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Inspirational Quotes About Writing By Writers


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

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



Dancing in all its forms cannot be excluded from the curriculum of all noble education; dancing with the feet, with ideas, with words, and, need I add that one must also be able to dance with the pen? Friedrich Nietzsche

Mark Twain



Don't say the old lady screamed - bring her on and let her scream. Mark Twain


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

On Writing


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

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

The road to hell is paved with adverbs. Stephen King

When you write a story, you’re telling yourself the story. When you rewrite, your main job is taking out all the things that are not the story. Stephen King

Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent.  What I wonder is why everybody doesn't carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life.  Stephen King


Read slowly - Savour every word and every line.  Reading verse can be like eating chocolate - so much more pleasurable when you allow it slowly to melt inside of you, so much less rewarding when you snap off big chunks and bolt them whole, all but untasted.  In our age, one of the glories of poetry is that it remains an art that demonstrates the virtues and pleasures of taking your time. You can never read a poem too slowly, but you can certainly read one too fast. Read out loud - Among the pleasures of poetry is the sheer physical, sensual, textural, tactile pleasure of feeling the words on your lips, tongue, teeth and vocal chords. Don't look for meaning - Never worry about ‘meaning’ when you are reading poems. A relationship with the whole art of poetry itself takes time. Allow meaning to emerge at its own pace. Be ready to write - Buy a notebook, exercise book or jotter pad and lots of pencils. Take it with you everywhere. When you are stuck in an airport, travelling by train, just doodle with words. Write, don’t type. As you learn new techniques and methods for producing lines of verse, practise them all the time. Stephen Fry


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.  William Faulkner

Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs. Christopher Hampton

Writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.  Gene Fowler

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. William Wordsworth

You can't wait for inspiration.  You have to go after it with a club.  Jack London


Usually, when people get to the end of a chapter, they close the book and go to sleep. I deliberately write a book so when the reader gets to the end of the chapter, he or she must turn one more page. When people tell me I've kept them up all night, I feel like I've succeeded. Sidney Sheldon

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

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

Tell the readers a story!  Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences.  Anne McCaffrey


Omit needless words. 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.


Writing is its own reward. Henry Miller

Ernest Hemingway


For a long time now I have tried simply to write the best I can. Sometimes I have good luck and write better than I can. Ernest Hemingway

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

He was such a bad writer, they revoked his poetic license. Milton Berle

The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense. Tom Clancy

Terry Pratchett


There's no such thing as writer's block. That was invented by people in California who couldn't write. Terry Pratchett

It's none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way. Ernest Hemingway

My aim is to put down what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way I can tell it. Ernest Hemingway

My task is, by the power of the written word to make you hear, to make you feel - it is, before all, to make you see. That - and no more - and it is everything. Joseph Conrad


Do not put statements in the negative form.

And don't start sentences with a conjunction.

If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.

Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.

Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.

De-accession euphemisms.

If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.

Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.

Last, but not least, avoid clichés like the plague.  William Safire


Books are a uniquely portable magic. Stephen King

Fiction is the truth inside the lie.  Stephen King

Books aren't written - they're rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn't quite done it. Michael Crichton


Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. Anton Chekhov

Fantasy doesn't have to be fantastic.  American writers in particular find this much harder to grasp. You need to have your feet on the ground as much as your head in the clouds.  The cute dragon that sits on your shoulder also craps all down your back, but this makes it more interesting because it gives it an added dimension.  Terry Pratchett 

Find the key emotion; this may be all you need know to find your short story. F. Scott Fitzgerald

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

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


A writer without interest or sympathy for the foibles of his fellow man is not conceivable as a writer. Joseph Conrad

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

Good books don't give up all their secrets at once. Stephen King

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

It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition. Isaac Asimov

Next to doing things that deserve to be written, nothing gets a man more credit, or gives him more pleasure than to write things that deserve to be read. Lord Chesterfield


In conversation you can use timing, a look, an inflection.  But on the page all you have is commas, dashes, the amount of syllables in a word.  When I write, I read everything out loud to get the right rhythm.  Fran Lebowitz

It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does.  William Faulkner

If you start with a bang, you won't end with a whimper. T. S. Eliot


No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. George Moore

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


The only way to learn to write is to write. Peggy Teeters

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

Words are a lens to focus one's mind. Ayn Rand


There are three rules for writing. Unfortunately, no one can agree what they are. Somerset Maugham

There are two kinds of writer: those that make you think, and those that make you wonder. Brian Aldiss

If you're a singer you lose your voice. A baseball player loses his arm. A writer gets more knowledge, and if he's good, the older he gets, the better he writes. Mickey Spillane

We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to. Somerset Maugham 


Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.  E. L. Doctorow

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.  Ray Bradbury


The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its supreme purpose through him. Carl Jung


If you believe you can make a living as a writer, you already have enough ego. David Brin

If you haven't got an idea, start a story anyway. You can always throw it away, and maybe by the time you get to the fourth page you will have an idea, and you'll only have to throw away the first three pages. William Campbell Gault

The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. Thomas Jefferson

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



Russ Baleson (author) from Sandhurst, United Kingdom on August 16, 2012:

Hi nochance, thank you so much, and what a great concept, a National Novel Writing Month. I appreciate your comments. Russ

Chloe from Minnesota on August 15, 2012:

Really great list of motivational quotes. I'm definitely going to promote this during National Novel Writing month.

Russ Baleson (author) from Sandhurst, United Kingdom on December 03, 2009:

Hi Kitten, Thank you, I'd be delighted for you to use this as a source. Regards, Russ

anonymouskitten from Tampa, FL on December 03, 2009:

This is great! Do you mind if I use this page as a source in my blog? Much thanks. :)

Russ Baleson (author) from Sandhurst, United Kingdom on July 27, 2009:

Hi Arthur, thanks. Great advice! And I can't wait to see your writings. GO well.

Arthur on July 27, 2009:

Thanks, Russ. This is great stuff. I'm going to print these out and plaster them all over my walls as I'm writing my Parisian memoir.

Just one more... I don't know who said this, but I think it's important to remember when you're trying to write something.

'You need to listen to the voice in your head that says "this could be a little better" while ignoring the voice that says "this is all shit".'

Russ Baleson (author) from Sandhurst, United Kingdom on July 26, 2009:

Hi thanks Dohn. WIll be checking out your hub soon. Russ

dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on July 26, 2009:

This is one of the best hubs on writing that I have read on so far! Thanks a million for sharing this. I'm amazed by the books of your choosing and the authors you quoted as they are on my short list of favorite authors. This includes: Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Rab Bradbury, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joseph Conrad, William Faulkner and last but not least, Ernest Hemingway. This is truly an inspiring hub!

Please visit my hub "How to Write a Novel and Find the Voice Within" if and when you have a chance. You just might be surprised at what you'll find! Ciao!

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