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Writing Quotes

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Quotes about writing for inspiration, motivation or fun.

A famous writer who wants to continue writing has to be constantly defending himself against fame. Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life. John Milton

A great writer reveals the truth even when he or she does not wish to. Tom Bissell

A novel is a mirror carried along a main road. Stendhal

A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit. Richard Bach

A word is not the same with one writer as with another. One tears it from his guts. The other pulls it out of his overcoat pocket. Charles Peguy

A writer lives, at best, in a state of astonishment. Beneath any feeling he has of the good or evil of the world lies a deeper one of wonder at it all. To transmit that feeling, he writes. William Sansom

A writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature. Ernest Hemingway

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

All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened, and after you are finished reading one, you will feel that it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and the sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer. Ernest Hemingway

All the fantasy writers I know have a way of dwelling on their own fears and phobias. A writer spends his life being his own psychiatrist. Charles Beaumont

All writing, all art, is an act of faith. If one tries to contribute to human understanding, how can that be called decadent? It's like saying a declaration of love is an act of decadence. Any work of art, provide it springs from a sincere motivation to further understanding between people, is an act of faith and therefore is an act of love. Truman Capote

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

An author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it. Colette

An editor is a person who knows more about writing than writers do but who has escaped the terrible desire to write. E.B. White

And eventually as I kept writing it, something emerged that was not quite me but a version of me. Larry David

And the nice thing about writing a novel is you take your time, you sit with the character sometimes nine years, you look very deeply at a situation, unlike in real life when we just kind of snap something out. Sandra Cisneros

Any man who can write a page of living prose adds something to our life, and the man who can, as I can, is surely the last to resent someone who can do it even better. An artist cannot deny art, nor would he want to. A lover cannot deny love. Raymond Chandler

As a teacher at Princeton, I'm surrounded by people who work hard so I just make good use of my time. And I don't really think of it as work - writing a novel, in one sense, is a problem-solving exercise. Joyce Carol Oates

As for my next book, I am going to hold myself from writing it till I have it impending in me: grown heavy in my mind like a ripe pear; pendant, gravid, asking to be cut or it will fall. Virginia Woolf

As to the adjective, when in doubt, strike it out. Mark Twain

Authors are magpies, echoing each other's words and seizing avidly on anything that glitters. Bergen Evans

Becoming a writer is about becoming conscious. When you're conscious and writing from a place of insight and simplicity and real caring about the truth, you have the ability to throw the lights on for your reader. He or she will recognize his or her life and truth in what you say, in the pictures you have painted, and this decreases the terrible sense of isolation that we have all had too much of. Anne Lamont

Being a writer was never a choice, it was an irresistible compulsion. Walter Jon Williams

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

Blank pages inspire me with terror. Margaret Atwood

Books choose their authors; the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one. Salman Rushdie

Books fall open, you fall in. When you climb out again, you're a bit larger than you used to be. Gregory Maguire

Don't make the editor's decision for her by not submitting. Victoria Janssen

Fiction is like a spider's web, attached ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners. Virginia Woolf

Give me good writing, and I'll play it all day. Jeff Daniels

If you want to write fiction, the best thing you can do is take two aspirins, lie down in a dark room, and wait for the feeling to pass. Lawrence Block

Novels are written, not wished into existence. You have to sit your ass in the chair or nothing gets done. John Dufresne

One ought only to write when one leaves a piece of one's own flesh in the inkpot, each time one dips one's pen. Leo Tolstoy

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 is good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window. William Faulkner

Rules such as "Write what you know," and "Show, don't tell," while doubtlessly grounded in good sense, can be ignored with impunity by any novelist nimble enough to get away with it. There is, in fact, only one rule in writing fiction: Whatever works, works. Tom Robbins

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