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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
  1. #1
    “Put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn’t in the middle of the room.”
  2. #2
    “you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”
  3. #3
    “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”
  4. #4
    “Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.”
  5. #5
    “Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
  6. #6
    “Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life.”
  1. #7
    “The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
  2. #8
    “If you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”
  3. #9
    “I’m a slow reader, but I usually get through seventy or eighty books a year, most fiction. I don’t read in order to study the craft; I read because I like to read”
  4. #10
    “Reading in bed can be heaven, assuming you can get just the right amount of light on the page and aren’t prone to spilling your coffee or cognac on the sheets. ”
  5. #11
    “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.”
  6. #12
    “Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe.”

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  1. #13
    “Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”
  2. #14
    “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
  3. #15
    “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
  4. #16
    “So okay― there you are in your room with the shade down and the door shut and the plug pulled out of the base of the telephone. You’ve blown up your TV and committed yourself to a thousand words a day, come hell or high water. Now comes the big question: What are you going to write about? And the equally big answer: Anything you damn well want.”
  5. #17
    “In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it ‘got boring,’ the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling.”
  6. #18
    “Writing is seduction. Good talk is part of seduction. If not so, why do so many couples who start the evening at dinner wind up in bed?”
  7. #19
    “You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”
  8. #20
    “Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.”