I have a confession, dear reader. I’m addicted to writing quotes from writers.

Why? I’m not sure. I think it’s because it’s nice to see that the big names in the book world struggle with the same things I do. Or that maybe they once had a freelance client who ghosted them when it came time to pay for the work they did. (There’s a special place in hell for those people who do that, btw.)

Some Very Necessary Writing Quotes Original photo byJohn-Mark Kuznietsov

We’ve officially entered the least inspiring time of year. Sure, it’s January and those resolutions are still fresh. I’m still high on the desire to be a better person. But, just, ugh. Winter means there isn’t enough sunlight, and the days are way too short.

It’s not a very inspiring time.

And while I’ve been known to keep some letter board quotes handy in order to keep my head in the game, sometimes you just need more.

But you know what inspires me? Writing quotes from writers. So, without further ado, here are some of my favorites.

Some Very Necessary Writing Quotes Share on X

Writing Quotes for Living Life

“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

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

“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

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“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

Writing Quotes for Slogging Through the Word Mines

“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

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

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”
 – Nathaniel Hawthorne

“The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.” – Philip Roth

“The character that lasts is an ordinary guy with some extraordinary qualities.”
 – Raymond Chandler

Easy reading is damn hard writing.
 - Nathaniel Hawthorne Share on X

Writing Quotes for the Rules of Writing

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

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

“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

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

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

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Writing Quotes about Reading

“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

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

“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

“I don’t think of literature as an end in itself. It’s just a way of communicating something.” – Isabel Allende

Writing Quotes for Team #WriteWordsGetPaid

“The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.” – Robert Benchley

“Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.” – Virginia Woolf

“Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.” – Neil Gaiman

Writing Quotes about Divine Inspiration

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

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

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

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

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

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“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

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Writing Quotes about Why We Need Stories and Imagination

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

“Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.”
 – G.K. Chesterton

“Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one.” 
- Terry Pratchett

Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one. 
- Terry Pratchett Share on X

Tell Me Your Favorite Writing Quotes!

Do you have a favorite writing quote? Know any good quotes that inspire? What is something your favorite author or artist is known for saying? Leave it in the comments!

2 Responses

  1. ““The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.” – Philip Roth

    Love, love, LOVE this one. With so many drafts on my blog right now, this speaks to me. Don’t get me started on the fiction pieces that are still unfinished and hanging out in a folder waiting to be worked on.

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