writing Quotes

100+ of the best book quotes about writing
“Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. That thing you had to force yourself to do—the actual act of writing—turns out to be the best part.”
“Other than writing, I am completely unemployable. But really, secretly, when I’m not being smart-alecky, it’s because I want to and I’m good at it.”
“You sit down . . . You try to sit down at approximately the same time every day. This is how you train your unconscious to kick in for you creatively.”
“Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve thought that there was something noble and mysterious about writing, about the people who could do it well, who could create a world as if they were little gods or sorcerers. All my life I’ve felt that there was something magical about people who could get into other people’s minds and skin, who could take people like me out of ourselves and then take us back to ourselves. And you know what? I still do.”
“The very first thing I tell my new students on the first day of a workshop is that good writing is about telling the truth. We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are.”
“Writing taught my father to pay attention; my father in turn taught other people to pay attention and then to write down their thoughts and observations.”
“But I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all that it is cracked up to be. But writing is.”
“Sully strains to say his phrases, sickened by the sounds he raises, strings of thoughts come out in knots, he solves his sentences like mazes. At night, he writes his thoughts instead and sighs as they steadily rush from his head.”
“Also, an occupational hazard of writing is that you’ll have bad days. You feel not only totally alone but also that everyone else is at a party. But if you talk to other people who write, you remember that this feeling is part of the process, that it’s inevitable.”
“I’m skimming across the surface of my own history, moving fast, riding the melt beneath the blades, doing loops and spins, and when I take a high leap into the dark and come down thirty years later, I realize it is as Tim trying to save Timmy’s life with a story.”
“There are probably a number of ways to tell your story right, and someone else may be able to tell you whether or not you’ve found one of these ways.”
“So if you want to get to know your characters, you have to hang out with them long enough to see beyond all the things they aren’t. You may try to get them to do something because it would be convenient plotwise, or you might want to pigeonhole them so you can maintain the illusion of control. But with luck their tendrils will sneak out the sides of the box you’ve put them in, and you will finally have to admit that who they are isn’t who you thought they were.”
“my heart woke me crying last night how can i help i begged my heart said write the book”
“The thing about writing is I can’t tell if it’s healing or destroying.”
“’But do you believe,’ said Candide, ‘that the earth was originally a sea, as we find it asserted in that large book belonging to the captain?’ ‘I do not believe a word of it,’ said Martin, ‘any more than I do of the many ravings which have been published lately.’”
“A person who can write a long letter with ease, cannot write ill.”
“A woman who writes has power, and a woman with power is feared.”
“By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it.”
“Why am I compelled to write? Because the writing saves me from this complacency I fear. Because I have no choice.”
“Intellectual freedom depends on material things. Poetry depends on intellectual freedom. And women have always been poor, not for two hundred years merely, but from the beginning of time. [...] Women, then, have not had a dog’s chance of writing poetry.”
“It would be a thousand pities if women wrote like men, or lived like men, or looked like men, for if two sexes are quite inadequate, considering the vastness and variety of the world, how should we manage with one only?”
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”
“I will drop in his way some obscure epistles of love...”
“The book has somehow to be adapted to the body, and at a venture one would say that women’s books should be shorter, more concentrated, than those of men, and framed so that they do not need long hours of steady and uninterrupted work. For interruptions there will always be.”
″[Woman’s] sensibility had been educated for centuries by the influences of the common sitting room. People’s feelings were impressed on her; personal relations were always before her eyes. Therefore, when the middle-class woman took to writing, she naturally wrote novels.”
“It would have been impossible, completely and entirely, for any woman to have written the plays of Shakespeare in the age of Shakespeare.”
“Literature is open to everybody. I refuse to allow you, Beadle though you are, to turn me off the grass. 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.”
“Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.”
“Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood. Write with blood, and thou wilt find that blood is spirit.”
“It is now during the first ten days of the tenth month in the twentieth year of Kanei (1645). I am sixty years old and I have been training many years in the Way of strategy called Ni Ten Ichi Try. I will now explain it in writing for the first time.”
“So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters. [...] But to sacrifice a hair of the head of your vision, a shade of its colour, in deference to some Headmaster with a silver pot in his hand [...] is the most abject treachery.”
“I’m going to write it down because maybe if I do I won’t have to think about it. And I won’t get upset.”
“When I write letters, I spend the next two days thinking about what I figured out in my letters. I don’t know if this is good or bad.”
“Alas, Malvolio, this is not my writing, Though, I confess, much like the character. But out of question, ‘tis Maria’s hand.”
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
“It would have been impossible to carry a bad name with a greater sweetness of innocence, and by the time I had got back to Bly with him I remained merely bewildered—so far, that is, as I was not outraged—by the sense of the horrible letter locked up in my room, in a drawer. As soon as I could compass a private word with Mrs. Grose I declared to her that it was grotesque. She promptly understood me. ‘You mean the cruel charge—?’ ‘It doesn’t live an instant. My dear woman, LOOK at him!‘”
“The Dream is the enemy of all art, courageous thinking, and honest writing.”
“It is with a kind of fear that I begin to write the history of my life.”
Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.
Let us never underestimate the power of a well-written letter.
“I nearly always write just as I nearly always breathe.”
Don’t be afraid! We won’t make an author of you, while there’s an honest trade to be learnt, or brick-making to turn to.
There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts.
“Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me prov’d, I never writ, nor no man ever lov’d.”
“And as far as I can see the world is too old for us to talk about it with our new words -- We will pass just as quietly through life (passing through, passing through) as the 10th century people of this valley only with a little more noise and a few bridges and dams and bombs that wont even last a million years -- The world being just what it is, moving and passing through.”
“Tho why after three weeks of perfect happy peace and adjustment in these strange woods my soul so went down the drain when I came back with Dave Wain and Romana and my girl Billie and her kid, I’ll never know -- Worth the telling only if I dig deep into everything.”
“Nobody that ever left their own country ever wrote anything worth printing. Not even in the newspapers.”
“She wrote to my father in Israel almost every day on expensive French stationary, and when she ran out of that she wrote to him on graph paper torn out of a notebook.”
“I’ve never gotten a love letter before. But reading these notes like this, one after the other, it feels like I have. It’s’s like there’s only ever been Peter. Like everyone else that came before him, they were all to prepare me for this.”
“What must I do, Mother, what must I do to make a different world for her? How do I start?” “The secret lies in the reading and the writing. You are able to read. Every day you must read one page from some good book to your child. Every day this must be until the child learns to read. Then she must read every day, I know this is the secret.”
“My folks never knew how to read or write. I only got to the sixth grade myself -- had to leave school when the old man dies. You kids are lucky. I’m going to see to it that you get through school.”
“I started again. This time I didn’t write about real things and I didn’t write about imaginary things. I wrote about the only thing I knew. The pages piled up.”
“The explanations a writer gives himself for having written any particular book are more often not the real reasons why that book has been written. Honesty is not the issue. Understanding is. A man does not write one novel at a time or even one quatrain at a time. He is engaged in the long process of putting his whole life on paper. He is on a journey and he is reporting in: ‘This is where I think I am and this is what this place looks like today.’”
“I intend to keep writing stories that piss people off, that tell the particular kind of truth I think is valid, that will make me feel more and more like a Writer of Stature, Which I honestly think I am, really, I mean it, I don’t doubt it for a second dammit, so stop giggling!”
“I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing.”
“No, I don’t think my conscience would let me support a strike like that. When a man becomes a writer, I think he takes on a sacred obligation to produce beauty and enlightenment and comfort at top speed.”
“It took some man a lifetime maybe to put some of his thoughts down, looking around at the world and life, and then I came along in two minutes and boom! it’s all over.”
“The book and writer both Were love’s purveyors.”
“‘I know what it’s like to be distracted. To seek out distractions. To exhaust yourself doing every other little thing rather than face a blank page.’”
“‘The whole point of fanfiction,’ she said, ‘is that you get to play inside somebody else’s universe. Rewrite the rules. Or bend them.’”
“‘You can stay in this world, this world you love, as long as you want, as long as you keep thinking of new stories—’”
“The lamp l am writing by is deer fat poured into a turtle shell with a strip of my old city trousers for a wick.”
“It is eerily terrifying that there is no sound when a heart breaks. Car accidents end with a bang, falling ends with a thud, even writing makes the scratching sound of pencil against paper. But the sound of a heart breaking is completely silent.”
“There comes John’s sister. Such a dear girl as she is, and so careful of me! I must not let her find me writing. She is a perfect and enthusiastic housekeeper, and hopes for no better profession. I verily believe she thinks it is the writing which made me sick!”
“The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.”
“Writing poetry is effortless”
How do you write like tomorrow won’t arrive? How do you write like you need it to survive? How do you write ev’ry second you’re alive? Ev’ry second you’re alive? Ev’ry second you’re alive?
“I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.”
“Writing in a diary is a really strange experience for someone like me. Not only because I’ve never written anything before, but also because it seems to me that later on neither I nor anyone else will be interested in the musings of a 13-year-old schoolgirl.”
“After more than two hours, Liesel Meminger started writing, not knowing how she was ever going to get this right.”
“Write about what disturbs you, particularly if it bothers no one else.”
If there is a book you want to read but isn’t written yet, write it
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.
To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be who have tried it.
Did I write it so as not to go mad or, on the contrary, to go mad in order to understand the nature of madness?
It is one thing to write as poet and another to write as a historian.
“I’ll write to you. You shall know all my doings. Will you write to me in return?” “Yes, but I’ll have no doings, or few. I shall invent, and you’ll have to decide what is real.”
“I did write for a while in spite of them; but it does exhaust me a good deal—having to be so sly about it, or else meet with heavy opposition. I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus—but John says the very worst thing I can do is to think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad.”
“We have been here two weeks, and I haven’t felt like writing before, since that first day. I am sitting by the window now, up in this atrocious nursery, and there is nothing to hinder my writing as much as I please, save lack of strength.”
I wish writing were really like the way Andy staged it here: Me in a mania at a desk while a group of people stand around cheering in awe.
“You can’t write an honest novel about race in this country.”
“In order to write the book you want to write, in the end you have to become the person you need to become to write that book.”
“I pray God will curse the writer, as the writer has cursed the world with this beautiful, stupendous creation, terrible in its simplicity, irresistible in its truth--a world which now trembles before the King in Yellow.”
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
“Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open.”
“you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
“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.”
“Writing is not life, but I think that sometimes it can be a way back to life.”
“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”
“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.”
“Words create sentences; sentences create paragraphs; sometimes paragraphs quicken and begin to breathe.”
“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”
“I hate this place. I hate this place. I can’t write it enough times to make it look the way I feel. I hate, hate, hate this place!”
“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.”
“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?”
“Comics ... are sometimes four-legged and sometimes two-legged and sometimes fly and sometimes don’t ...”
“The confusion inherent in the word comics has been apparent to those writing in the filed for years. The word has a plural form but is singular in application.”
“No, women like you don’t write. They carve onion sculptures and potato statues. They sit in dark corners and braid their hair in new shapes and twists in order to control the stiffness, the unruliness, the rebelliousness.”
“My writing was my way of seeing, my way of living, my way of feeling.”
“If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), ‘Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?’ chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”
“This is the other secret that real artists know and wannabe writers don’t. When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us. The Muse takes note of our dedication. She approves. We have earned favor in her sight. When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings. Ideas come. Insights accrete.”
“I am a Saturn who dreams of being a Mercury, and everything I write reflects these two impulses.”
″‘Did you write today?’ ‘A little.’ ‘Was it good?’ ‘You never know until 18 days later.‘”
″‘I don’t want to interfere with your writing.’ ‘There’s no way I can stop writing, it’s a form of insanity.‘”
“Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.”
“Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone is a writer, some are written in the books and some are confined to hearts.”
“The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be.”
“Now I found it in writing sentences. You can write that sentence in a way that you would have written it last year. Or you can write it in the way of the exquisite nuance that is sitting in your mind now. But that takes a lot of ... waiting for the right word to come.”
“What a fool you are, Basta! I’m not talking about children’s magic. I mean the magic of the written word. Nothing is more powerful for good or evil, I do assure you.”
“Whenever the students had free time, they were permitted to go to the Lightlbulb Lab in the back of the classroom. They expressed their ideas creatively through drawing and writing. Lilly went often. She had a lot of ideas. ”
It was interesting that Peggy Rathmann wrote the book in the second person, as if the reader were part of the tale. And the illustrations are wonderfully creative, with black silhouettes framed by an ever darkening, but very colorful sky. The illustrations are very funny in places, which helps to soften the dangerous situations the babies got into.
With an expert balance of humor, sentimentality, and hopefulness, this story is a work of art (side note: the first chapter of this book is the most spectacular chapter ever written in the history of chapters. i have probably read it over 100 times. its utter perfection).
The entire book works. The color wash suits the drawing style which complements the story which is carried by mild misbehavior and mayhem.
It was interesting that Peggy Rathmann wrote the book in the second person, as if the reader were part of the tale. And the illustrations are wonderfully creative, with black silhouettes framed by an ever darkening, but very colorful sky. The illustrations are very funny in places, which helps to soften the dangerous situations the babies got into.
“If what we have written brings happiness to any sad heart we shall not have laboured in vain.”
“At his father’s insistence, Hoonie learned to read and write Korean and Japanese from the village schoolmaster well enough to keep a boardinghouse ledger and do sums in his head so he couldn’t be cheated at the market.”
“If I were writing the book, I might make mistakes. But God knows how to make the story end just right... in the way that’s best for us.”
“Albert’s uncle says I ought to have put this in the preface, but I never read prefaces, and it is not much good writing things just for people to skip.”
“Inside he could see a classroom. There were children sitting at their desks, and a teacher writing on the blackboard. Mr Tickle waited a minute and then reached in through the window. Mr Tickles extraordinary long arm went right up to the teacher, paused, and then – tickled! The teacher jumped in the air and turned round very quickly to see who was there.”
“I sit wondering how writing can bring such strange strangers into the same room.”
“Insect calligraphers practicing penmanship...”
“Sometimes it seems like writing is the only way I keep from hurting.”
“The way I write is who I am, or have become.”
“You don’t write to get to the end. You write because you enjoy doing it. You write and don’t want it to end.”
“I’m going to give you a very good rule that was given to me a college and I have always been abundantly grateful for it. When you have written something that you think is really good, destroy it. Destroy it.”
“Soon enough, my cousin feels alive again. His voice rings in my ear, and his face floats in the paper just beyond his words where he swam in the kind of feelings and thoughts most people spend their lives trying to mask from others or from themselves.”
“Wasn’t writing a kind of soaring, an achievable form of flight, of fancy, of the imagination?”
“A scullery maid? Ridiculous. I was Matilda Cook, daughter of Lucille, granddaughter of Captain William Farnsworth Cook, of the Pennsylvania Fifth Regiment. I could read, write, and figure numbers faster than most. I was not afraid of hard work. I would set my own course.”
“Begin at the beginning, go to the end, and there stop- that’s what Rickie, our English master, told me when it was settled I should write the story. It sounds simple enough. But where was the beginning? Haven’t you ever wondered about where things start?”
“I write down what I observe in my notebooks. I do this for two reasons. The first is that Writing inculcates habits of precision and carefulness. The second is to preserve whatever knowledge I possess for you, the Sixteenth Person.”
“When I read a book, I put in all the imagination I can, so that it is almost like writing the book as well as reading it — or rather, it is like living it. It makes reading so much more exciting, but I don’t suppose many people try to do it.”
“Writing is, in the end, that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.”
“Written kisses don’t reach their destination, rather they are drunk on the way by the ghosts.”
“If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing.”
“Sometimes, I don’t know that words for things, how to write down the feeling of knowing that every dying person leaves something behind.”
″‘Barrabas came to us by sea’, the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy. She was already in the habit of writing down important matters, and afterward, when she was mute, she also recorded trivialities, never suspecting that fifty years later I would use her notebooks to reclaim the past and overcome terrors of my own.”

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