"I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep
I wrote in the dark." Henry David Thoreau
"Writing is an adventure." Winston Churchill
"Know something, sugar? Stories only happen to
people who can tell them." Allan Gurganus
"... only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid
to write foolish things." Anton Chekhov
"A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be
struck by lightening." James Dickey
"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
"You ask for the distinction between the terms "Editor"
and "Publisher": an editor selects manuscripts; a publisher
selects editors." M. Lincoln Schuster
"A writer lives, at least, 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."
"I don't like to write, but I love to have written."
"However great a man's natural talent may be, the
art of writing cannot be learned all at once." Jean Jacques
"You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from
the right part of the country." Robert Frost
"I was working on the proof of one of my poems all
the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again."
"Better to write for yourself and have no public,
than to write for the public and have no self." Cyril Connolly
"I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the
paperwork." Peter de Vries
"A writer is working when he's staring out of the
window." Burton Rascoe
"The secret of popular writing is never to put more
on a given page than the common reader can lap off it with no strain
whatsoever on his habitually slack attention." Ezra Pound
"I try to leave out the parts that people skip."
"Nothing you write, if you hope to be any good, will
ever come out as you first hoped." Lillian Helman
"I never knew what was meant by choice of words.
It was one word or none." Robert Frost
"Look for all fancy wordings and get rid of them
all terms and expressions, old or new, that embody affectation."
"You must write every single day of your life
You must lurk
in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes
and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads
.may you be in love
every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world."
"What a writer brings to any story is an attitude
"Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as
you go." E.L. Doctorow
"The idea is to get the pencil moving quickly
got some words looking back at you, you can take two or three - throw
them away and look for others." Bernard Malamud
"Write in recollection and amazement for yourself." Jack
"If there's a book you really want to read but it
hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." Toni
"To be clear is the first duty of a writer; to charm and to please
are graces to be acquired later." Brander Matthews
"In composing, as a general rule, run your pen through every other
word you have written; you have no idea what vigor it will give to your
style." Sydney Smith
your reader is at least as bright as you are." William
you have to develop a conscience and if on top of that you
have talent so much the better. But if you have talent without conscience,
you are just one of many thousand journalists." F. Scott
"Whether or not you write well, write bravely."
"The writer's duty is to keep on writing
"Never trust the artist. Trust the tale." D.H. Lawrence
"Caress the detail, the divine detail." Vladimir
"Details make stories human, and the more human a story can be,
"The first draft of anything is sh*t." Ernest Hemingway
"Use the right word and not its second cousin." Mark
"Real writers are those who want to write, need to write, have
to write." Robert Penn Warren
"You only learn to be a better writer by actually writing."
"A woman must have money and room of her own if she is to write
fiction." Virginia Woolf
"Stick to the point." W. Somerset Maugham
"Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must
develop an approach for the rest of the time
The wait is simply
too long." Leonard S. Bernstein
"The duty and the task of a writer are those of an interpreter."
"I seat myself at the typewriter and hope, and lurk." Mignon
"The business of the novelist is not to relate great events, but
to make small ones interesting." Arthur Schopenhauer
"Planning to write is not writing. Outlining
to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing
is writing." E.L. Doctorow
"When genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and
say it hot." D.H. Lawrence
"Never write about a place until you're away from it, because that
gives you perspective." Ernest Hemingway
"I write the first sentence and trust in God for the next."
"Writing a poem is discovering." Robert Frost
"If you know what you are going to write when you're writing a
poem, it's going to be average." Derek Walcott
"The difference between the right word and the almost right word
is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." Mark
"Write what should not be forgotten
"Even the most productive writers are expert dawdlers
Donald M. Murray
"Too many writers are trying to write with too shallow an education.
Whether they go to college or not is immaterial
a good writer needs
a sense of the history of literature to be successful as a writer."
"Write without pay until somebody offers to pay." Mark
"You have typewriters, presses. And a huge audience. How about
raising hell?" Jenkin Lloyd Jones
"Revise and revise and revise - the best thought will come after
the printer has snatched away the copy." Michael Morahan
"In a writer there must always be two people - the writer and the
critic." Leo Tolstoy
"Writing is a sweet, wonderful reward
"The first rule, indeed by itself virtually a sufficient
condition for good style, is to have something to say." Arthur
"Suspect all your favorite sentences." Kenneth Atchity
"Don't overwrite description in a story - you haven't got time."
"There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no
one knows what they are."
"Have something to say and say it as clearly as you can. That is
the only secret of style." Matthew Arnold
writing comes more easily if you have something to say."
"You fail only if you stop writing." Ray Bradbury
"Revision is one of the exquisite pleasures of writing
"Words have weight, sound and appearance; it is only
by considering these that you can write a sentence that is good to look
at and good to listen to." Somerset Maugham
"Thoughts fly and words go on foot. Therein lies all the drama
of a writer." Julien Green
"A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it
is for other people." Thomas Mann
therein is in writing the constant joy of sudden discovery,
of happy accident." H.L. Mencken
"Take away the art of writing from this world, and you will probably
take away its glory." Chateaubriand
"You must write for yourself, above all. That is [your] only hope
of creating something beautiful." Gustave Flaubert
"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."
"To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about,
but the inner music the words make." Truman Capote
"I always do the first line well, but I have trouble with the others."
"A writer lives, at best, in a state of astonishment." William
"All good writing is swimming under water and holding
your breath." F. Scott Fitzgerald
"You become a writer because you need to become a writer - nothing
else." Grace Paley
"Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I
should be doing something else." Gloria Steinem