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Quotes about Worth

Quotes about Writing

Quotes about Worth

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Against the disease of writing one must take special precautions, since it is a dangerous and contagious disease. (Peter Abelard)

Writers don't give prescriptions. They give headaches! (Chinua Achebe)

First of all, writing at best - certainly fiction writing - more and more I think is magic. (Kathy Acker)

Learn as much by writing as by reading. (Lord Acton)

Advice to Persons About to Write History – Don't. (Lord Acton)

My bursting heart must find vent at my pen. (Abigail Adams)

There's a saying, 'It's easy to write songs, but very difficult to write great songs.' I'm going through that right now. (Bryan Adams)

The best part of the fiction in many novels is the notice that the characters are purely imaginary. (Franklin P. Adams)

Among all kinds of writing, there is none in which authors are more apt to miscarry than in works of humour, as there is none in which they are more ambitious to excel. (Joseph Addison)

'Whom are you?' said he, for he had been to night school. (George Ade)

Writing takes gall. I like to think that's true even for writers with several books under their belt, writers who have been doing it for years. It takes something - guts, gumption, self-delusion - to ask for a reader's time when we all know there's nothing new under the sun; that it's all been said, or written, before. (Rumaan Alam)

I really enjoy writing about books, and sometimes I write about music and film. (Rumaan Alam)

Writers must fortify themselves with pride and egotism as best they can... Writers are vulnerable creatures like anyone else. For what do they have in reality? Not sandbags, not timbers. Just a flimsy reputation and a name. (Brian Aldiss)

I like writing. It keeps my mind off grim subjects. It's therapeutic in the same way a patient in an institution is given fingerpaints. (Woody Allen)

I never sit down and write. I just sorta let things form in my brain. (Mose Allison)

I have written a few children's books. The first book that I wrote was for children. It was called The Package, and it was a mystery story in pictures. It had no words. (Laurie Anderson)

The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart. (Maya Angelou)

So usually even if you like a sentence or a story or something, it won't come out that way - it'll come out years later, and in a different way, and you don't really control that. (Keren Ann)

Journalism is literature in a hurry. (Matthew Arnold)

I've always loved brainstorming with other writers, and I consider having my work critiqued a part of that brainstorming. (Jay Asher)

It's the writing that teaches you. (Isaac Asimov)

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. (Isaac Asimov)

Writing is the worst part of being a writer. (James Atlas)

There's a difference between describing and evoking something. You can describe something and be quite clinical about it. To evoke it, you call it up in the reader. That's what writers do when they're good. (Margaret Atwood)

Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about. (W. H. Auden)

Find what feels true. You'll write a lot, and most of it will be bullshit. You need the bullshit if you want to find the truth. Sort through the bullshit until you learn to recognize the truth, by feel, not by any logical criteria. The truth looks remarkably like bullshit. (Leo Babauta)

The right to write badly was the privilege we widely used. (Isaac Babel)

No steel can pierce the human heart so chillingly as a period put just at the right place. (Isaac Babel)

Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. (Sir Francis Bacon)

Writers, like teeth, are divided into incisors and grinders. (Walter Bagehot)

For me, as a beginning novelist, all other living writers form a control group for whom the world is a placebo. (Nicholson Baker)

While I was writing I assumed it would be published under a pseudonym, and that liberated me: what I wrote was exactly what I wanted to read. (Nicholson Baker)

The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any. (Russell Baker)

Journal writing is a voyage to the interior. (Christina Baldwin)

Any writer, I suppose, feels that the world into which he was born is nothing less than a conspiracy against the cultivation of his talent. (James Baldwin)

When art writing seems incomprehensible, chances are it is. (Darby Bannard)

When you write something new about science, other scientists may not like it but they pay attention because it is subject to proof. When you write something new about art, it is subject only to the reader's discomfort, and will probably be rejected. (Darby Bannard)

Writing about art is only useful when it leads to the experience of art. (Darby Bannard)

One of the most attractive things about writing your autobiography is that you're not dead. (Joseph Barbera)

For several days after my first book was published I carried it about in my pocket, and took surreptitious peeps at it to make sure the ink had not faded. (James M. Barrie)

It took me fifty years to deal with the Holocaust and all. And I did it in a literary way. (Leonard Baskin)

Always be a poet, even in prose. (Charles Baudelaire)

When I was young I longed to write a great novel that should win me fame. Now that I am getting old my first book is written to amuse children... (L. Frank Baum)

Writing down thoughts is like making marks in the wind. The wind in turn makes kites fly even as we cannot see the strings. (Nicoletta Baumeister)

Almost always, what gets me going with a story is the atmosphere, the visual imagery, and then I people it with characters, not the other way around. (Ann Beattie)

For some reason writing and drawing are very separate processes for me. (Alison Bechdel)

Nothing matters but the writing. There has been nothing else worthwhile... a stain upon the silence. (Samuel Beckett)

There are two moments worthwhile in writing, the one when you start and the other when you throw it in the waste-paper basket. (Samuel Beckett)

-on receiving a note containing the single word: 'Fool!'...
I have known many an instance of a man writing a letter and forgetting to sign his name, but this is the only instance I have ever known of a man signing his name and forgetting to write the letter. (Henry Ward Beecher)

What an author likes to write most is his signature on the back of a cheque. (Brendan Francis Behan)

When I am dead, I hope it is said, 'His sins were scarlet, but his books were read.' (Hilaire Belloc)

Of all the fatiguing, futile, empty trades, the worst, I suppose, is writing about writing. (Hilaire Belloc)

A novel is balanced between a few true impressions and the multitude of false ones that make up most of what we call life. (Saul Bellow)

I don't keep my books around... they would embarrass me. When I finish writing my books, I kick them in the belly, and have done with them. (Ludwig Bemelmans)

Great literature must spring from an upheaval in the author's soul. If that upheaval is not present then it must come from the works of any other author which happens to be handy and easily adapted. (Robert Benchley)

It seems the best work I do is when I am really allowing the unconscious to rule the page and then later I can go back and hack around and make sense of things... (Aimee Bender)

At the age of thirty-five, I have just begun to become the kind of person who could understand the kind of book I would want to write. (Ingrid Bengis)

To write is to make oneself the echo of what cannot cease speaking. (Arnold Bennett)

The makers of literature are those who have seen and felt the miraculous interestingness of the universe. If you have formed... literary taste... your life will be one long ecstasy of denying that the world is a dull place. (Arnold Bennett)

The novel is born of disillusionment; the poem, of despair. (Jose Bergamin)

Why do writers write? Because it isn't there. (Thomas Berger)

I write scripts to serve as skeletons awaiting the flesh and sinew of images. (Ingmar Bergman)

You can't write a song out of thin air. You have to feel and know what you are writing about. (Irving Berlin)

I didn't want to be like Yeats; I wanted to be Yeats. (John Berryman)

I only write books about dead people. They can't sue. (Pierre Berton)

reporter, n. A writer who guesses his way to the truth and dispels it with a tempest of words. (Ambrose Bierce)

A good writer is not per se a good book critic, no more so than a good drunk is automatically a good bartender. (Jim Bishop)

Writing is done by someone. It is not, like some mythical goddess, a skill that springs forth, full grown from the genes of inspiration... (Leonard Bishop)

Any writer who believes in the 'lucky creative accident' in writing is pushing elephants on roller skates up greased ramps. (Leonard Bishop)

Morning writing centres me, clears the pond scum off the surface of my mind, plants my feet firmly on the ground and gets me out of my own way. (Eleanor Blair)

I write to discover what I think. After all, the bars aren't open that early. (Daniel J. Boorstin)

Writing is nothing more than a guided dream. (Jorge Luis Borges)

The fact is that every writer creates his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future. (Jorge Luis Borges)

Writing an Artist's Statement can seem contrived to have to explain your own visual aesthetics. (Kelly Borsheim)

I just do the best I can and write something interesting, to tell stories in an interesting way and move forward from there. (Anthony Bourdain)

If a theme or idea is too near the surface, the novel becomes simply a tract illustrating an idea. (Elizabeth Bowen)

The importance to the writer of first writing must be out of all proportion of the actual value of what is written. (Elizabeth Bowen)

I'm looking for backing for an unauthorized auto-biography that I am writing. Hopefully, this will sell in such huge numbers that I will be able to sue myself for an extraordinary amount of money and finance the film version in which I will play everybody. (David Bowie)

When you write – explode – fly apart – disintegrate! Then give time enough to think, cut, rework, and rewrite. (Ray Bradbury)

Richard Bach with this book does two things. He gives me Flight. He makes me Young. For both I am deeply grateful. (Ray Bradbury)

There's no 'magic secret'; writing is like everything else; ten percent inspiration or talent, and ninety percent hard work. Persistence; keeping at it till you get there. As Agnes de Mille said, it means working every day - bored, tired, weary, or with a fever of a hundred and two. (Marion Zimmer Bradley)

Some of us find our lives abridged even before the paperback comes out. (Berkely Breathed)

Speaks cheerful English and in the past has written this language with a paintbrush that talks. (Jimmy Breslin)

Of all those arts in which the wise excel, / Nature's chief masterpiece is writing well. (Andre Breton)

-A Dry White Season epilogue, 1980
Perhaps all one can really hope for, all I am entitled to, is no more than this: to write it down. To report what I know. So that it will not be possible for any man ever to say again: I knew nothing about it. (Andre Brink)

The idea that it is necessary to go to a university to become a successful writer... is one of those phantasies that surround authorship. (Vera Brittain)

I'm just going to write because I cannot help it. (Charlotte Bronte)

Writing novels preserves you in a state of innocence - a lot passes you by - simply because your attention is otherwise diverted. (Anita Brookner)

Every human being has hundreds of separate people living under his skin. The talent of a writer is his ability to give them their separate names, identities, personalities and have them relate to other characters living with him. (Mel Brooks)

I am convinced that too many words often serve to cover a scarcity of ideas. Any strategy to diminish the number of pages and the length of paragraphs is a winning process. (Raymond Brulotte)

It is the glory and merit of some men to write well and of others not to write at all. (Jean de La Bruyere)

Just when you think there's nothing to write about, Nixon says, 'I am not a crook.' Jimmy Carter says, 'I have lusted after women in my heart.' President Reagan says, 'I have just taken a urinalysis test, and I am not on dope.' (Art Buchwald)

In a mood of faith and hope my work goes on. A ream of fresh paper lies on my desk waiting for the next book. I am a writer and I take up my pen to write. (Pearl S. Buck)

Of all the arts in which the wise excel, nature's chief masterpiece is writing well. (Duke of Buckingham)

Writing well is at one and the same time good thinking, good feeling, and good expression; it is having wit, soul, and taste, all together. (George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon)

Writing is something that you don't know how to do. You sit down and it's something that happens, or it may not happen. So, how can you teach anybody how to write? It's beyond me... (Charles Bukowski)

Beneath the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword. (Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton)

Writers are the main landmarks of the past. (Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton)

The nature of a novel is that it has no opinions, only the dialectic of contrary views, some of which, all of which, may be untenable and even silly. A novelist should not be too intelligent either, although... he may be permitted to be an intellectual. (Anthony Burgess)

To write is to become disinterested. There is a certain renunciation in art. (Anthony Burgess)

-A Clockwork Orange...
We can destroy what we have written, but we cannot unwrite it. (Anthony Burgess)

This is the sixth book I've written, which isn't bad for a guy who's only read two. (George Burns)

In my writing I am acting as a map maker, an explorer of psychic areas... a cosmonaut of inner space, and I see no point in exploring areas that have already been thoroughly surveyed. (William S. Burroughs)

I have written a book. This will come as quite a shock to some. They didn't think I could read, much less write. (George W. Bush)

In my sentences I go where no man has gone before. (George W. Bush)

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)

Story is a yearning meeting an obstacle. (Robert Olen Butler)

I never knew a writer yet who took the smallest pains with his style and was at the same time readable. (Samuel Butler, novelist)

The only living works are those which have drained much of the author's own life into them. (Samuel Butler, novelist)

There are many ways of writing badly about painting... There is an 'appreciative' language of threadbare, not inaccurate, but overexposed and irritating words... the language of the schools which 'situates' works and artists in schools and movements... novelists and poets [that] see paintings as allegories of writing... (A. S. Byatt)

'Tis pleasant, sure, to see one's name in print. A book's a book, although there's nothing in't. (Lord Byron)

A small drop of ink makes thousands, perhaps millions... think. (Lord Byron)

I'm insatiably curious about human nature. I feel very lucky that as a writer I get to learn so much about it just to do my job right. (Susan Cain)

I believe that what we want to write wants to be written. I believe that as I have an impulse to create, the something I want to create has an impulse to want to be born. My job, then, is to show up on the page and let that something move through me, in a sense, what wants to be written is none of my business. (Julia Cameron)

I don't want to write, I'd rather draw. (Eddie Campbell)

Those who write clearly have readers. (Albert Camus)

A writer cannot put himself today in service of those who make history; he is at the service of those who suffer it. (Albert Camus)

The great writers of aphorisms read as if they all had known each other very well. (Elias Canetti)

The process of writing has something infinite about it. Even though it is interrupted each night, it is one single notation. (Elias Canetti)

Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself. (Truman Capote)

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the music the words make. (Truman Capote)

A well-written life is almost as rare as a well-spent one. (Thomas Carlyle)

Writing is a splendid sorter of... feelings, better even than paint. (Emily Carr)

A novel should be an experience and convey an emotional truth rather than arguments. (Joyce Cary)

- The Art of Fiction...
This is every writer's dilemma. Your form is your meaning, and your meaning dictates the form. But what you try to convey is reality - the fact plus the feeling, a total complex experience of a real world. If you make your scheme too explicit, the framework shows and the book dies. If you hide it too thoroughly, the book has no meaning and therefore no form. It is a mess. (Joyce Cary)

To hell with reality! I want to die in music, not in reason or in prose. People don't deserve the restraint we show by not going into delirium in front of them. To hell with them! (Louis-Ferdinand Celine)

A good story cannot be devised; it has to be distilled. (Raymond Chandler)

Everything a writer learns about the art or craft of fiction takes just a little away from his need or desire to write at all. In the end he knows all the tricks and has nothing to say. (Raymond Chandler)

The word story is intended to alert the reader to the fact that, however closely the narrative may fit the facts, the fictional process has been at work. (Bruce Chatwin)

A writer is not a confectioner, a cosmetic dealer, or an entertainer. (Anton Chekhov)

I think I must write a book. It has been my cherished dream and I feel an influence that I cannot resist calling me to the task. (Charles W. Chesnutt)

A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author. (G. K. Chesterton)

I do enjoy the form of things. I enjoy finding the form that seems best to fit what I'm thinking about. I don't set out to find a bizarre way of writing. (Caryl Churchill)

Though by whim, envy, or resentment led, / They damn those authors whom they never read. (Charles Churchill)

Men will forgive a man anything except bad prose. (Winston Churchill)

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. (Winston Churchill)

Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book. (Cicero)

Writing is not complete when you've added everything you could, but rather, when you've taken away everything that is not needed. (Ann Clark)

To hurry through the rise and fall of a fine, full sentence is like defying the role of time in human life. (Sir Kenneth Clark)

You don't start to write a book about grand subjects. You write about specific people doing specific things in specific places at specific times and hope they rise to a level of universal relevance. For me, those people happen to be Jews. (Barbara Cohen)

The faults of great authors are generally excellences carried to an excess. (Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

-The Vagabond...
To write is to pour one's innermost self passionately upon the tempting paper, at such frantic speed that sometimes one's hand struggles and rebels, overdriven by the impatient god which guides it - and to find, next day, in place of the golden bough that bloomed miraculously in that dazzling hour, a withered bramble and a stunted flower. (Sidonie Gabrielle Colette)

Writing only leads to more writing. (Sidonie Gabrielle Colette)

It is a melancholy fact that more nonsense can be talked about art than about any other subject, and writers of treatises on painting, from the great Leonardo downwards, have not been slow to avail themselves of this privilege. (John Collier)

Artists don't often know much about writing... but they don't bray so much about writing as writers do about art. (Matthew Collings)

If you want to be a writer – stop talking about it and sit down and write! (Jackie Collins)

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

An author arrives at a good style when his language performs what is required of it without shyness. (Cyril Connolly)

One of the greatest gifts you can get as a writer is to be born into an unhappy family. (Pat Conroy)

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture - it's a really stupid thing to want to do. (Elvis Costello)

In America only the successful writer is important, in France all writers are important, in England no writer is important, in Australia you have to explain what a writer is. (Geoffrey Cotterell)

There are three reasons for becoming a writer: the first is that you need the money; the second that you have something to say that you think the world should know; the third is that you can't think what to do with the long winter evenings. (Quentin Crisp)

An autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last installment missing. (Quentin Crisp)

You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose. (Mario Cuomo)

When I sit down to write I never brood. I have so many other things to do... I can't afford it. I brood, thinking of ideas, in the automobile when I'm driving to work or in the subway or when I'm mowing the lawn. By the time I get to the paper something's there - I can produce. (Mason Currey)

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)

Journalism consists in buying white paper at two cents a pound and selling it at ten cents a pound. (Charles Anderson Dana)

To be understood a writer has to explain almost everything. (Eugene Delacroix)

I always start writing with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind. (Patrick Dennis)

There is nothing outside the text. (Jacques Derrida)

Pithy sentences are like sharp nails which force truth upon our memory. (Denis Diderot)

Writers tend to consider distinction and originality as virtues, but they are anathema to publishers. (Thomas M. Disch)

An author who speaks about his own books is almost as bad as a mother who talks about her own children. (Benjamin Disraeli)

Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. (E. L. Doctorow)

Writing is turning one's worst moments into money. (J. P. Donleavy)

The literature of the world has exerted its power by being translated. (Mark van Doren)

I write every day. I walk around in silent conversation with my latest unfinished songs. (Gord Downie)

The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it. (Elizabeth Drew)

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)

- The Black Tulip...
There are some catastrophes that a poor writer's pen cannot describe and which he is obliged to leave to the imagination of his readers with a bald statement of the facts. (Alexandre Dumas)

I think if you feel like you were born to write, then you probably were. (Lena Dunham)

If you're writing, you're starting in private. It can really be this amazing, private, freeing experience. Forget that it's for other people - that comes in later. (Lena Dunham)

It takes a lot of energy and a lot of neurosis to write a novel. If you were really sensible, you'd do something else. (Lawrence Durrell)

It is the first line that gives the inspiration and then it's like riding a bull. Either you just stick with it, or you don't. (Bob Dylan)

Just like painting, writing starts with a blank white canvas or page. It is what we bring to it that makes for beauty and pleasure. (Vicki Easingwood)

Don't try to save junk just because it took you a long time to write it. (David Eddings)

...all experiments are justified... it is better to write something new clumsily than to repeat the old brilliantly. (Ilya Ehrenberg)

One couldn't carry on life comfortably without a little blindness to the fact that everything has been said better than we can put it ourselves. (George Eliot)

I have the conviction that excessive literary production is a social offense. (George Eliot)

Someone said, 'The dead writers are remote from us because we know so much more than they did.' Precisely, and they are what we know. (T. S. Eliot)

The act of writing requires a constant plunging back into the shadow of the past where time hovers ghost-like. (Ralph Ellison)

'Tis the good reader that makes the good book. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

I've just surfaced from spending several days in a state of rapture: I was reading a book... I felt alive and engaged and positively brilliant, bursting with ideas, brimming with memories of other books I've loved. (Nora Ephron)

It didn't occur to me that my books would be widely read at all, and that enabled me to write anything I wanted to. And even once I realized that they were being read, I still wrote as if I were writing in secret. That's how one has to write anyway - in secret. (Louise Erdrich)

Basically you come up with the fictional idea and you start writing that story, but then in order to write it and to make it seem real, you sometimes put your own memories in. Even if it's a character that's very different from you. (Jeffrey Eugenides)

But I care about the reader, and I'm trying to keep the reader's attention for as long as I can. (Jeffrey Eugenides)

Novelists are always resisting autobiographical readings of their work, because they know how false those can be. (Jeffrey Eugenides)

You have to write badly in order to write well. (William Faulkner)

Life can't defeat a writer who is in love with writing, for life itself is a writer's lover until death. (Edna Ferber)

I've always noticed a difference between working with a director and working with a writer/director. In how much they're invested and how specific they are. (Nathan Fillion)

I always wrote. I wrote from when I was 12. That was therapeutic for me in those days. I wrote things to get them out of feeling them, and onto paper. So writing in a way saved me, kept me company. (Carrie Fisher)

The moving finger writes; and, having writ, / Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit / Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, / Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it. (Edward Fitzgerald)

All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath. (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the schoolmaster of ever afterwards. (F. Scott Fitzgerald)

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

If you do everything in your power to avoid writing and still can't, then you must be a writer. (Fannie Flagg)

What a heavy oar the pen is, and what a strong current ideas are to row in! (Gustave Flaubert)

The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. (Gustave Flaubert)

Creative writers are always greater than the causes they represent. (E. M. Forster)

Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. (Gene Fowler)

There are many reasons why novelists write, but they all have one thing in common – a need to create an alternative world. (John Fowles)

-on April 5, 1944...
When I write, I can shake off all my cares. (Anne Frank)

I was in a bad mood when I wrote that. (Thomas Frank)

Journalism has a special, hallowed place for stories of its practitioners' persecution. (Thomas Frank)

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. (Benjamin Franklin)

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. (Robert Frost)

Writing free verse is like playing tennis with the net down. (Robert Frost)

You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country. (Robert Frost)

We have to look at the figures of speech a writer uses, his images and symbols, to realize that underneath all the complexity of human life that uneasy stare at an alien nature is still haunting us, and the problem of surmounting it still with us. (Northrop Frye)

Essays, entitled critical, are epistles addressed to the public, through which the mind of the recluse relieves itself of its impressions. (Margaret Fuller)

If I didn't have writing, I'd be running down the street hurling grenades in people's faces. (Paul Fussell)

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)

I don't know if any single book made me want to write. C.S. Lewis was the first writer to make me aware that somebody was writing the book I was reading - these wonderful parenthetical asides to the reader. (Neil Gaiman)

One of my greatest pleasures in writing has come from the thought that perhaps my work might annoy someone of comfortably pretentious position. Then comes the saddening realization that such people rarely read. (John Kenneth Galbraith)

I am not a historian. I am a writer obsessed with remembering, with remembering the past... (Eduardo Galeano)

The writer may not care about any reader other than himself, but his work has no public existence except insofar as the feeling is not mutual. (John Champlin Gardner)

Prologues precede the piece – in mournful verse; / As undertakers – walk before the hearse. (David Garrick)

The metaphor is perhaps the most fruitful potentialities. Its efficacy verges on magic, and it seems a tool for creation which God forgot inside one of His creatures when He made him. (Jose Ortega Y Gasset)

You know that I write slowly. This is chiefly because I am never satisfied until I have said as much as possible in a few words, and writing briefly takes far more time than writing at length. (Karl Freiderich Gauss)

Literature has nothing to do with usefulness; the most useful place in any house is the toilet. (Theophile Gautier)

It's never going to come necessarily. But you have to write anyway. (Roxane Gay)

It's my wish that I can help creative people think of new ways to be creative - to get more joy and understanding from their own unique processes. (Robert Genn)

This writing exercise is entirely different from the abstract joy and mysterious colour and design communication of painting. Writing is in a language that everyone can understand and is blatantly interpreted. (Sara Genn)

Unprovided with original learning, unformed in the habits of thinking, unskilled in the arts of composition, I resolved to write a book. (Edward Gibbon)

It is with noble sentiments that bad literature gets written. (Andre Gide)

I had never asked writing to be easy; I had only asked writing to be interesting. And it was always interesting to me. (Elizabeth Gilbert)

We write because we believe the human spirit cannot be tamed and should not be trained. (Nikki Giovanni)

Writers don't write from experience, though many are hesitant to admit that they don't. 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)

A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end... but not necessarily in that order. (Jean-Luc Godard)

During the act of writing I have told myself something that I didn't know I knew. (Gail Godwin)

Seeing that I am so busily occupied with myself just now, I want to try to paint my self-portrait in writing. (Vincent van Gogh)

The more light hearted I write about that, the better the message gets through. (Theo van Gogh, film director)

As soon as you sit down to write about something you are pressing your nose deeper into the sewer of facts. (Theo van Gogh, film director)

The positive thing about writing is that you connect with yourself in the deepest way, and that's heaven. You get a chance to know who you are, to know what you think. You begin to have a relationship with your mind. (Natalie Goldberg)

The easiest thing to do on earth is not write. (William Goldman)

Writing is finally about one thing: going into a room alone and doing it. Putting words on paper that have never been there in quite that way before. And although you are physically by yourself, the haunting Demon never leaves you, that Demon being the knowledge of your own terrible limitations, your hopeless inadequacy, the impossibility of ever getting it right. No matter how diamond-bright your ideas are dancing in your brain, on paper they are earthbound. (William Goldman)

Write how you want, the critic shall show the world you could have written better. (Oliver Goldsmith)

It's art that's taught me to think and to write. (Andy Goldsworthy)

Television has raised writing to a new low. (Samuel Goldwyn)

The tension between standing apart, and being fully involved; that is what makes a writer. (Nadine Gordimer)

I really think I write about everyday life. I don't think I'm quite as odd as others say I am. (Edward Gorey)

You must write for children in the same way as you do for adults, only better. (Maxim Gorky)

If people only knew what lies at the heart of my novels! What a tumult of desires these carefully written pages conceal! I sometimes have a loathing for the furious cravings that give me no peace except when I am working. (Julien Green)

My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My hand on a pen does. A fountain pen, of course. Ball-point pens are only good for filling out forms on a plane. (Henry Graham Greene)

The niftiest turn of phrase, the most elegant flight of rhetorical fancy, isn't worth beans next to a clear thought clearly expressed. (Jeff Greenfield)

To write about writers is the novelist's confession that his arteries are hardening. (Francis Hackett)

I better make the plot good. I wanted to make it grip people on the first page and have a big turning point in the middle, as there is, and construct the whole thing like a roller coaster ride. (Mark Haddon)

I think most writers feel like they're on the outside looking in much of the time. All of us feel, to a certain extent, alienated from the stuff going on around us. (Mark Haddon)

Writing for children is bloody difficult; books for children are as complex as their adult counterparts, and they should therefore be accorded the same respect. (Mark Haddon)

Today there are a lot of novelists who seem to be writing to be reviewed, not read. (Pete Hamill)

A novel is an impression, not an argument. (Thomas Hardy)

I write novellas because I don't like loose sprawling prose. (Jim Harrison)

Easy reading is damn hard writing. (Nathaniel Hawthorne)

I was never a quick writer, but composed with great care and efforts. (Joseph Haydn)

If I had to give young writers advice, I'd say, don't listen to writers talking about writing. (Lillian Hellman)

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. (Ernest Hemingway)

-Death in the Afternoon...
Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you. (Ernest Hemingway)

May the words that flow between two lines, connect us to a world of peace. (Robert M. Hensel)

I became a connoisseur of that nasty thud a manuscript makes when it comes through the letter box. (James Herriot)

What am I writing for anyway? Is it like dreaming? Is it a benevolent process? Something that moves the past forward? And what about those people who say all you get from looking at the past is a stiff neck? (Selima Hill)

A writer is like a bag lady going through life with a sack and a pointed stick collecting stuff. (Tony Hillerman)

There is no law that vulgarity and literary excellence cannot coexist. (A. Trevor Hodge)

I actually own a copy of my own book; that's how dedicated I am as an author. (John Hodgman)

You will have written exceptionally well if, by skilful arrangement of your words, you have made an ordinary one seem original. (Horace)

Nature not content with denying him the ability to think, has endowed him with the ability to write. (A. E. Housman)

If a writer wrote merely for his time, I would have to break my pen and throw it away. (Victor Hugo)

A bad book is as much a labour to write as a good one; it comes as sincerely from the author's soul. (Aldous Huxley)

Literature flourishes best when it is half a trade and half an art. (William Ralph Inge)

The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything. (John Irving)

The land of literature is a fairy land to those who view it at a distance, but, like all other landscapes, the charm fades on a nearer approach, and the thorns and briars become visible. (Washington Irving)

You are the one who writes and the one who is written. (Edmond Jabes)

The writer can get free of his writing only by using it, that is, by reading oneself. As if the aim of writing were to use what is already written as a launching pad for reading the writing to come. (Edmond Jabes)

I don't feel that I'm a good writer, but there are things I can't express in my paintings, such as the feeling of being out in a field and hearing a tractor radio from the neighboring field... so I write them at the bottom of my paintings. (Keith Jacobshagen)

It takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature. (Henry James)

Life has no plot; why must films or fiction? (Jim Jarmusch)

Writing, like making love, is more fun when you know what you're doing. (Eileen Jensen)

The thing that teases the mind over and over for years, and at last gets itself put down rightly on paper - whether little or great, it belongs to Literature. (Sarah Orne Jewett)

I'm probably writing music now for the same reason as I started writing songs when I was 14 - to meet women. (Billy Joel)

A man may write at any time, if he will set himself doggedly to it. (Samuel Johnson)

The two most engaging powers of an author: new things are made familiar, and familiar things are made new. (Samuel Johnson)

Was there ever yet anything written by mere man that was wished longer by its readers, excepting Don Quixote, Robinson Crusoe, and the Pilgrim's Progress? (Samuel Johnson)

I write lustily and humorously. It isn't calculated; it's the way I think. I've invented a writing style that expresses who I am. (Erica Jong)

The act of writing bears something in common with the act of love... He gives of that which is uniquely himself; he makes himself naked. Recording his nakedness in the written word. Herein lies some of the terror which frequently freezes a writer. (Sidney Jourard)

One man is as good as another until he has written a book. (Benjamin Jowett)

Just when I thought my writing career was over... I had another thought! (Alar Jurma)

It's hard not to write satire. (Juvenal)

Writers speak stench. (Franz Kafka)

One writes to make a home for oneself, on paper, in time, in others' minds. (Alfred Kazin)

Write in recollection and amazement for yourself. (Jack Kerouac)

I am going to marry my novels and have little short stories for children. (Jack Kerouac)

When Shakespeare was writing, he wasn't writing for stuff to lie on the page; it was supposed to get up and move around. (Ken Kesey)

All writers, all storytellers, are imposing their own narrative on something. (Michael Kimmelman)

Good writers are in the business of leaving signposts saying, 'Tour my world, see and feel it through my eyes; I am your guide.' (Larry King)

Constant reading will pull you into a place – a mind-set, if you like the phrase – where you can write eagerly and without self-consciousness. (Stephen King)

When asked, 'How do you write?' I invariably answer, 'One word at a time.' (Stephen King)

Write a non-fiction book, and be prepared for the legion of readers who are going to doubt your every fact. But write a novel, and get ready for the world to assume every word is true. (Barbara Kingsolver)

Writing a novel is like making love, but it's also like having a tooth pulled. Pleasure and pain. Sometimes it's like making love while having a tooth pulled. (Dean Koontz)

You know, one of the only times I ever wrote about art was the obituary of Warhol that I did for the Village Voice. (Barbara Kruger)

Include utter banalities. (Stanley Kubrick)

There are metaphysical problems, problems of human existence, that philosophy has never known how to grasp in all their concreteness and that only the novel can seize. (Milan Kundera)

To be a writer does not mean to preach a truth, it means to discover a truth. (Milan Kundera)

When we are writing, or painting, or composing, we are, during the time of creativity, freed from normal restrictions, and are opened to a wider world, where colors are brighter, sounds clearer, and people more wondrously complex than we normally realize. (Madeleine L'Engle)

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, you write it for children. (Madeleine L'Engle)

-referring to his lack of payment for the Essays of Elia...
Damn the age. I'll write for antiquity. (Charles Lamb)

The problem that comes up over and over again is that these people want to be published. They kind of want to write, but they really want to be published. (Anne Lamott)

I used to tell my writing students that they must write the books they wished they could come upon - because then the books they hungered and thirsted for would exist. (Anne Lamott)

People may expect too much of journalism. Not only do they expect it to be entertaining, they expect it to be true. (Lewis H. Lapham)

A good many young writers make the mistake of enclosing a stamped, self-addressed envelope, big enough for the manuscript to come back in. This is too much of a temptation to the editor. (Ring Lardner, Jr.)

To write you must be warm, fed, loved and sober. (Philip Larkin)

-in a letter to Lady Cynthia Asquith, 1913...
I like to write when I feel spiteful: it's like having a good sneeze. (D. H. Lawrence)

Writing is not hard. Just get paper and pencil, sit down and write it as it occurs to you. The writing is easy – it's the occurring that's hard. (Stephen Leacock)

Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself - it is the occurring which is difficult. (Stephen Leacock)

If you want your writing to be taken seriously, don't marry and have kids, and above all, don't die. But if you have to die, commit suicide. They approve of that. (Ursula K. LeGuin)

It's hard enough to write a good drama, it's much harder to write a good comedy, and it's hardest of all to write a drama with comedy. Which is what life is. (Jack Lemmon)

Books fall from Garry Wills like leaves from a maple tree in a sort of permanent October. (John Leonard, critic)

-The New York Times, 1982...
Everybody is forever saying that the essay is dead. This is always said in essays. (John Leonard, critic)

We have the power to bore people long after we are dead. (Sinclair Lewis)

The only way to write is well, and how you do it is your own damn business. (A. J. Liebling)

I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better. (A. J. Liebling)

-to Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, 1852...
So you're the little woman who wrote the book that made this great war! (Abraham Lincoln)

The art of communicating thoughts to the mind, through the eye – is the great invention of the world. (Abraham Lincoln)

The writers who have nothing to say are the ones you can buy - the others have too high a price. (Walter Lippmann)

Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children; life is the other way around. (David John Lodge)

I write for no other purpose than to add to the beauty that now belongs to me. I write a book for no other reason than to add three or four hundred acres to my magnificent estate. (Jack London)

Look, then, into thine heart, and write! (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

If you have written a clever and conclusive, but scathing letter, keep it back till the next day, and it will very often never go at all. (John Lubbock)

Although I write screenplays, I don't think I'm a very good writer. (George Lucas)

God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars. (Martin Luther)

If all the earth were paper white / And all the sea were ink / 'Twere not enough for me to write / As my poor heart doth think. (John Lyly)

It is only in literature that coincidences seem unnatural. (Robert S. Lynd)

The exchange of words is a lot like a virtual handshake. Is the writer's grasp of the language strong and bold? Are the words gripping? Direct? Inventive? Sincere? (Alison Mackie)

Journalism is concerned with events, poetry with feelings. Journalism is concerned with the look of the world, poetry with the feel of the world. (Archibald MacLeish)

I'm not a writer. Ernest Hemingway was a writer. I just have a vivid imagination and type 90 WPM. (Tiffany Madison)

I was a far better writer when I was writing, than after I'd learned about writing and wrote endlessly about other people's writing. (Mary Madsen)

Being a real writer means being able to do the work on a bad day. (Norman Mailer)

It's not a good idea to put your wife into a novel; not your latest wife anyway. (Norman Mailer)

There is no life that can be recaptured wholly, as it was. Which is to say that all biography is ultimately fiction. What does that tell you about the nature of life, and does one really want to know? (Bernard Malamud)

A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. (Thomas Mann)

Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood. (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

If you want to get rich from writing, write the sort of thing that's read by persons who move their lips when reading. (Don Marquis)

A great literary work can be completely, completely unpredictable. Which can sometimes make them very hard to read, but it gives them a great originality. (Yann Martel)

Books written out of fire give me a great deal of pleasure. You get the sense that the world for these writers could not have continued if the book hadn't been written. When you come across a book like that it is a privilege. (Hisham Matar)

Are the ideas in my short stories autobiographical? Well, I like to write about what I know so, from that standpoint, yes. But they are all fiction. (Cindy Matthews)

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

Writing is a wholetime job: no professional writer can afford only to write when he feels like it. (W. Somerset Maugham)

In literature as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others. (Andre Maurois)

A satirist is a man who discovers unpleasant things about himself and then says them about other people. (Peter McArthur)

I'm not interested in writing short stories. Anything that doesn't take years of your life and drive you to suicide hardly seems worth doing. (Cormac McCarthy)

Few of us write great novels; all of us live them. (Mignon McLaughlin)

A typewriter is a means of transcribing thought, not expressing it. (Marshall McLuhan)

Everyone thinks they can be a writer. Most people don't understand what's involved. The real writers persevere. The ones that don't either don't have enough fortitude and they probably wouldn't succeed anyway, or they fall in love with the glamour of writing as opposed to the writing of writing. (Peter McWilliams)

-in 1925...
Writing is an outward expression of instinctive insight that must be summoned from the vastly deep of our mysterious selves. Therefore, it cannot be taught; indeed, it cannot even be summoned; it can only be permitted. (Hughes Mearns)

The physical business of writing is unpleasant to me, but the psychic satisfaction of discharging bad ideas in worse English makes me forget it. (H. L. Mencken)

There are no mute, inglorious Miltons, save in the hallucinations of poets. The one sound test of a Milton is that he functions as a Milton. (H. L. Mencken)

Like the weaver, the writer works on the wrong side of his material. He has only to do with the language, and it is thus that he suddenly finds himself surrounded by sense. (Maurice Merleau-Ponty)

I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. (James A. Michener)

Like every writer, I am asked where my work originates, and if I knew I would go there more often to find more. (Arthur Miller)

And the books you write. They're not you. They're not me sitting here, this Henry Miller. They belong to someone else. It's terrible. You can never rest. (Henry Miller)

Leave out the parts that readers tend to skip. (Henry Miller)

The sinister thing about writing is that it starts off seeming so easy and ends up being so hard. (L. Rust Mills)

Grammar, which can govern even kings. (Moliere)

Writing is not a matter of choice. Writers have to write. It is somehow in their temperament, in the blood, in tradition. (Navarre Scott Momaday)

When you write, don't just write - Purge! Purge so that it runs off the paper and drips onto the floor! (Bridgette Mongeon)

I suffer from the disease of writing books and being ashamed of them when they are finished. (Baron de Montesquieu)

I actually feel that the different kinds of stories come out of different parts of my brain. (Elizabeth Moon)

When I was starting out, I did not do short fiction well, because I kept wanting to write books. (Elizabeth Moon)

Yeah, I think of what I do as a work of journalism. It's more like the op-ed page, though. These are my opinions. My point of view. The opinions are mine and I let you make up your own mind. (Michael Moore)

Ink is handicapped, in a way, because you can blow up a man with gunpowder in half a second, while it may take twenty years to blow him up with a book. But the gunpowder destroys itself along with its victim, while a book can keep on exploding for centuries. (Christopher Morley)

I never write for my own amusement. I always try to put across an idea that I feel is important, in the most easily readable form I can manage. (Desmond Morris)

As a writer reading, I came to realize the obvious: the subject of the dream is the dreamer. (Toni Morrison)

The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power. (Toni Morrison)

For it is said, you know, that a letter will always seek a reader; that sooner or later, like it or not, words have a way of finding the light, of making their secrets known. (Kate Morton)

By far the most common task for which the machines are used is writing – or word processing, as it's known to the same people who call journalism 'content.' (Robert Motherwell)

Don't make a big distinction between fiction and non-fiction. These are arbitrary distinctions... (Farley Mowat)

Writing is hard, but the more you write, and enjoy what you write, the better it gets. (Alice Munro)

I want the reader to feel something is astonishing. Not the 'what happens,' but the way everything happens. These long short story fictions do that best, for me. (Alice Munro)

Literature could be said to be a sort of disciplined technique for arousing certain emotions. (Iris Murdoch)

A reporter is always concerned with tomorrow. There's nothing tangible of yesterday. All I can say I've done is agitate the air ten or fifteen minutes and then boom - it's gone. (Edward R. Murrow)

I don't want to write without a sense of drama, without passion, or without both eyes open to the world around me. (Gloria Naylor)

Writing is a completely private act. It's in a way like play but very serious play, and sometimes I can escape into the fictional world that I'm creating so fully as to see hours go by without my noticing it. I think that kind of suspension of time and that mindfulness is a real gift. (Antonya Nelson)

While I'm writing, I'm far away; / and when I come back, I've gone. (Pablo Neruda)

A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

Of all that is written, I love only what a person has written with his own blood. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

You ask me why I do not write something... I think one's feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions and into actions which bring results. (Florence Nightingale)

We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection. (Anais Nin)

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

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)

I was definitely looking for a reason to impose rules in the story during the writing process... a set of reasons that you could graph for why it's not chaos and anarchy - for why it has to be order, and why you need architects and an architectural brain to create the world of the dream for the subject to enter. (Jonathan Nolan)

The grave's a fine and quiet place but none I think do finish their books from there. (Ursula Nordstrom)

Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. (Flannery O'Connor)

Writing is like giving birth to a piano sideways. Anyone who perseveres is either talented or nuts. (Flannery O'Connor)

Surely all of us could be writers if we only knew what time of day to write or what kind of pen to use. (Sara O'Leary)

If I'm not at my study by 10:00, 10:30, forget it, I can't write a word. (Peter O'Toole)

I decided very early that I wanted to write. But I didn't think of it as a career. I didn't even think of it as a profession... It was the most exciting thing, the most powerful thing, the most wonderful thing to do with my life. (Mary Oliver)

I see myself as someone who's been saved by writing. God knows what I would have been, become or how I would have ended up without it. (Michael Ondaatje)

The four great motives for writing prose are sheer egoism, esthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse, and political purpose. (George Orwell)

In my writing I like to relate that hardships of struggle will diminish, as peace and happiness can be obtained when shared with others. (Patricia Palmer)

If you're going to write, don't pretend to write down. It's going to be the best you can do, and it's the fact that it's the best you can do that kills you. (Dorothy Parker)

I have reached the point where I know that as long as I sit down to write, the ideas will come. What they will be, I don't know. (Robert B. Parker)

If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me... (Robert B. Parker)

Anything that is written to please the author is worthless. (Blaise Pascal)

Thus, in a real sense, I am constantly writing autobiography, but I have to turn it into fiction in order to give it credibility. (Katherine Paterson)

-BRILLIANT: The New Science of Learning...
Beyond typing: writing by hand increases brain activity and hones fine motor skills. (Annie Murphy Paul)

Who is better off? The one who writes to revel in the voluptuousness of the life that surrounds them? Or the one who writes to escape the tediousness of that which awaits them outside? Whose flame will last longer? (Roman Payne)

To write is to forget. Literature is the pleasantest way of ignoring life. (Fernando Pessoa)

When I write, I solemnly visit myself. (Fernando Pessoa)

Every page must explode, whether through seriousness, profundity, turbulence, nausea, the new, the eternal, annihilating nonsense, enthusiasm for principles, or the way it is printed. (Francis Picabia)

Often while reading a book one feels that the author would have preferred to paint rather than write; one can sense the pleasure he derives from describing a landscape or a person, as if he were painting what he is saying, because deep in his heart he would have preferred to use brushes and colors. (Pablo Picasso)

To me, writing is a matter of voice. I think like that. The expression I sometimes use to myself is 'actual song.' (Robert Pinsky)

No one tells the truth about writing a book. Authors pretend their stories were always shiny and perfect and just waiting to be written. The truth is, writing is this: hard and boring and occasionally great but usually not. Even I have lied about writing. I have told people that writing this book has been like brushing away dirt from a fossil. What a load of shit. It has been like hacking away at a freezer with a screwdriver. (Amy Poehler)

When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing. (Enrique Jardiel Poncela)

An essayist is a lucky person who has found a way to discourse without being interrupted. (Charles Poore)

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, as those move easiest who have learn'd to dance. (Alexander Pope)

Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear. (Ezra Pound)

Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appallingly hard work. (Anthony Powell)

I do not keep a diary. Never have. To write a diary every day is like returning to one's own vomit. (Enoch Powell)

Many a writer seems to think he is never profound except when he can't understand his own meaning. (George Dennison Prentice)

The palest ink is better than the best memory. (Chinese proverb)

Who writes, reads twice. (Latin proverb)

Write for pleasure and publish for money. (Alexander Pushkin)

One can easily classify all works of fiction either as descendants of the Iliad or of the Odyssey. (Raymond Queneau)

But my way of writing is rather to think aloud, and follow my own humours, than much to consider who is listening to me; and, if I stop to consider what is proper to be said to this or that person, I shall soon come to doubt whether any part at all is proper. (Thomas de Quincey)

- Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/6582075...
Since I have been a lifelong professional artist, I never considered myself a writer. But I did like to fantasize about certain scenarios or imaginary settings and stories. If I had had more time I would have loved to write a sequel to this book about post war Vienna. (Georg Rausch)

Tell me that not everything I wrote was bad. (Maurice Ravel)

- advice given to a aspiring writer...
Make 'em laugh; make 'em cry; make 'em wait. (Charles Reade)

For a while, I felt a little self-impelled to write Lou Reed Kind of songs. I should have understood that a Lou Reed song was anything I wanted to write about. (Lou Reed)

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof shit detector. This is the writer's radar and all great writers have had it. (Paris Review)

The writing career is not a romantic one. The writer's life may be colorful, but his work itself is rather drab. (Mary Roberts Rinehart)

I enjoy the process of writing. The torment comes in getting my bottom on the chair and in front of the typewriter. (Caryl Rivers)

The true writer has nothing to say. What counts is the way he says it. (Alain Robbe-Grillet)

A novel is never anything, but a philosophy put into images. (Jim Rohn)

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. (Jim Rohn)

If the sad truth be known, writers, being the misfits we are, probably ought not to belong to families in the first place. We simply are too self-interested, though we may excuse the flaw by calling it 'focused.' (Roger Rosenblatt)

Why do we write? / To make suffering endurable / To make evil intelligible /To make justice desirable / and... to make love possible. (Roger Rosenblatt)

Why... do the great writers use anticipation instead of surprise? Because surprise is merely an instrument of the unusual, whereas anticipation of a consequence enlarges our understanding of what is happening. (Roger Rosenblatt)

A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. (Leo Rosten)

Writing turns you into somebody who's always wrong. The illusion that you may get it right someday is the perversity that draws you on. What else could? As pathological phenomena go, it doesn't completely wreck your life. (Philip Roth)

Writing is worthwhile because it gives us to ourselves, and then to each other. (Cathleen Rountree)

- Fan Girl...
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)

I just write what I wanted to write. I write what amuses me. It's totally for myself. (J. K. Rowling)

Writing is done alone. People do not talk about the things they do alone. (Anneli Rufus)

Do you think I know what I'm doing? / That for one breath or half a breath I belong to myself? / As much as a pen knows what it is writing / It may be the satisfaction I need depends on my going away / So that when I've gone and come back, I'll find it at home. (Rumi)

When you write, you write out of your best self. Everything else drops away. (Salman Rushdie)

I love being a writer because I want to leave something here on earth to make it better, prettier, stronger. (Cynthia Rylant)

I shall live badly if I do not write, and I shall write badly if I do not live. (Francoise Sagan)

Writing takes a pen, a sheet of paper and, to start with, just the shadow of an idea. (Francoise Sagan)

An autobiography is the story of how a man thinks he lived. (Herbert Samuel)

Ordering a man to write a poem is like commanding a pregnant woman to give birth to a red-headed child. (Carl Sandburg)

There's not much to know about me other than I like meeting artists and I like yakking. (Irving Sandler)

It is a pity that no prize exists for the writer who best refrains from adding to the world's bad books. (William Saroyan)

There are all kinds of writers. The best writers write children's books. (Richard Scarry)

Historians are prophets with their face turned backward. (Johann Friedrich von Schiller)

How many authors are there among writers? Author means originator. (Friedrich Von Schlegel)

For an author to write as he speaks is just as reprehensible as the opposite fault, to speak as he writes; for this gives a pedantic effect to what he says, and at the same time makes him hardly intelligible. (Arthur Schopenhauer)

Journalists are like dogs; whenever anything moves they begin to bark. (Arthur Schopenhauer)

I wish I were one of those terribly clever people who, when they write their autobiographies, always say, when I was fifteen months old I distinctly remember my Aunt Fanny saying to me, etc. (George Seaton)

Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it's just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it. (David Sedaris)

It's my experience that you first feel the impulse to write in your chest... It's like falling in love. Only more so. It feels like something criminal... (Carolyn See)

Respect the reader's time. Do this by working hard to find the narrative path, and then stay on it. (Peter Segnitz)

Do not on any account attempt to write on both sides of the paper at once. (Walter Carruthers Sellar)

You cannot write for children. They're much too complicated. You can only write books that are of interest to them. (Maurice Sendak)

Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull. (Rod Serling)

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)

I think plays, like books, are endemic. They grow out of the soil of the writer and the place he's writing about. I think, you just can't move them about, you know. (Peter Shaffer)

Learn to write well, or not to write at all. (John Sheffield)

A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God. (Sidney Sheldon)

I am the Roman Emperor, and am above grammar. (Sigismund)

I write fast because I have not the brains to write slow. (Georges Simenon)

What writer wants to make compromises with story? Story is the only reason you're in it. (David Simon)

It's just a freak of fate that I'm paid to write, not paying to print my own books – but I'd be doing it anyway: it's my life. (Iain Sinclair)

The very essence of literature is the war between emotion and intellect, between life and death. When literature becomes too intellectual – when it begins to ignore the passions, the emotions – it becomes sterile, silly, and actually without substance. (Isaac Bashevis Singer)

Each person has a literature inside them. (Anna Deavere Smith)

What I like in a good author isn't what he says, but what he whispers. (Logan Pearsall Smith)

A great writer is, so to speak, a second government in his country. And for that reason no regime has ever loved great writers, only minor ones. (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn)

The worst thing you can do is censor yourself as the pencil hits the paper. You must not edit until you get it all on paper. If you can put everything down, stream-of-consciousness, you'll do yourself a service. (Stephen Sondheim)

My idea of heaven is not writing. (Stephen Sondheim)

The writer's first job is not to have opinions but to tell the truth... and refuse to be an accomplice of lies and misinformation. Literature is the house of nuance and contrariness against the voices of simplification. (Susan Sontag)

Sometimes when I am writing, I am aware of a rhythm, a dance, a fury, which is as yet empty of words. (Stephen Spender)

To write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write is to write. (Gertrude Stein)

-on Charlie Kaufman...
Kaufman writes movies like they're poems. (Joel Stein)

The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true. (John Steinbeck)

The first qualification for a historian is to have no ability to invent. (Stendhal)

I get intrigued by a puzzle, and writing a book is the best way to solve it. (Anthony Storr)

I did not write it. God wrote it. I merely did his dictation. (Harriet Beecher Stowe)

From the reader's view, a poem is more demanding than prose. (Mark Strand)

Vigorous writing is concise. (William Strunk Jr.)

Basically, fiction is people. You can't write fiction about ideas. (Theodore Sturgeon)

The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone's neurosis, and we'd have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads. (William Styron)

I get a fine warm feeling when I'm doing well, but that pleasure is pretty much negated by the pain of getting started each day. Let's face it, writing is hell. (William Styron)

I know this much: If you gotta write, honey, you gotta write. Some call it a disease, some a madness. Ah, but I call it love. (Faith Sullivan)

For words, like Nature, half reveal / And half conceal the Soul within. (Alfred, Lord Tennyson)

I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world. (Mother Teresa)

I thought, if ever there were a time to write a book about hope, it's now. (Studs Terkel)

There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write. (William Makepeace Thackeray)

Writing is pretty crummy on the nerves. (Paul Theroux)

When I hear the hypercritical quarreling about grammar and style, the position of the particles, etc., etc... I see that they forget that the first requisite and rule is that expression shall be vital and natural... (Henry David Thoreau)

A writer is dear and necessary for us only in the measure of which he reveals to us the inner workings of his very soul. (Leo Tolstoy)

Writers are what they write, also what they fail to write. (Diana Trilling)

Three hours a day will produce as much as a man ought to write. (Anthony Trollope)

There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn't because the book is not there and worth being written – it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. (Mark Twain)

A novel is a static thing that one moves through; a play is a dynamic thing that moves past one. (Kenneth Tynan)

Writing is the action of thinking, just as drawing is the action of seeing and composing music is the action of hearing. (Brenda Ueland)

A narrative is like a room on whose walls a number of false doors have been painted; while within the narrative, we have many apparent choices of exit, but when the author leads us to one particular door, we know it is the right one because it opens. (John Updike)

Writers take words seriously - perhaps the last professional class that does - and they struggle to steer their own through the crosswinds of meddling editors and careless typesetters and obtuse and malevolent reviewers into the lap of the ideal reader. (John Updike)

Science means simply the aggregate of all the recipes that are always successful. All the rest is literature. (Paul Valery)

It is easy to criticize an author, but difficult to appreciate him. (Marquis de Vauvenargues)

Feathers shall raise men even as they do birds, toward heaven: - that is by letters written with their quills. (Leonardo da Vinci)

-The Writer's Journey...
An effective story grabs your gut, tightens your throat, makes your heart race and your lungs pump, brings tears to your eyes or an explosion of laughter to your lips. (Christopher Vogler)

In every author let us distinguish the man from his works. (Voltaire)

We have a natural right to make use of our pens as of our tongue, at our peril, risk and hazard. (Voltaire)

Writers can treat their mental illnesses every day. (Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.)

Writers have to be observant. Every nuance, every inflection in a voice, the quality of air, even - they all get mixed up in this soup of the story developing in our minds. (Susan Vreeland)

I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork. (Peter de Vries)

Writing saved me from the sin and inconvenience of violence. (Alice Walker)

Journal what you love, what you hate, what's in your head, what's important. Journaling organizes your thoughts; allows you to see things in a concrete way that otherwise you might not see. Focus on what you think you need to find in your art. (Kay WalkingStick)

The writing of a song is like being in a really cool place in the forest, and figuring out how am I going to get out. (Diane Warren)

When writing, I need something approaching silence. (Glynn Washington)

The writer of these lines has nothing whatsoever to teach anyone; his words are just his contribution to our common discussion of what must inevitably be for us the most important subject which could be discussed by sentient beings. (Wei Wu Wei)

If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story. (Orson Welles)

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)

Writers and travelers are mesmerized alike by knowing of their destinations. (Eudora Welty)

I always say, keep a diary and some day it'll keep you. (Mae West)

A writer is like a bean plant - he has his little day, and then gets stringy. (E. B. White)

Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar. (E. B. White)

It is in literature that the concrete outlook of humanity receives its expression. (Alfred North Whitehead)

Writing is not like painting where you add. It is not what you put on the canvas that the reader sees. Writing is more like a sculpture where you remove, you eliminate in order to make the work visible. Even those pages you remove somehow remain. (Elie Wiesel)

The public has an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands. (Oscar Wilde)

The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means. (Oscar Wilde)

The difference between literature and journalism is that journalism is unreadable and literature is not read. (Oscar Wilde)

Literature is the orchestration of platitudes. (Thornton Wilder)

If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it. (Tennessee Williams)

It's the technique, I think, of writing a novel that is difficult for a nonfiction writer. (Edward O. Wilson)

Writing objects to the lie that life is small. Writing is a cell of energy. Writing defines itself. Writing draws its viewer in for longer than an instant. Writing exhibits boldness. Writing restores power to exalt, unnerve, shock, and transform us. Writing does not imitate life, it anticipates life. (Jeanette Winterson)

For all the power of video and film, I am not giving up my pen... together they are more than the sum of their parts. (Naomi Wolf)

The reason a writer writes a book is to forget a book, and the reason a reader reads one is to remember it. (Tom Wolfe)

I do novels a bit backward. I look for a situation, a milieu first, and then I wait to see who walks into it. (Tom Wolfe)

Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others. (Virginia Woolf)

Every great and original writer, in proportion as he is great and original, must himself create the taste by which he is to be relished. (William Wordsworth)

I'm writing a book. I've got the page numbers done. (Steven Wright)

Accursed who brings to light of day the writings I have cast away. (William Butler Yeats)

Henry [Miller] kept his paintings separate from his writing. It's as though stories came from the other side of his brain. (Noel Young)

Writing is thinking on paper. (William K. Zinsser)

Writing is hard work. A clear sentence is no accident. Very few sentences come out right the first time, or even the third time. Remember this in moments of despair. If you find that writing is hard, it's because it is hard. It's one of the hardest things that people do. (William K. Zinsser)

Good writers are visible just behind their words. (William K. Zinsser)

- On Writing Well...
All writing is ultimately a question of solving a problem. (William K. Zinsser)