Famous Writing Quotes to Shaken Your Inner Writer

Famous Writing Quotes to Shaken Your Inner Writer

Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, and every quality of his mind is written large in his works. Virginia Woolf

  1. Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. Mahatma Gandhi

  2. The road to hell is paved with adverbs. Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

  3. When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.Stephen King

  4. If I had not existed, someone else would have written me, Hemingway, Dostoyevsky, all of us. William Faulkner

  5. Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it. Oscar Wilde

  6. I try to leave out the parts that people skip. Elmore Leonard

  7. If you want to be a writer, you have to write everyday. You don't go to a well just once in awhile but daily. Walter Mosley

  8. Empty your knapsack of all adjectives, adverbs and clauses that slow your stride and weaken your pace. Travel light. Bill Moyers

  9. To defend what you've written is a sign that you are alive. William Zinsser

  10. 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

  11. A writer can do nothing for men more necessary, satisfying, than just simply to reveal to them the infinite possibilities of their own souls. Walt Whitman

  12. The writing of a novel is taking life as it already exists, not to report it but to make an object, toward the end that the finished work might contain this life inside it and offer it to the reader. The essence will not be, of course, the same thing as the raw material; it is not even of the same family of things. The novel is something that never was before and will not be again. Eudora Welty

  13. You reach deep down and bring up what feels absolutely authentic to you as you move along with the book, but you don't know everything about it. You can't. Anne Rice

  14. I would write a book, or a short story, at least three times — once to understand it, the second time to improve the prose, and a third to compel it to say what it still must say. Somewhere I put it this way: first drafts are for learning what one's fiction wants him to say. Revision works with that knowledge to enlarge and enhance an idea, to reform it. Revision is one of the exquisite pleasures of writing. Bernard Malamud

  15. If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Elmore Leonard

  16. I start with a question. Then try to answer it. Mary Lee Settle

  17. Tough times never last, but tough people do. Robert Schuller

  18. The only way to learn to write is to force yourself to produce a certain number of words on a regular basis. William Zinsser, On Writing Well: The Audio Collection

  19. These writing quotes about not giving up are a good thing to remember when you start submitting your manuscript to publishers! It's easy to want to give up, but it is worth the trials and tribulations to keep working at becoming a successful published author.

  20. You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say. F. Scott Fitzgerald

  21. Many adults feel that every children's book has to teach them something…. My theory is a children's book can be just for fun. R.L. Stine

  22. We're past the age of heroes and hero kings. Most of our lives are basically mundane and dull, and it's up to the writer to find ways to make them interesting. John Updike

  23. You may not always write well, but you can edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page. Jodi Picoult

  24. Don't bend; don't water it down; (and) 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

  25. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. Albert Einstein

  26. Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts. Harper Lee

  27. First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him! Ray Bradbury

  28. Writing is sweat and drudgery most of the time. And you have to love it in order to endure the solitude and the discipline. Peter Benchley

  29. Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it's work. … Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything. Stephen King (this quote is from an interview with King in our May/June 2009 issue)

  30. We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. Ernest Hemingway

  31. 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

  32. Every secret of a writer's soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works. Virginia Woolf

  33. Done is better than perfect. Sheryl Sandberg

  34. 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 one book. Samuel Johnson

  35. The great work must inevitably be obscure, except to the very few, to those who like the author himself are initiated into the mysteries. Communication then is secondary: it is perpetuation which is important. For this only one good reader is necessary. Henry Miller

  36. Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers. T.S. Eliot

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

  38. The mind has plenty of ways of preventing you from writing, and paralyzing self-consciousness is a good one. The only thing to do is ignore it, and remember what Vincent van Gogh said in one of his letters about the painter's fear of the blank canvas—the canvas, he said, is far more afraid of the painter. Philip Pullman

  39. If you don't love what you do, you won't do it with much conviction or passion. Mia Hamm

  40. You have to be burning with an idea, or a problem, or a wrong that you want to right. If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out. Steve Jobs