling…that I had done what I was supposed to do and everything was OK.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“Every few weeks she would shut herself up in her room, put on her scribbling suit, and fall into a vortex, as she expressed it, writing away at her novel with all her heart and soul, for till that was finished she could find no peace.” – Louisa May Alcott

“Perhaps if I make myself write I shall find out what is wrong with me.” – Dodie Smith

“Do you suffer when you write? I don’t at all. Suffer like a bastard when don’t write, or just before, and feel empty and fucked out afterwards. But never feel as good as while writing.” ― Ernest Hemingway

Margaret Atwood quote on writing

Motivational quotes about writing and education

“The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write about it.” – Benjamin Disraeli

“All art can be studied. All art can be taught. Just as Michelangelo and Mozart learned their art from those who came before them, so did Austen, Tolstoy and Hemingway.” – Maya Rose Fernandes

“As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.” – Ernest Hemingway

“It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.” – Ernest Hemingway

“I am simply of the opinion that you cannot be taught to write. You have to spend a lifetime in love with words.” – Craig Claiborne

“Everywhere I go I’m asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. There’s many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” – Flannery O’Connor

“Everybody does have a book in them, but in most cases that’s where it should stay.” – Christopher Hitchens

“Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential.” – Jessamyn West

“Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding.” – Milan Kundera

“It just happens to be the way that I’m made. I have to write things down to feel I fully comprehend them.” – Haruki Murakami

“When a poet digs himself into a hole, he doesn’t climb out. He digs deeper, enjoys the scenery, and comes out the other side enlightened.” – Criss Jami

“Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.” – Ayn Rand

“An author must learn the principles of good storytelling only in order to write better from the heart.” – Uri Shulevitz

“We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it.” – Anthony Burgess

Motivational quotes about writing habits

“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” – Douglas Adams

“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” – Virginia Woolf

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Stephen King

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” – Jodi Picoult

“You can fix anything but a blank page.” – Nora Roberts

“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

“I need solitude for my writing; not ‘like a hermit’ – that wouldn’t be enough – but like a dead man.” – Franz Kafka

“Nothing’s a better cure for writer’s block than to eat ice cream right out of the carton.” – Don Roff

“I have advice for people who want to write. I don’t care whether they’re 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader. It’s the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it’s for only half an hour — write, write, write.” – Madeleine L’Engle

“Time is essential to my being able to feel creative. And time is also a teacher. If I have time to let something sit, that’s the best way for me to see it. – Jennifer Habel

“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

“Writing for yourself ignites the flame of creativity, while writing for your audience ensures that the flame is seen and appreciated.” – Jason Hellerman

“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

“First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.” – Octavia Butler

“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 E. Butler

“Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.” – Henry Miller

“I’ve found the best way to revise your own work is to pretend that somebody else wrote it and then to rip the living shit out of it.” – Don Roff

“Half my life is an act of revision.” – John Irving

“Write every day, line by line, page by page, hour by hour. Do this despite fear. For above all else, beyond imagination and skill, what the world asks of you is courage, courage to risk rejection, ridicule and failure. As you follow the quest for stories told with meaning and beauty, study thoughtfully but write boldly. Then, like the hero of the fable, your dance will dazzle the world.”– Robert McKee

“You know what I did after I wrote my first novel? I shut up and wrote twenty-three more.” – Michael Connelly

“The thing all writers do best is find ways to avoid writing.” – Alan Dean Foster

“The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” – Agatha Christie

“I wrote six novels teaching full-time, married, raising two daughters, and doing all the other stuff that life asks for, and I got them all done because I decided to go to work on it every morning, even if it was for only 30 minutes, just to keep going and trying to get better. There is no substitute for that.” – Michael Farris Smith

“I’m writing a first draft and reminding myself that I’m simply shoveling sand into a box so that later I can build castles.” – Shannon Hale

“Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.” ― Ray Bradbury

“I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.” – John Kennedy Tool

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.” – Robert Heinlein

“I get a lot of letters from people. They say, ‘I want to be a writer. What should I do?’ I tell them to stop writing to me and get on with it.” – Ruth Rendell

“The second thing you have to do to be a writer is to keep on writing. Don’t listen to people who tell you that very few people get published and you won’t be one of them. Don’t listen to your friend who says you are better that Tolkien and don’t have to try any more. Keep writing, keep faith in the idea that you have unique stories to tell, and tell them. I meet far too many people who are going to be writers ‘someday.’ When they are out of high school, when they’ve finished college, after the wedding, when the kids are older, after I retire . . . That is such a trap. You will never have any more free time than you do right now. So, whether you are 12 or 70, you should sit down today and start being a writer if that is what you want to do. You might have to write on a notebook while your kids are playing on the swings or write in your car on your coffee break. That’s okay. I think we’ve all ‘been there, done that.’ It all starts with the writing.” – Robin Hobb

“If you want to be a writer, stop talking about it and sit down and write!” – Jackie Collins

“At night, when the objective world has slunk back into its cavern and left dreamers to their own, there come inspirations and capabilities impossible at any less magical and quiet hour. No one knows whether or not he is a writer unless he has tried writing at night.” – H.P. Lovecraft

“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

“I know I was writing stories when I was five. I don’t remember what I did before that. Just loafed, I suppose.” – P. G. Wodehouse

“You know, it’s hard work to write a book. I can’t tell you how many times I really get going on an idea, then my quill breaks. Or I spill ink all over my writing tunic.” – Ellen DeGeneres

“Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got.” – Philip José Farmer

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything good.” – William Faulkner

“Work like hell! I had 122 rejection slips before I sold a story.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.” – T.S. Eliot

“Throw up into your typewriter every morning. Clean up every noon.” – Raymond Chandler

“Cram your head with characters and stories. Abuse your library privileges. Never stop looking at the world, and never stop reading to find out what sense other people have made of it. If people give you a hard time and tell you to get your nose out of a book, tell them you’re working. Tell them it’s research. Tell them to pipe down and leave you alone.” – Jennifer Weiner

“When asked, ‘How do you write?’ I invariably answer, ‘One word at a time,’ and the answer is invariably dismissed. But that is all it is. It sounds too simple to be true, but consider the Great Wall of China, if you will: one stone at a time, man. That’s all. One stone at a time. But I’ve read you can see that motherfucker from space without a telescope.” – Stephen King

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” – Louis L’Amour

“No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published.” – J. Russell Lynes

“If you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.” – Stephen King

“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report written on birds that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books about birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, “Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.” – Anne Lamott

“This is how you do it: You sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” – Neil Gaiman

“You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.” – Isaac Asimov

“E.L. Doctorow once said that ‘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.’ You don’t have to see where you’re going, you don’t have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you. This is right up there with the best advice on writing, or life, I have ever heard.” – Anne Lamott

“The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.” – Joyce Carol Oates

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.” – Saul Bellow

“The best advice on writing was given to me by my first editor, Michael Korda, of Simon and Schuster, while writing my first book. ‘Finish your first draft and then we’ll talk,’ he said. It took me a long time to realize how good the advice was. Even if you write it wrong, write and finish your first draft. Only then, when you have a flawed whole, do you know what you have to fix.” – Dominick Dunne

“Put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.” – Colette

“Go for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things–childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves–that go on slipping, like sand, through our fingers.” – Salman Rushdie

“90 percent perfect and shared with the world always changes more lives than 100 percent perfect and stuck in your head.” – Jon Acuff

“Writing is a manual labor of the mind: a job, like laying pipe.” – John Gregory Dunne

“Writing is about resilience and faith. Writing is hard for every last one of us – straight white men included. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine coal? They do not. They simply dig.” – Cheryl Strayed

“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

“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.” – Stephen King

“Two books? [laughs] Usually, I’ve got four or five on the go at the same time. Why one jostles into the lead as opposed to another is something I cannot explain.” – Mike McCormack

“You must write every single day of your life… You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads… may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” – Ray Bradbury

Motivational quotes about inspiration

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London

“If you’re staring at the piece of paper, and you’ve got nothing, if you have to force something, then the readers will pick up on that in a nanosecond.” – Jim Davis

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” – Robert Frost

“Write what you know. That should leave you with a lot of free time.” – Howard Nemerov

“Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way.” – Ray Bradbury

“Ideas aren’t magical; the only tricky part is holding on to one long enough to get it written down.” – Lynn Abbey

“Before I start a project, I always ask myself the following question. Why is this book worth a year of my life? There needs to be something about the theme, the technique, or the research that makes the time spent on it worthwhile.” – David Morrell

“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

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. – William Wordsworth

“Write what will stop your breath if you don’t write.” – Grace Paley

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don’t write, because our culture has no use for it.” – Anais Nin

“No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else’s draft.” – H.G. Wells

“Write what should not be forgotten.” – Isabel Allende

“Isn’t it mysterious to begin a new journal like this? I can run my fingers through the fresh clean pages but I cannot guess what the writing on them will be.” – Maud Hart Lovelace

“If the word doesn’t exist, invent it; but first be sure it doesn’t exist.” – Charles Baudelaire

“And then, sometimes, when I least expect it, there are the rare, exquisite, ecstatic experiences of writing, when the story bursts out, and I struggle to type as fast as I need to, afraid the sentences are going to fly out of my grasp.” – Nina LaCour

“Everybody is talented because everybody who is human has something to express.” – Brenda Ueland

“When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time.” – Lady Gaga

“A novel takes the courage of a marathon runner, and as long as you have to run, you might as well be a winning marathon runner. Serendipity and blind faith in yourself won’t hurt a thing. All the bastards in the world will snicker and sneer because they haven’t the talent to zip up their flies by themselves. To hell with them, particularly the critics. Stand in there, son, no matter how badly you are battered and hurt.” – Leon Uris

“I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.” – James Michener

“The Kafka paradox: art depends on truth, but truth, being indivisable, cannot know itself: to tell the truth is to lie. Thus the writer is the truth, and yet when he speaks he lies.” – Franz Kafka

“Make up a story… For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear’s caul.” – Toni Morrison

“Good writing can be defined as having something to say and saying it well. When one has nothing to say, one should remain silent. Silence is always beautiful at such times.” – Edward Abbey

“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

“To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.” – Herman Melville

“The desire to write grows with writing.” – Erasmus

“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.” – William Faulkner

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Literature is strewn with the wreckage of those who have minded beyond reason the opinion of others.” – Virginia Woolf

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” – John Steinbeck

“It hadn’t occurred to me before, but it struck me then, that my years of failed jobs and career dead ends were enormously useful to me in the present, as a writer of fiction.” – Joanne McNeil

“Let’s get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no Idea Dump, no Story Central, no Island of the Buried Bestsellers; good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.” – Stephen King

“How do I know what I think until I see what I say?” – E.M. Forster

“So okay– there you are in your room with the shade down and the door shut and the plug pulled out of the base of the telephone. You’ve blown up your TV and committed yourself to a thousand words a day, come hell or high water. Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well want.” – Stephen King

“Some moments are nice, some are nicer, some are even worth writing about.” – Charles Bukowski

“Writer’s block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol.” ― Steve Martin

“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“Writing is the geometry of the soul.” – Plato

“If you show someone something you’ve written, you give them a sharpened stake, lie down in your coffin, and say, ‘When you’re ready’.” – David Mitchell

“The problems of the human heart in conflict with itself… alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat.” – William Faulkner

“I never exactly made a book. It’s rather like taking dictation. I was given things to say.” – C.S. Lewis

“The characters in my novels are my own unrealised possibilities. That is why I am equally fond of them all and equally horrified by them. Each one has crossed a border that I myself have circumvented.” – Milan Kundera

“Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

“A writer who is a pro can take on almost any assignment, but if he or she doesn’t much care about the subject, I try to dissuade the writer, as in that case the book can be just plain hard labor.” – Sterling Lord

“I write to discover what I know.” – Flannery O’Connor

“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use – do the work you want to see done.” – Austin Kleon

“Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don’t care who’s listening.” – Allen Ginsberg

“Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

“Writing is a concentrated form of thinking. I don’t know what I think about certain subjects, even today, until I sit down and try to write about them.” – Don DeLillo

“I would rather write 10,000 notes than a single letter of the alphabet.” – Ludwig van Beethoven

“I’m writing a book. I’ve got the page numbers done.” – Steven Wright

“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” – Cyril Connolly

“A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.” – Sidney Sheldon

“A writer – and, I believe, generally all persons – must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.” – Jorge Luis Borges

“I once tried to write a novel about revenge. It’s the only book I didn’t finish. I couldn’t get into the mind of the person who was plotting vengeance.” – Maeve Binchy

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.” – Robert Hughes

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” – William Wordsworth

“Anybody who has survived his childhood has enough information about life to last him the rest of his days.” – Flannery O’Connor

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” – Franz Kafka

“I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.” – Franz Kafka

“What cannot be said above all must not be silenced but written.” – Jacques Derrida

“Everybody gets told to write about what they know. The trouble with many of us is that at the earlier stages of life we think we know everything- or to put it more usefully, we are often unaware of the scope and structure of our ignorance.” – Thomas Pynchon

“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

“Who is more to be pitied, a writer bound and gagged by policemen or one living in perfect freedom who has nothing more to say?” – Kurt Vonnegut

“Only those things are beautiful which are inspired by madness and written by reason.” – Andre Gide

“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” – Stephen King

“Most of the poems are written from a place of spiritual longing, of wanting to live in a world of beauty and wholeness. But also, from a place of uncertainty, and being comfortable in the uncertainty.” – Heather Lanier

“If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“You are lucky to be one of those people who wishes to build sand castles with words, who is willing to create a place where your imagination can wander. We build this place with the sand of memories; these castles are our memories and inventiveness made tangible. So part of us believes that when the tide starts coming in, we won’t really have lost anything, because actually only a symbol of it was there in the sand. Another part of us thinks we’ll figure out a way to divert the ocean. This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be.” – Anne Lamott

“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

Hire a ghostwriter

Motivational quotes about how to write well

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” – Anton Chekhov

“Don’t say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.” – Mark Twain

“In writing. Don’t use adjectives which merely tell us how you want us to feel about the thing you are describing. I mean, instead of telling us a thing was ‘terrible,’ describe it so that we’ll be terrified. Don’t say it was ‘delightful’; make us say ‘delightful’ when we’ve read the description. You see, all those words (horrifying, wonderful, hideous, exquisite) are only like saying to your readers, ‘Please will you do my job for me.'” – C.S. Lewis

“Write your first draft with your heart. Rewrite with your head.” – Mike Rich

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.” – Elmore Leonard

“To write well, express yourself like the common people, but think like a wise man.” – Aristotle

“When I used to teach creative writing, I would tell the students to make their characters want something right away.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.” – Ernest Hemingway

“The first draft of anything is shit.” – Ernest Hemingway

“When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.” – Stephen King

“Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one’s luck.” – Iris Murdoch

“A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: 1. What am I trying to say? 2. What words will express it? 3. What image or idiom will make it clearer? 4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?” – George Orwell

“When I am writing, I’m very much on the ground, on the same ground my characters are treading.” – Graham Swift

“In displaying the psychology of your characters, minute particulars are essential. God save us from vague generalizations!” – Anton Chekhov

“People often ask me why my style is so simple. It is, in fact, deceptively simple, for no two sentences are alike. It is clarity that I am striving to attain, not simplicity.

“Of course, some people want literature to be difficult and there are writers who like to make their readers toil and sweat. They hope to be taken more seriously that way. I have always tried to achieve a prose that is easy and conversational. And those who think this is simple should try it for themselves.” – Ruskin Bond

“It is all very well for you to write simply and the simpler the better. But do not start to think so damned simply. Know how complicated it is and then state it simply.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Write quickly and you will never write well; write well, and you will soon write quickly.” – Marcus Fabius Quintilianus

“Make it dark, make it grim, make it tough, but then, for the love of God, tell a joke.” ― Joss Whedon

“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” – Margaret Atwood

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

“Let the reader find that he cannot afford to omit any line of your writing because you have omitted every word that he can spare.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“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

“At the end of the day, your job is to be a storyteller, and I always say: it’s not who you know, but who you are, and what you can put into your stories, and what lens you can look at the world through.” – Keith Giglio

“A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.” – Edgar Allan Poe

“Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.” – Alan Wilson Watts

“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

“Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.” – Stephen King

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.” – Mark Twain

“A man once asked me … how I managed in my books to write such natural conversation between men when they were by themselves. Was I, by any chance, a member of a large, mixed family with a lot of male friends? I replied that, on the contrary, I was an only child and had practically never seen or spoken to any men of my own age till I was about twenty-five. “Well,” said the man, “I shouldn’t have expected a woman (meaning me) to have been able to make it so convincing.” I replied that I had coped with this difficult problem by making my men talk, as far as possible, like ordinary human beings. This aspect of the matter seemed to surprise the other speaker; he said no more, but took it away to chew it over. One of these days it may quite likely occur to him that women, as well as men, when left to themselves, talk very much like human beings also.” – Dorothy L. Sayers

“A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. By using words well they strengthen their souls. Story-tellers and poets spend their lives learning that skill and art of using words well. And their words make the souls of their readers stronger, brighter, deeper.” – Ursula K. Le Guin

“People love a happy ending. So every episode, I will explain once again that I don’t like people. And then Mal will shoot someone. Someone we like. And their puppy.” – Joss Whedon

“You always get more respect when you don’t have a happy ending.” – Julia Quinn

“My most important piece of advice to all you would-be writers: When you write, try to leave out all the parts readers skip.” – Elmore Leonard

“What is the essence of the art of writing? Part One: Have something to say. Part Two: Say it well.” – Edward Abbey

“It’s not wise to violate the rules until you know how to observe them.” – T.S. Eliot

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” – Pablo Picasso

“Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard.” ― David McCullough

“It’s impossible to say a thing exactly the way it was, because of what you say can never be exact, you always have to leave something out, there are too many parts, sides, crosscurrents, nuances; too many gestures, which could mean this or that, too many shapes which can never be fully described, too many flavors, in the air or on the tongue, half-colors, too many.” – Margaret Atwood

“Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“I write almost always in the third person, and I don’t think the narrator is male or female anyway. They’re both, and young and old, and wise and silly, and sceptical and credulous, and innocent and experienced, all at once. Narrators are not even human – they’re sprites.” – Philip Pullman

“It’s up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code. Most of these jokers don’t even want to use language you and I know or can learn … they would rather sneer at us and be smug, because we ‘fail’ to see what they are driving at. If indeed they are driving at anything–obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence.” v– Robert A. Heinlein

“Good novels are not written by orthodoxy-sniffers, nor by people who are conscience-stricken about their own orthodoxy. Good novels are written by people who are not frightened.” – George Orwell

“Always be a poet, even in prose.” – Charles Baudelaire

“That’s all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones.” – Raymond Carver

Douglas Adams quote on deadlines

Motivational quotes about quality writing

“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” – E.L. Doctorow

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter. ‘Tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” – Mark Twain

“The funny thing about writing is that whether you’re doing well or doing it poorly, it looks the exact same. That’s actually one of the main ways that writing is different from ballet dancing.”– John Green

“It may be observed of good writing, as of good blood, that it is much easier to say what it is composed of than to compose it.” – Charles Caleb Colton

“In good writing, words become one with things.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Good writing is like a windowpane.” – George Orwell

“There’s no such thing as perfect writing, just like there’s no such thing as perfect despair.” – Haruki Murakami

“No iron can pierce the human heart as chillingly as a full stop placed at the right time.” – Isaac Babel

“I write, ‘Jane came into the room and sat down on the blue couch,’ read that, wince, cross out ‘came into the room’ and ‘down’ and ‘blue’ (Why does she have to come into the room? Can someone sit UP on a couch? Why do we care if it’s blue?) and the sentence becomes “Jane sat on the couch – ” and suddenly, it’s better (Hemingwayesque, even!), although … why is it meaningful for Jane to sit on a couch? Do we really need that? And soon we have arrived, simply, at ‘Jane’, which at least doesn’t suck, and has the virtue of brevity.” – George Saunders

“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” – Jack Kerouac

“By the time I am nearing the end of a story, the first part will have been reread and altered and corrected at least one hundred and fifty times. I am suspicious of both facility and speed. Good writing is essentially rewriting. I am positive of this.” – Roald Dahl

“You do an awful lot of bad writing in order to do any good writing. Incredibly bad. I think it would be very interesting to make a collection of some of the worst writing by good writers.” – William S. Burroughs

“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make.” – Truman Capote

“A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one.” – Baltasar Gracián

“Comparisons deplete the actuality of the things compared…” – William S. Wilson

“The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering.” – Tom Waits

“What I’ve learned about writing is that sometimes less is more, while often more is grander. And both are true.” – Richelle E. Goodrich

“I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English–it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don’t mean utterly, but kill most of them–then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.” – Mark Twain

“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” – Thomas Jefferson

“I have only made this letter longer because I have not had the time to make it shorter.” – Blaise Pascal

“If it can be cut out, then CUT IT OUT. Everything non-essential that you can eliminate strengthens what’s left.” – Alexander Mackendrick

“Writing simply means no dependent clauses, no dangling things, no flashbacks, and keeping the subject near the predicate. We throw in as many fresh words we can get away with. Simple, short sentences don’t always work. You have to do tricks with pacing, alternate long sentences with short, to keep it vital and alive…. Virtually every page is a cliffhanger–you’ve got to force them to turn it.” – Dr. Seuss

“The secret of being a bore is to tell everything.” – Voltaire

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Definition of rock journalism: People who can’t write, doing interviews with people who can’t think, in order to prepare articles for people who can’t read.” – Frank Zappa

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” – Stephen King

“Personally I think that grammar is a way to attain beauty.” – Muriel Barbery

“Grand. There’s a word I really hate. It’s a phony. I could puke every time I hear it.” – J.D. Salinger

“It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“All good writing leaves something unexpressed.” – Christian Nestell Bovee

“The part you must jettison is not only the best-written part; it also, oddly, that part which was to have been the very point. It is the original key passage, the passage on which the rest was to hang.” – Annie Dillard

“Editing should be, especially in the case of old writers, a counselling rather than a collaborating task. The tendency of the writer-editor to collaborate is natural, but he should say to himself, ‘How can I help this writer to say it better in his own style?’ and avoid ‘How can I show him how I would write it, if it were my piece?'” – James Thurber

“One should use common words to say uncommon things.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

“Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish.” – Hermann Hesse

“Bad writing is more than a matter of shit syntax and faulty observation; bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do– to face the fact, let us say, that murderers sometimes help old ladies cross the street.” – Stephen King

PG Wodehouse quote on writing stories

Motivational quotes about the story

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” – Frank Herbert

“There is something delicious about writing the first words of a story. You never quite know where they’ll take you.” – Beatrix Potter

“A story has no beginning or end: Arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.” – Graham Greene

“If you want to write a fantasy story with Norse gods, sentient robots, and telepathic dinosaurs, you can do just that. Want to throw in a vampire and a lesbian unicorn while you’re at it? Go ahead. Nothing’s off limits. But the endless possibility of the genre is a trap. It’s easy to get distracted by the glittering props available to you and forget what you’re supposed to be doing: telling a good story. Don’t get me wrong, magic is cool. But a nervous mother singing to her child at night while something moves quietly through the dark outside her house? That’s a story. Handled properly, it’s more dramatic than any apocalypse or goblin army could ever be.” – Patrick Rothfuss

“To think of a life-story as a compendium of memories which one is free to interpret in the present according to the demands (and desires) of the present seems to me characteristic of a writer’s way of thinking. I would contrast this with the way many people see their life-story: as a history that is forever fixed (‘you can’t change the past’).” – J. M. Coetzee

“Almost all great writers have as their motif, more or less disguised, the passage from childhood to maturity, the clash between the thrill of expectation and the disillusioning knowledge of truth. ‘Lost Illusion’ is the undisclosed title of every novel.” – Andre Maurois

“You can’t blame a writer for what the characters say.” – Truman Capote

“Fictional characters are made of words, not flesh; they do not have free will, they do not exercise volition. They are easily born, and as easily killed off.” – John Banville

“Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them — in order that the reader may see what they are made of.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“A good story is always more dazzling than a broken piece of truth.” – Diane Setterfield

“The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell the truth without humiliating himself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies.” – Ray Bradbury

“It is the tale, not he who tells it.” – Stephen King

“The job of the writer is to take a close and uncomfortable look at the world they inhabit, the world we all inhabit, and the job of the novel is to make the corpse stink.” ― Walter Mosley

“There is such a place as fairyland – but only children can find the way to it. And they do not know that it is fairyland until they have grown so old that they forget the way. One bitter day, when they seek it and cannot find it, they realize what they have lost; and that is the tragedy of life. On that day the gates of Eden are shut behind them and the age of gold is over. Henceforth they must dwell in the common light of common day. Only a few, who remain children at heart, can ever find that fair, lost path again; and blessed are they above mortals. They, and only they, can bring us tidings from that dear country where we once sojourned and from which we must evermore be exiles. The world calls them its singers and poets and artists and story-tellers; but they are just people who have never forgotten the way to fairyland.” – L.M. Montgomery

“The best stories don’t come from “good vs. bad” but “good vs. good.” – Leo Tolstoy

“Fiction was invented the day Jonah arrived home and told his wife that he was three days late because he had been swallowed by a whale.” – Gabriel García Márquez

“Literature was not born the day when a boy crying “wolf, wolf” came running out of the Neanderthal valley with a big gray wolf at his heels; literature was born on the day when a boy came crying “wolf, wolf” and there was no wolf behind him.” – Vladimir Nabokov

“There’s escaping from the wolves, fighting the wolves, capturing the wolves, taming the wolves. Being thrown to the wolves, or throwing others to the wolves so the wolves will eat them instead of you. Running with the wolf pack. Turning into a wolf. Best of all, turning into the head wolf. No other decent stories exist.” – Margaret Atwood

“My only conclusion about structure is that nothing works if you don’t have interesting characters and a good story to tell.” – Harold Ramis

“After nourishment, shelter, and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” – Philip Pullman

“Sooner or later every writer evolves his own definition of a story. Mine is: A reflection of life plus beginning and end (life seems not to have either) and a meaning.” – Mary O’Hara

“A story is alive, as you and I are. It is rounded by muscle and sinew. Rushed with blood. Layered with skin, both rough and smooth. At its core lies soft marrow of hard, white bone. A story beats with the heart of every person who has ever strained ears to listen. On the breath of the storyteller, it soars. Until its images and deeds become so real you can see them in the air, shimmering like oases on the horizon line. A story can fly like a bee, so straight and swift you catch only the hum of its passing. Or move so slowly it seems motionless, curled in upon itself like a snake in the sun. It can vanish like smoke before the wind. Linger like perfume in the nose. Change with every telling, yet always remain the same.” – Cameron Dokey

“The last thing one discovers in composing a work is what to put first.” – Blaise Pascal

“… plot, the absolute line between two points which I’ve always despised. Not for literary reasons, but because it takes all hope away. Everyone, real or invented, deserves the open destiny of life.” – Grace Paley

“You don’t write about the horrors of war. No. You write about a kid’s burnt socks lying in the road.” – Richard Price

“Character is plot, plot is character.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

“The real story is not the plot, but how the characters unfold by it.” – Vanna Bonta

“In general there should be gay characters in YA because a) surprise, there are gay folks everywhere and b) in my opinion as a father, there’s not a damn thing wrong with my child encountering gay folks in her literature, because see point a).” – John Scalzi

“I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which ‘Escape’ is now so often used. Why should a man be scorned if, finding himself in prison, he tries to get out and go home? Or if he cannot do so, he thinks and talks about other topics than jailers and prison-walls?” – J.R.R. Tolkien

“Action, reaction, motivation, emotion, all have to come from the characters. Writing a love scene requires the same elements from the writer as any other.” – Nora Roberts

“Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” – Stephen King

“The person who writes for fools is always sure of a large audience.” ― Arthur Schopenhauer,

“The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” – Terry Pratchett

“The success of every novel — if it’s a novel of action — depends on the high spots. The thing to do is to say to yourself, ‘What are my big scenes?’ and then get every drop of juice out of them.” – P.G. Wodehouse

“You take people, you put them on a journey, you give them peril, you find out who they really are.” – Joss Whedon

“A lack of narrative structure, as you know, will cause anxiety.” – John Dufresne

“There is something in us, as storytellers and as listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands that what falls at least be offered the chance to be restored. The reader of today looks for this motion, and rightly so, but what he has forgotten is the cost of it. His sense of evil is diluted or lacking altogether, and so he has forgotten the price of restoration. When he reads a novel, he wants either his sense tormented or his spirits raised. He wants to be transported, instantly, either to mock damnation or a mock innocence.” ― Flannery O’Connor

“Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences.” – Anne McCaffrey

“I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering.” – Robert Frost

“A good story is a dream shared by the author and the reader. Anything that wakes the reader from the dream is a mortal sin.” – Victor J. Banis

“Let’s face it, characters are the bedrock of your fiction. Plot is just a series of actions that happen in a sequence, and without someone to either perpetrate or suffer the consequences of those actions, you have no one for your reader to root for, or wish bad things on.” — Icy Sedgwick

“Modernist manuals of writing often conflate story with conflict. This reductionism reflects a culture that inflates aggression and competition while cultivating ignorance of other behavioral options. No narrative of any complexity can be built on or reduced to a single element. Conflict is one kind of behavior. There are others, equally important in any human life, such as relating, finding, losing, bearing, discovering, parting, changing. Change is the universal aspect of all these sources of story. Story is something moving, something happening, something or somebody changing.” – Ursula K. Le Guin

“Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.” – Meg Cabot

“The trouble with writing fiction is that it has to make sense, whereas real life doesn’t.” – Iain M. Banks

“What is drama but life with the dull bits cut out.” – Alfred Hitchcock

“Fiction should be a place of lollipops and escape. Real life is depressing enough–I, for one, don’t want to read about make believe misery, too.’ – Nicole Christie

“Good fiction creates its own reality.” – Nora Roberts

“A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone’s knowledge of himself and the world around him.” ― Dylan Thomas

“A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam.” – Frederik Pohl

“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.” – G.K. Chesterton

“We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write.” – Neil Gaiman

“In a way, literature is true than life,’ he said to himself. ‘On paper, you say exactly and completely what you feel. How easy it is to break things off on paper! You hate, you shout, you kill, you commit suicide; you carry things to the very end. And that’s why it’s false. But it’s damned satisfying. In life, you’re constantly denying yourself, and others are always contradicting you. On paper, I make time stand still and I impose my convictions on the whole world; they become the only reality.” – Simone de Beauvoir

“A short story is a different thing altogether – a short story is like a quick kiss in the dark from a stranger.”
– Stephen King

“Women want love to be a novel. Men, a short story.” – Daphne du Maurier

“A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.” – Lorrie Moore

“What monster sleeps in the deep of your story? You need a monster. Without a monster there is no story.” – Billy Marshall

“I just knew there were stories I wanted to tell.” – Octavia E. Butler

“Some stories have to be written because no one would believe the absurdity of it all.” – Shannon L. Alder

“The thing about a story is that you dream it as you tell it, hoping that others might then dream along with you, and in this way memory and imagination and language combine to make spirits in the head. There is the illusion of aliveness.” – Tim O’Brien

“Borges said there are only four stories to tell: a love story between two people, a love story between three people, the struggle for power and the voyage. All of us writers rewrite these same stories ad infinitum.” – Paolo Coelho

“Of course, the writer can impose control; It’s just a really shitty idea. Writing controlled fiction is called ‘plotting.’ Buckling your seatbelt and letting the story take over, however… that is called ‘storytelling.’ Storytelling is as natural as breathing; plotting is the literary version of artificial respiration.” – Stephen King

“Don’t classify me, read me. I’m a writer, not a genre.” – Carlos Fuentes

“Fiction is art and art is the triumph over chaos… to celebrate a world that lies spread out around us like a bewildering and stupendous dream.” – John Cheever

“Put your soul in the palm of my hand for me to look at, like a crystal jewel. I’ll sketch it in words…” – Yasunari Kawabata

“The struggle of literature is in fact a struggle to escape from the confines of language; it stretches out from the utmost limits of what can be said; what stirs literature is the call and attraction of what is not in the dictionary.” – Italo Calvino

“Don’t resist the urge to burn down the stronghold, kill off the main love interest or otherwise foul up the lives of your characters.” – Patricia Hamill

“In writing, you must kill all your darlings.” – William Faulkner

“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.” – Stephen King

“The story is always better than your ability to write it.” – Robin McKinley

“Writing fiction is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.” – Khaled Hosseini

“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.” – Lloyd Alexander

“Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.” – Ray Bradbury

“I was supposed to write a romantic comedy, but my characters broke up.” – Ann Brashares

“The decision to kiss for the first time is the most crucial in any love story. It changes the relationship of two people much more strongly than even the final surrender; because this kiss already has within it that surrender.” – Emil Ludwig

“That’s what fiction is for. It’s for getting at the truth when the truth isn’t sufficient for the truth.” – Tim O’Brien

“A good [short story] would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit.” – David Sedaris

“I’m always very curious about how my characters are going to thrive no matter what has happened in their life, how they’re going to come out the other side.” – Karma Brown

“In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it ‘got boring,’ the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling.” – Stephen King

“Autobiography begins with a sense of being alone. It is an orphan form.” – John Berger

“The author must keep his mouth shut when his work starts to speak.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“Poems are never finished – just abandoned” – Paul Valery

“The gift of words is the gift of deception and illusion.” – Frank Herbert

“Writing has nothing to do with meaning. It has to do with landsurveying and cartography, including the mapping of countries yet to come.” – Gilles Deleuze

“A story is not like a road to follow … it’s more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows.” – Alice Munro

“When all the details fit in perfectly, something is probably wrong with the story.” ― Charles Baxter

Charles Dickens quote on books

Motivational quotes about books

“A book is simply the container of an idea—like a bottle; what is inside the book is what matters.” – Angela Carter

“A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.” – Mark Twain

“A book is made from a tree. It is an assemblage of flat, flexible parts (still called “leaves”) imprinted with dark pigmented squiggles. One glance at it and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, the author is speaking, clearly and silently, inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time– proof that humans can work magic.” – Carl Sagan

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.” ― Samuel Johnson

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.” – Carl Sagan

“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.” – Winston Churchill

“It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass.” – Eudora Welty

“Collect books, even if you don’t plan on reading them right away. Nothing is more important than an unread library.” – John Waters

“Some books are undeservedly forgotten; none are undeservedly remembered.” – W.H. Auden

“It has often been said
there’s so much to be read,
you never can cram
all those words in your head.

“So the writer who breeds
more words than he needs
is making a chore
for the reader who reads.

“That’s why my belief is
the briefer the brief is,
the greater the sigh
of the reader’s relief is.

“And that’s why your books
have such power and strength.
You publish with shorth!
(Shorth is better than length.)”
– Dr. Seuss

“There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.” – Charles Dickens

“One always has a better book in one’s mind than one can manage to get onto paper.” — Michael Cunningham

“If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.” — Wally Lamb

“The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.” — Ernest Hemingway

“I haven’t any right to criticize books, and I don’t do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticize Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Every time I read Pride and Prejudice I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.” – Mark Twain

“The novel cannot submit to authority.” – Julian Gough

“The one common thread in all of the books that are falling apart on my shelf? Characters—flawed ones with desires and needs who spend most of the story tripping over their weaknesses in an effort to get what they want.” — Becca Puglisi

“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.” – Oscar Wilde

“No one says a novel has to be one thing. It can be anything it wants to be, a vaudeville show, the six o’clock news, the mumblings of wild men saddled by demons.” ― Ishmael Reed

“My books are water; those of the great geniuses is wine. Everybody drinks water.” Mark Twain

“By now, it is probably very late at night, and you have stayed up to read this book when you should have gone to sleep. If this is the case, then I commend you for falling into my trap. It is a writer’s greatest pleasure to hear that someone was kept up until the unholy hours of the morning reading one of his books. It goes back to authors being terrible people who delight in the suffering of others. Plus, we get a kickback from the caffeine industry…” – Brandon Sanderson

“Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.” – Isaac Asimov

“In old days books were written by men of letters and read by the public. Nowadays books are written by the public and read by nobody.” – Oscar Wilde

About David Leonhardt

David Leonhardt is President of The Happy Guy Marketing, a published author, a "Distinguished Toastmaster", a former consumer advocate, a social media addict and experienced with media relations and government reports.

Read more about David Leonhardt


Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *