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410 Of Our Favorite Quotes About Writing.

By Jonathan Carnino

It's never been a better time to be a writer, or to want to become one.

Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of writers now have the technological resources to produce content at a far higher rate than before. And the power that used to be solely owned by major publishing and media companies has been transferred into the hands of millions of writers - for nothing.

If you're ever feeling stuck or need a few quick ideas to help you keep your writing moving onto the page, check out some of these inspirational quotes below. Here are our 410 favorite pieces of writing wisdom from some of the greatest authors of all time:


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

  2. “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

  3. “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

  4. “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

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

  6. “The Six Golden Rules of Writing: Read, read, read, and write, write, write.” - Ernest Gaines

  7. “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

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

  9. “One sure window into a person’s soul is his reading list.” - Mary B. W. Tabor

  10. "If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." - Toni Morrison

  11. “Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” - Orson Scott

  12. “Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.” - Stephen King

  13. “Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.” - Mark Twain

  14. “When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.” - George Orwell

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

  16. “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

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

  18. “Cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can’t fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.” - William S. Burroughs

  19. “Write what should not be forgotten.” - Isabel Allende

  20. “The story must strike a nerve in me. My heart should start pounding when I hear the first line in my head. I start trembling at the risk.” - Susan Sontag

  21. “Sometimes the ideas just come to me. Other times I have to sweat and almost bleed to make ideas come. It’s a mysterious process, but I hope I never find out exactly how it works. I like a mystery, as you may have noticed.” - J.K. Rowling

  22. “As for ‘Write what you know,’ I was regularly told this as a beginner. I think it’s a very good rule and have always obeyed it. I write about imaginary countries, alien societies on other planets, dragons, wizards, the Napa Valley in 22002. I know these things. I know them better than anybody else possibly could, so it’s my duty to testify about them.” - Ursula K. Le Guin

  23. “I’m very lucky in that I don’t understand the world yet. If I understood the world, it would be harder for me to write these books.” - Mo Willems

  24. “Ideas are cheap. It’s the execution that is all important.” - George R.R. Martin

  25. “If you wait for inspiration to write you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” - Dan Poynter

  26. “To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” - Allen Ginsberg

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

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

  29. “It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.” - P.D. James

  30. “Voice is not just the result of a single sentence or paragraph or page. It’s not even the sum total of a whole story. It’s all your work laid out across the table like the bones and fossils of an unidentified carcass.” - Chuck Wendig

  31. “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

  32. “Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.” - Meg Rosoff

  33. “I don’t want just words. If that’s all you have for me, you’d better go.” - F. Scott Fitzgerald

  34. “Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.” - Virginia Woolf

  35. “Everywhere I go, I’m asked if the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.” - Flannery O’Connor

  36. “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. There is only one right form for a story and, if you fail to find that form, the story will not tell itself.” - Mark Twain

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

  38. “First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him.” - Ray Bradbury

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

  40. “Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of itself.” - Mark Twain

  41. “Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of 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

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

  43. “It doesn’t matter how many book ideas you have if you can’t finish writing your book.” - Joe Bunting

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

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

  46. “I am not at all in a humor for writing; I must write on until I am.” - Jane Austen

  47. "Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it's the only way you can do anything really good." - William Faulkner

  48. “One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing - writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.” - Lawrence Block

  49. “Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.” - John Steinbeck

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

  51. “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

  52. “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed.” - Ernest Hemingway

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

  54. “Get through a draft as quickly as possible.” - Joshua Wolf Shenk

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

  56. “The first draft of everything is shit.” - Ernest Hemingway

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

  58. “I would advise any beginning writer to write the first drafts as if no one else will ever read them - without a thought about publication - and only in the last draft to consider how the work will look from the outside.” - Anne Tyler

  59. “I just give myself permission to suck. I delete about 90 percent of my first drafts, so it doesn’t really matter much if on a particular day I write beautiful and brilliant prose that will stick in the minds of my readers forever, because there’s a 90 percent chance I’m just going to delete whatever I write anyway. I find this hugely liberating.” - John Green

  60. “Be willing to write really badly.” - Jennifer Egan

  61. “On first drafts: It is completely raw, the sort of thing I feel free to do with the door shut - it’s the story undressed, standing up in nothing but its socks and undershorts.” - Stephen King

  62. “I do not over-intellectualise the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.” - Tom Clancy

  63. “Anyone who says writing is easy isn’t doing it right.” - Amy Joy

  64. “You fail only if you stop writing.” - Ray Bradbury

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

  66. “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” - Ray Bradbury

  67. “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

  68. “I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it.” - Chinua Achebe

  69. “The secret to being a writer is that you have to write. It’s not enough to think about writing or to study literature or plan a future life as an author. You really have to lock yourself away, alone, and get to work.” - Augusten Burroughs

  70. “It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer.” - Gerald Brenan

  71. “Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.” - James Baldwin

  72. “You just have to go on when it is worst and most helpless - there is only one thing to do with a novel and that is go straight on through to the end of the damn thing.” - Ernest Hemingway

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

  74. “The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying ‘Faire et se taire’ from Flaubert. Which I translate for myself as ‘Shut up and get on with it.’” - Helen Simpson

  75. “I’ve been writing since I was six. It is a compulsion, so I can’t really say where the desire came from; I’ve always had it. My breakthrough with the first book came through persistence, because a lot of publishers turned it down.” - J.K. Rowling

  76. “Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as a writer.” - Ray Bradbury

  77. “It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.” - Virginia Woolf

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

  79. “Write drunk, edit sober” might be one of the most famous writing quotes about editing, but we can’t all outdrink Ernest Hemingway. Which is why these other words of wisdom and writing quotes exist!

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

  81. “When your story is ready for a 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

  82. “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

  83. “Editing might be a bloody trade, but knives aren’t the exclusive property of butchers. Surgeons use them too.” - Blake Morrison

  84. “The main thing I try to do is write as clearly as I can. I rewrite a good deal to make it clear.” - E.B. White

  85. “You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.” - Arthur Plotnik

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

  87. “I'm all for the scissors. I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.” - Truman Capote

  88. “It is perfectly okay to write garbage - as long as you edit brilliantly.” - C. J. Cherryh

  89. “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

  90. “Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial 'we'.” - Mark Twain

  91. “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” ― Dr. Seuss

  92. “Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.” - Henry David Thoreau

  93. “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

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

  95. “Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.” - Annie Dillard

  96. “No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft.” - H.G. Wells

  97. “A writer is a world trapped in a person.” - Victor Hugo

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

  99. “People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.” - R.L. Stine

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

  101. “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

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

  103. “I go out to my little office, where I’ve got a manuscript, and the last page I was happy with is on top. I read that, and it’s like getting on a taxiway. I’m able to go through and revise it and put myself - click - back into that world.” - Stephen King

  104. “I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.” - William Carlos Williams

  105. “Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players. I have 10 or so, and that’s a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.” - Gore Vidal

  106. “For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.” - Catherine Drinker Bowen

  107. “The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea.” - Thomas Mann

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

  109. “Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.” - Margaret Chittenden

  110. “A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.” - Eugene Ionesco

  111. “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” - Benjamin Franklin

  112. “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

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

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

  115. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” - Anais Nin

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

  117. “The very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life.” - Zadie Smith

  118. “The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone’s neurosis.” - William Styron

  119. “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” - Robin Williams

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

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

  122. “Writers live twice.” -  Natalie Goldberg

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

  124. “Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.” - Oscar Wilde

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

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

  127. “My own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying.” - Anton Chekhov

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

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

  130. “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

  131. “Find your best time of the day for writing and write. Don’t let anything else interfere. Afterwards it won’t matter to you that the kitchen is a mess.” - Esther Freud

  132. “Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. [...] All they do is show you've been to college.” - Kurt Vonnegut

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

  134. “Write drunk, edit sober.” - Ernest Hemingway

  135. “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” - Mark Twain

  136. “The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.” - Neil Gaiman

  137. “Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” - Jane Yolen

  138. “Style means the right word. The rest matters little.” - Jules Renard

  139. “My aim in constructing sentences is to make the sentence utterly easy to understand, writing what I call transparent prose. I’ve failed dreadfully if you have to read a sentence twice to figure out what I meant.” - Ken Follett

  140. “And one of [the things you learn as you get older] is, you really need less… My model for this is late Beethoven. He moves so strangely and quite suddenly sometimes from place to place in his music, in the late quartets. He knows where he’s going and he just doesn’t want to waste all that time getting there… One is aware of this as one gets older. You can’t waste time.” - Ursula K. Le Guin

  141. “You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” - John Wooden

  142. “Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil - but there is no way around them.” - Isaac Asimov

  143. “Was I bitter? Absolutely. Hurt? You bet your sweet ass I was hurt. Who doesn’t feel a part of their heart break at rejection. You ask yourself every question you can think of, what, why, how come, and then your sadness turns to anger. That’s my favorite part. It drives me, feeds me, and makes one hell of a story.” - Jennifer Salaiz

  144. “I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.” - Sylvia Plath

  145. “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent, he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” - Harper Lee

  146. “I used to save all my rejection slips because I told myself, one day I’m going to autograph these and auction them. And then I lost the box.” - James Lee Burke

  147. “This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don’t consider it rejected. Consider that you’ve addressed it ‘to the editor who can appreciate my work’ and it has simply come back stamped ‘Not at this address’. Just keep looking for the right address.” - Barbara Kingsolver

  148. “To ward off a feeling of failure, she joked that she could wallpaper her bathroom with rejection slips, which she chose not to see as messages to stop, but rather as tickets to the game.” - Anita Shreve

  149. “Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.” - Neil Gaiman

  150. “The artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don’t have the time to read reviews.” - William Faulkner

  151. “I think that you have to believe in your destiny; that you will succeed, you will meet a lot of rejection and it is not always a straight path, there will be detours - so enjoy the view.” - Michael York

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

  153. “I tell writers to keep reading, reading, reading. Read widely and deeply. And I tell them not to give up even after getting rejection letters. And only write what you love.” - Anita Diamant

  154. “I could write an entertaining novel about rejection slips, but I fear it would be overly long.” - Louise Brown

  155. “I had immediate success in the sense that I sold something right off the bat. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake and it really wasn’t. I have drawers full of - or I did have - drawers full of rejection slips.” - Fred Saberhagen

  156. “An absolutely necessary part of a writer’s equipment, almost as necessary as talent, is the ability to stand up under punishment, both the punishment the world hands out and the punishment he inflicts upon himself.” - Irwin Shaw

  157. “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” - C. S. Lewis

  158. “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

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

  160. “A word after a word after a word is power.” - Margaret Atwood

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

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

  163. “Good fiction’s job is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” - David Foster Wallace

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

  165. “All stories have to at least try to explain some small portion of the meaning of life.” - Gene Weingarten

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

  167. “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.” - Tom Clancy

  168. “If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don’t listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.” - Lillian Hellman

  169. “Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously.” - Lev Grossman

  170. "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

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

  172. “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

  173. “What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you.” - Anne Lamott

  174. “Stories aren't made of language: they're made of something else... perhaps they're made of life.” - Philip Pullman

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

  176. “You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.” - Erin Morgenstern

  177. “We turn to stories and pictures and music because they show us who and what and why we are, and what our relationship is to life and death, what is essential, and what, despite the arbitrariness of falling beams, will not burn.” - Madeleine L’Engle

  178. “Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can't remember who we are or why we're here.” - Sue Monk Kidd

  179. “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

  180.  “First, you write for yourself... always, to make sense of experience and the world around you. It’s one of the ways I stay sane. Our stories, our books, our films are how we cope with the random trauma-inducing chaos of life as it plays.” - Bruce Springsteen

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

  182. “And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.” - Ray Bradbury

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

  184. “The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.” - Steven Pressfield

  185. “The mind has plenty of ways of preventing you from writing, and paralysing 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

  186. “There’s nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.” - Sol Stein

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

  188. “Writing is supposed to be difficult, agonizing, a dreadful exercise, a terrible occupation.” - Ray Bradbury

  189. “Examine every word you put on paper. You'll find a surprising number that don't serve any purpose.” - William Zinsser

  190. “Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.” - William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White

  191. “The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself. I suppose that it begins or does not begin in the cradle.” - Joan Didion

  192. “People who think that grammar is just a collection of rules and restrictions are wrong. If you get to like it, grammar reveals the hidden meaning of history, hides disorder and abandonment, links things and brings opposites together. Grammar is a wonderful way of organising the world how you'd like it to be.” - Delphine de Vigan

  193. “Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts.” - Harper Lee

  194. “Whenever I'm asked what advice I have for young writers, I always say that the first thing is to read, and to read a lot. The second thing is to write. And the third thing, which I think is absolutely vital, is to tell stories and listen closely to the stories you're being told.” - John Green

  195. “If a story is not about the hearer, he will not listen. And here I make a rule – a great and interesting story is about everyone or it will not last.” - John Steinbeck

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

  197. “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

  198. “There is probably no hell for authors in the next world – they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this one.” - C.N. Bovee

  199. “Sometimes the ideas just come to me. Other times I have to sweat and almost bleed to make ideas come. It’s a mysterious process, but I hope I never find out exactly how it works. I like a mystery, as you may have noticed.” - J.K. Rowling

  200. “There is no greater threat to the critics and cynics and fearmongers than those of us who are willing to fall because we have learned how to rise.” - Brené Brown

  201. “The miraculous connection between writing and the immune system results from cracking through inhibition. It seems that when we don’t speak the truth of our experience, we inhibit our emotions, and that inhibits our immune function. Keeping secrets and maintaining denial require physical energy, energy our bodies could use in healthier ways were it available.” - Peggy Tabor Millin

  202. ‘If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.’ - Edgar Rice Burroughs

  203. “Being a good writer is 3% talent, 97% not being distracted by the Internet.” - Anon

  204. “Beginning a novel is always hard. It feels like going nowhere. I always have to write at least 100 pages that go into the trashcan before it finally begins to work. It’s discouraging, but necessary to write those pages. I try to consider them pages -100 to zero of the novel.” - Barbara Kingsolver

  205. “You have to follow your own voice. You have to be yourself when you write. In effect, you have to announce, ‘This is me, this is what I stand for, this is what you get when you read me. I’m doing the best I can-buy me or not-but this is who I am as a writer.” - David Morrell

  206. “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” - Edith Lovejoy Pierce

  207. “There’s no better teacher for writing than reading… Get a library card. That’s the best investment.” - Alisa Valdes

  208. “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

  209. “The best time to plan a book is while you’re doing the dishes.” - Agatha Christie

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

  211. “[As a writer] you have to have the three D’s: drive, discipline and desire. If you’re missing any one of those three, you can have all the talent in the world, but it’s going to be really hard to get anything done.” - Nora Roberts

  212. “I try to write a certain amount each day, five days a week. A rule sometimes broken is better than no rule.” - Herman Wouk

  213. “Good writing is remembering detail. Most people want to forget. Don’t forget things that were painful or embarrassing or silly. Turn them into a story that tells the truth.” - Paula Danziger

  214. “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

  215. “Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” - Barbara Kingsolver

  216. “The English language is an arsenal of weapons. If you are going to brandish them without checking to see whether or not they are loaded, you must expect to have them explode in your face from time to time.” - Stephen Fry

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

  218. “A writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.” - Burton Rascoe

  219. “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” - Ray Bradbury

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

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

  222. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” - Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

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

  224. “I only write when I’m inspired, so I see to it that I’m inspired every morning at nine o’clock.” - Peter De Vries

  225. “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” - Steven King

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

  227. “To defend what you’ve written is a sign that you are alive.” - William Zinsser

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

  229. “For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.” - Catherine Drinker Bowen

  230. “Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players. … I have 10 or so, and that’s a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.” - Gore Vidal

  231. “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

  232. “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

  233. “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

  234. “Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” - Larry L. King, WD

  235. “Know your literary tradition, savor it, steal from it, but when you sit down to write, forget about worshiping greatness and fetishizing masterpieces.” - Allegra Goodman

  236. “I’m out there to clean the plate. Once they’ve read what I’ve written on a subject, I want them to think, ‘That’s it!’ I think the highest aspiration people in our trade can have is that once they’ve written a story, nobody will ever try it again.” - Richard Ben Cramer

  237. “There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be.” - Doris Lessing

  238. “Style means the right word. The rest matters little.” - Jules Renard

  239. “I do not over-intellectualise the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.” - Tom Clancy

  240. “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

  241. “One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing-writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.” - Lawrence Block

  242. “Don’t expect the puppets of your mind to become the people of your story. If they are not realities in your own mind, there is no mysterious alchemy in ink and paper that will turn wooden figures into flesh and blood.” - Leslie Gordon Barnard

  243. “If you tell the reader that Bull Beezley is a brutal-faced, loose-lipped bully, with snake’s blood in his veins, the reader’s reaction may be, ‘Oh, yeah!’ But if you show the reader Bull Beezley raking the bloodied flanks of his weary, sweat-encrusted pony, and flogging the tottering, red-eyed animal with a quirt, or have him booting in the protruding ribs of a starved mongrel and, boy, the reader believes!” - Fred East

  244. “Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there’s an explosion-that’s Plot.” - Leigh Brackett

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

  246. “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

  247. “Genius gives birth, talent delivers. What Rembrandt or Van Gogh saw in the night can never be seen again. Born writers of the future are amazed already at what they’re seeing now, what we’ll all see in time for the first time, and then see imitated many times by made writers.” – Jack Kerouac

  248. “Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood-you will either write or you will not-and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.” - Jim Tully

  249. “I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.” - Ray Bradbury

  250. “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” - Ray Bradbury

  251. “Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white hot, on paper.” - Ray Bradbury

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

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

  254. “Writers are always selling somebody out.” - Joan Didion

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

  256. “Keep a small can of WD-40 on your desk-away from any open flames-to remind yourself that if you don’t write daily, you will get rusty.” - George Singleton

  257. “Anyone who is going to be a writer knows enough at 15 to write several novels.” - May Sarton

  258. "I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.” - William Carlos Williams

  259. “The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes." - Andre Gide

  260. “Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.” - Virginia Woolf

  261. “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” - Elmore Leonard

  262. “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

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

  264. “The writer is an explorer. Every step is an advance into a new land.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  265. “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see, and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” – Joan Didion

  266. “They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream by night.” – Edgar Allan Poe

  267. “The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.” – Gustav Flaubert

  268. “I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and look at it, until it shines.” – Emily Dickinson

  269. “That’s what you’re looking for as a writer when you’re working. You’re looking for your own freedom.” – Philip Roth

  270. “Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.” – George Bernard Shaw

  271. “Creativity is a combination of discipline and childlike spirit.” – Robert Greene

  272. “Writing is the painting of the voice.” – Voltaire

  273. “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” – Paulo Coelho

  274. “I have fallen in love with the imagination. And if you fall in love with the imagination, you understand that it is a free spirit. It will go anywhere and it can do anything.” – Alice Walker

  275. “Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself… it’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless.” – Harper Lee

  276. “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau

  277. “There are significant moments in everyone’s day that can make literature. That’s what you ought to write about.” – Raymond Carver

  278. “Keep asking questions because people will always want to know the answer. Open with a question and don’t answer it until the end.” – Lee Child

  279. “But when people say, did you always want to be a writer? I have to say no! I always was a write.” – Ursula K. Le Guin

  280. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” – Maya Angelou

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

  282. “You should write stories because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page.” – Annie Proulx

  283. “I write only because there is a voice within me that will not be stilled.” – Sylvia Plath

  284. “If you do not hear music in your words, you have put too much thought into your writing and not enough heart.” – Terry Brooks

  285. “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

  286. “Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” – Tom Stoppard

  287. “The secret of it all is to write… without waiting for a fit time or place.” – Walt Whitman

  288. “No one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell.” – Charles de Lint

  289. “Successful writing is one part inspiration and two parts sheer stubbornness.” – Gillian Flynn

  290. “I write books because I have always been fascinated by stories and language, and because I love thinking about what makes people tick.” – Lois LowryLois Lowry Quote

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

  292. “If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.” – Beverly Cleary

  293. “When all else fails, write what your heart tells you. You can’t depend on your eyes, when your imagination is out of focus.” - Mark Twain

  294. “Stories are light. Light is precious in a world so dark. Begin at the beginning. Make some light.” – Kate DiCamillo

  295. “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

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

  297. “Write a page a day. Only 300 words and in a year you have written a novel.” – Stephen King

  298. “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Agatha Christie

  299. “The job of the novelist is to invent: to embroider, to color, to embellish, to make things up.” – Donna Tart

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

  301. “Good stories are not written. They are rewritten.” – Phyllis Whitney

  302. “The first draft is a skeleton. Just bare bones. The rest of the story comes later with revising.” – Judy Bloom

  303. “When you are describing a shape, or sound, or tint, don’t state the matter plainly, but put it in a hint. And learn to look at all things with a sort of mental squint.” – Lewis Carroll

  304. “You may not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” – Jodi Picoult

  305. “Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  306. “The secret to editing your work is simple: You need to become its reader instead of its writer.” – Zadie Smith

  307. “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

  308. “Don’t labor over a little cameo work in which every word is to be perfect. Technique holds a reader from sentence to sentence, but only content will stay in his mind.” – Joyce Carol Oates

  309. “If you fall in love with the vision and not your words, the rewriting will become easier.” – Nora DeLoach

  310. “Be willing and unafraid to write badly, because often the bad stuff clears the way for good, or forms a base on which to build something better.” – Jennifer Egan

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

  312. “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

  313. “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of 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

  314. “It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn’t give it up because by that time I was too famous.” - Robert Benchley

  315. “I was set free because my greatest fear had been realized, and I still had a daughter who I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” - J.K. Rowling

  316. “If you’re holding out for universal popularity, I’m afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time.” - J.K. Rowling

  317. “Why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me.” - J.K. Rowling

  318. “One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing-writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.” - Lawrence Block

  319. “I’ve always believed in writing without a collaborator, because where two people are writing the same book, each believes he gets all the worry and only half the royalties.” - Agatha Christie

  320. “Some days I’m lucky to squeeze out a page of copy that pleases me, but I get as many as six or seven pages on a very good day; the average is probably three pages.” - Dean Koontz

  321. “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

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

  323. “I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.” - Stephen King

  324. “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

  325. “Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.” - Isaac Asimov

  326. “In my later years, I have looked in the mirror each day and found a happy person staring back. Occasionally I wonder why I can be so happy. The answer is that every day of my life I’ve worked only for myself and for the joy that comes from writing and creating. The image in my mirror is not optimistic, but the result of optimal behavior.” - Ray Bradbury

  327. “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” - Ray Bradbury

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

  329. “You fail only if you stop writing.” - Ray Bradbury

  330. “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. I did the traditional thing with falling in love with words, reading books and underlining lines I liked and words I didn’t know.” - Carrie Fisher

  331. “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.” - Henry David Thoreau

  332. “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” - Ernest Hemingway

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

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

  335. “Write something that’s worth fighting over. Because that’s how you change things. That’s how you create art.” - Jeff Goins

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

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

  338. “I can shake off everything as I write. My sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” - Anne Frank

  339. “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent, he would be wise to develop a thick hyde.” - Harper Lee

  340. “There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” - Desiderius Eramus

  341. “Writing is like a ‘lust,’ or like ‘scratching when you itch.’ Writing comes as a result of a very strong impulse, and when it does come, I, for one, must get it out.” - C.S. Lewis

  342. “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.” - Robert Frost

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

  344. “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

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

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

  347. “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

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

  349. “A word after a word after a word is power.” - Margaret Atwood

  350. “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

  351. “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

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

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

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

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

  356. “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

  357. “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

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

  359. “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

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

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

  362. “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

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

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

  365. “Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.” - Enid Bagnold

  366. “To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” - Allen Ginsberg

  367. “All readers come to fiction as willing accomplices to your lies. Such is the basic goodwill contract made the moment we pick up a work of fiction.” - Steve Almond

  368. “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of 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

  369. “When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.” - George Orwell

  370. “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

  371. “I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book.” - Roald Dahl

  372. “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

  373. “I read very widely, both non-fiction and fiction, so I don’t think there’s a single writer who influences me.” - Peter Benchley

  374. “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

  375. “Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players. … I have 10 or so, and that’s a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.” - Gore Vidal

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

  377. “The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a writer will turn over half a library to make one book.” - Samuel Johnson

  378. “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

  379. Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” - Larry L. King

  380. “I do not over-intellectualise the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.” - Tom Clancy

  381. “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

  382. “One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing-writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.” - Lawrence Block

  383. “Don’t expect the puppets of your mind to become the people of your story. If they are not realities in your own mind, there is no mysterious alchemy in ink and paper that will turn wooden figures into flesh and blood.” - Leslie Gordon Barnard

  384. “Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there’s an explosion-that’s Plot.” - Leigh Brackett

  385. “Genius gives birth, talent delivers. What Rembrandt or Van Gogh saw in the night can never be seen again. Born writers of the future are amazed already at what they’re seeing now, what we’ll all see in time for the first time, and then see imitated many times by made writers.” - Jack Kerouac

  386. “Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood-you will either write or you will not-and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.” - Jim Tully

  387. “People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.” - R.L. Stine

  388. “Anyone who is going to be a writer knows enough at 15 to write several novels.” - May Sarton

  389. “The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes.” - Andre Gide

  390. “You do not have to explain every single drop of water contained in a rain barrel. You have to explain one drop-H2O. The reader will get it.” - George Singleton

  391. “When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.” - Margaret Laurence

  392. “Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.” - Annie Dillard

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

  394. “You don’t actually have to write anything until you’ve thought it out. This is an enormous relief, and you can sit there searching for the point at which the story becomes a toboggan and starts to slide.” - Marie de Nervaud

  395. “Whether a character in your novel is full of choler, bile, phlegm, blood or plain old buffalo chips, the fire of life is in there, too, as long as that character lives.” - James Alexander Thom

  396. “It is perfectly okay to write garbage-as long as you edit brilliantly.” - C. J. Cherryh

  397. “Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer.” - Ray Bradbury

  398. “I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly.” - Edgar Rice Burroughs

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

  400. “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

  401. “People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.” - Harlan Ellison

  402. “People do not deserve to have good writing, they are so pleased with bad.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  403. “Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.” - Barbara Kingsolver

  404. “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

  405. “The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story.” - Ursula K. Le Guin

  406. “Only in a person’s imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life.” - Joseph Conrad

  407. “You learn by writing short stories. Keep writing short stories. The money’s in novels, but writing short stories keeps your writing lean and pointed.” - Larry Niven

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

  409. “The more closely the author thinks of why he wrote, the more he comes to regard his imagination as a kind of self-generating cement which glued his facts together, and his emotions as a kind of dark and obscure designer of those facts. Reluctantly, he comes to the conclusion that to account for his book is to account for his life.” - Richard Wright

  410. “Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil-but there is no way around them.” - Isaac Asimov