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150 Famous Writing Quotes to Help You During Every Stage of Writing

Posted in: Perfecting your Craft on March 29, 2019 3 Comments 💬

150 Famous Writing Quotes to Help You During Every Stage of Writing

When you're feeling stuck on your novel, an important thing to remember is that we've all been there in the past. That's right — even the J.K Rowling's and Ernest Hemingway's of this world. Which is why it's always a great idea to turn to your most famous peers (and their writing quotes) for inspiration.

Without further ado, here are 170 writing quotes to guide you through every stage of writing. (Yes! We've added more since we first published this post!)

The number one piece of advice that most authors have for other authors is to read, read, read. Here’s why.

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

2. “You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.” — Annie Proulx

3. “Indeed, learning to write may be part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading.” — Eudora Welty

4. “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. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.” — William Faulkner

5. “I kept always two books in my pocket: one to read, one to write in.” — Robert Louis Stevenson

6. “The Six Golden Rules of Writing: Read, read, read, and write, write, write.” — Ernest Gaines

7. “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

8. “Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.” ― Lisa See

9. “One sure window into a person’s soul is his reading list.” — Mary B. W. Tabor

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The well of inspiration, we’re afraid, often does run dry. Here are the writing quotes to replenish it and, hopefully, remind you that there might be a story idea waiting for you just around the corner of life.

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

11. “Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” — Orson Scott

12. “Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.” — Stephen King

13. “Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.” — Mark Twain

14. “When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.” — George Orwell

 

15. “Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.” — Natalie Goldberg

16. “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

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

18. “Cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can’t fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.” — William S. Burroughs

19. “Write what should not be forgotten.” — Isabel Allende

20. “The story must strike a nerve in me. My heart should start pounding when I hear the first line in my head. I start trembling at the risk.” — Susan Sontag

21. “Sometimes the ideas just come to me. Other times I have to sweat and almost bleed to make ideas come. It’s a mysterious process, but I hope I never find out exactly how it works. I like a mystery, as you may have noticed.” — J.K. Rowling

22. “As for ‘Write what you know,’ I was regularly told this as a beginner. I think it’s a very good rule and have always obeyed it. I write about imaginary countries, alien societies on other planets, dragons, wizards, the Napa Valley in 22002. I know these things. I know them better than anybody else possibly could, so it’s my duty to testify about them.” — Ursula K. Le Guin

23. “I’m very lucky in that I don’t understand the world yet. If I understood the world, it would be harder for me to write these books.” — Mo Willems

24. “Ideas are cheap. It’s the execution that is all important.” — George R.R. Martin

25. “If you wait for inspiration to write you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” — Dan Poynter

Now, finding your "voice" is not as simple as entering a nationally-televised competition on NBC (nyuk nyuk!). Yet your voice will define you as a writer, and these famous writers have plenty of tips and writing quotes for you when it comes to finding it.

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

27. “One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” — Jack Kerouac

28. “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” —Robert Frost

29. “It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.” — P.D. James

30. “Voice is not just the result of a single sentence or paragraph or page. It’s not even the sum total of a whole story. It’s all your work laid out across the table like the bones and fossils of an unidentified carcass.” — Chuck Wendig

31. “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

32. “Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.” — Meg Rosoff

33. “I don’t want just words. If that’s all you have for me, you’d better go.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald

34. “Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.” — Virginia Woolf

35. “Everywhere I go, I’m asked if the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.” — Flannery O’Connor

36. “There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn’t because the book is not there and worth being written — it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and, if you fail to find that form, the story will not tell itself.” — Mark Twain

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The first step is the hardest, and that goes double for writers. Luckily, this is a stage that every single writer has encountered at some point — which makes it a subject ripe with advice.

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

38. “First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him.” — Ray Bradbury

39. “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” — Ernest Hemingway

40. “Focus more on your desire than on your doubt, and the dream will take care of itself.” — Mark Twain

41. “Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of job: It’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins.” — Neil Gaiman

42. “It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.” — Ernest Hemingway

43. “It doesn’t matter how many book ideas you have if you can’t finish writing your book.” — Joe Bunting

44. “If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” — Margaret Atwood

45. “A blank piece of paper is God's way of telling us how hard it is to be God.” — Sidney Sheldon

46. “I am not at all in a humor for writing; I must write on until I am.” — Jane Austen

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

48. “One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing — writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.” — Lawrence Block

49. “Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.” — John Steinbeck

50. “You can fix anything but a blank page.” — Nora Roberts

51. “I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” — Pearl S. Buck

52. “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed.” — Ernest Hemingway

Don’t get discouraged if you get this far and you’re thinking that your first draft is rather poor. These writing quotes are reminders that it’s just part of the process.

53. “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” — Terry Pratchett

54. “Get through a draft as quickly as possible.” — Joshua Wolf Shenk

55. “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” — Douglas Adams

56. “The first draft of everything is shit.” — Ernest Hemingway

57. “There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” — Frank Herbert

58. “I would advise any beginning writer to write the first drafts as if no one else will ever read them — without a thought about publication — and only in the last draft to consider how the work will look from the outside.” — Anne Tyler

59. “I just give myself permission to suck. I delete about 90 percent of my first drafts, so it doesn’t really matter much if on a particular day I write beautiful and brilliant prose that will stick in the minds of my readers forever, because there’s a 90 percent chance I’m just going to delete whatever I write anyway. I find this hugely liberating.” — John Green

60. “Be willing to write really badly.” — Jennifer Egan

61. “On first drafts: It is completely raw, the sort of thing I feel free to do with the door shut — it’s the story undressed, standing up in nothing but its socks and undershorts.” — Stephen King

62. “I do not over-intellectualise the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story.” — Tom Clancy

63. “Anyone who says writing is easy isn’t doing it right.” — Amy Joy

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If there’s one place in the neighborhood where writers would never want to live, it’s a writer’s block. Though there’s no foolproof antidote for it, many authors have tried-and-true advice for anyone who’s struggling through it now.

64. “You fail only if you stop writing.” — Ray Bradbury

65. “If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.” — Isaac Asimov

 

66. “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” — Ray Bradbury

67. “You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.” ― Octavia E. Butler

68. “I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it.” — Chinua Achebe

69. “The secret to being a writer is that you have to write. It’s not enough to think about writing or to study literature or plan a future life as an author. You really have to lock yourself away, alone, and get to work.” — Augusten Burroughs

70. “It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer.” — Gerald Brenan

71. “Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.” — James Baldwin

72. “You just have to go on when it is worst and most helpless — there is only one thing to do with a novel and that is go straight on through to the end of the damn thing.” — Ernest Hemingway

73. “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” — Kurt Vonnegut

74. “The nearest I have to a rule is a Post-it on the wall in front of my desk saying ‘Faire et se taire’ from Flaubert. Which I translate for myself as ‘Shut up and get on with it.’” — Helen Simpson

75. “I’ve been writing since I was six. It is a compulsion, so I can’t really say where the desire came from; I’ve always had it. My breakthrough with the first book came through persistence, because a lot of publishers turned it down.” — J.K. Rowling

76. “Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as a writer.” — Ray Bradbury

77. “It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything.” — Virginia Woolf

78. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” — Richard Bach

“Write drunk, edit sober” might be one of the most famous writing quotes about editing, but we can’t all outdrink Ernest Hemingway. Which is why these other words of wisdom and writing quotes exist!

79. “You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.” ― Jodi Picoult

 

80. “When your story is ready for a rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.” — Stephen King

81. “The best advice on writing was given to me by my first editor, Michael Korda, of Simon and Schuster, while writing my first book. 'Finish your first draft and then we'll talk,' he said. It took me a long time to realize how good the advice was. Even if you write it wrong, write and finish your first draft. Only then, when you have a flawed whole, do you know what you have to fix.” — Dominick Dunne

82. “Editing might be a bloody trade, but knives aren’t the exclusive property of butchers. Surgeons use them too.” — Blake Morrison

83. “The main thing I try to do is write as clearly as I can. I rewrite a good deal to make it clear.” — E.B. White

84. “You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.” — Arthur Plotnik

85. “Half my life is an act of revision.” — John Irving

86. “I'm all for the scissors. I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.” — Truman Capote

87. “It is perfectly okay to write garbage — as long as you edit brilliantly.” — C. J. Cherryh

88. “I've found the best way to revise your own work is to pretend that somebody else wrote it and then to rip the living shit out of it.” ― Don Roff

89. “Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial 'we'.” — Mark Twain

90. “So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.” ― Dr. Seuss

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

 

92. “I would write a book, or a short story, at least three times — once to understand it, the second time to improve the prose, and a third to compel it to say what it still must say. Somewhere I put it this way: first drafts are for learning what one's fiction wants him to say. Revision works with that knowledge to enlarge and enhance an idea, to reform it. Revision is one of the exquisite pleasures of writing.” — Bernard Malamud

93. “No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published.” — Russell Lynes

94. “Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.” — Annie Dillard

95. “No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else's draft.” — H.G. Wells

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How many writers does it take to screw in a light bulb? “But why do we have to CHANGE it?” Luckily, there are more ways to identify a born writer than just that model response, as these writing quotes show.

96. “A writer is a world trapped in a person.” — Victor Hugo

97. “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” — Thomas Mann

98. “People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.” — R.L. Stine

99. “As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.” ― Ernest Hemingway

100. “I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within.” — Gustave Flaubert

101. “Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences.” — Sylvia Plath

102. “I go out to my little office, where I’ve got a manuscript, and the last page I was happy with is on top. I read that, and it’s like getting on a taxiway. I’m able to go through and revise it and put myself — click — back into that world.” — Stephen King

103. “I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.” — William Carlos Williams

104. “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

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

106. “The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea.” — Thomas Mann

107. “Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.” — T.S. Eliot

108. “Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.” — Margaret Chittenden

109. “A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.” — Eugene Ionesco

110. “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” — Benjamin Franklin

111. “A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.” — Roald Dahl

112. “Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.” — Gloria Steinem

From cavemen to our modern day in the 21st-century, we have written our joys and sorrows throughout history. What compels us to write? Here’s what some of the most beloved writers we know have to say.

113. “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.” — Anne Frank

114. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” — Anais Nin

115. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

116. “The very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life.” — Zadie Smith

117. “The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone’s neurosis.” — William Styron

118. “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” — Robin Williams

119. “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they'll go through anything. You read and you're pierced.” — Aldous Huxley

120. “You can make anything by writing.” — C.S. Lewis

121. “Writers live twice.” —  Natalie Goldberg

122. “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” — Winston Churchill

123. “Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it.” — Oscar Wilde

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

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As any writer knows, there are no actual “rules” in this craft. That said, these writing quotes reveal some famous principles in writing that won’t let you down.

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

126. “My own experience is that once a story has been written, one has to cross out the beginning and the end. It is there that we authors do most of our lying.” — Anton Chekhov

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

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

129. “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

130. “Find your best time of the day for writing and write. Don’t let anything else interfere. Afterwards it won’t matter to you that the kitchen is a mess.” — Esther Freud

131. “Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. [...] All they do is show you've been to college.” — Kurt Vonnegut

132. “To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.” — Herman Melville

133. “Write drunk, edit sober.” — Ernest Hemingway

134. “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” — Mark Twain

135. “The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it’s definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.” — Neil Gaiman

136. “Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up.” — Jane Yolen

137. “Style means the right word. The rest matters little.” — Jules Renard

138. “My aim in constructing sentences is to make the sentence utterly easy to understand, writing what I call transparent prose. I’ve failed dreadfully if you have to read a sentence twice to figure out what I meant.” — Ken Follett

139. “And one of [the things you learn as you get older] is, you really need less… My model for this is late Beethoven. He moves so strangely and quite suddenly sometimes from place to place in his music, in the late quartets. He knows where he’s going and he just doesn’t want to waste all that time getting there… One is aware of this as one gets older. You can’t waste time.” — Ursula K. Le Guin

140. “Part 1. I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English — it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in.

Part 2. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don’t mean utterly, but kill most of them – then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart.

Part 3. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.” — Mark Twain

“You miss 100% of the shots that you never take — Wayne Gretsky,” as Michael Scott once said. In tribute to this sentiment, these writing quotes help show why it’s important not to let failure or rejection get you down.

141. “You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” — John Wooden

142. “Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil — but there is no way around them.” — Isaac Asimov

143. “Was I bitter? Absolutely. Hurt? You bet your sweet ass I was hurt. Who doesn’t feel a part of their heart break at rejection. You ask yourself every question you can think of, what, why, how come, and then your sadness turns to anger. That’s my favorite part. It drives me, feeds me, and makes one hell of a story.” — Jennifer Salaiz

144. “I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.” — Sylvia Plath

145. “I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent, he would be wise to develop a thick hide.” — Harper Lee

147. “I used to save all my rejection slips because I told myself, one day I’m going to autograph these and auction them. And then I lost the box.” — James Lee Burke

148. “This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package. Don’t consider it rejected. Consider that you’ve addressed it ‘to the editor who can appreciate my work’ and it has simply come back stamped ‘Not at this address’. Just keep looking for the right address.” — Barbara Kingsolver

149. “To ward off a feeling of failure, she joked that she could wallpaper her bathroom with rejection slips, which she chose not to see as messages to stop, but rather as tickets to the game.” — Anita Shreve

150. “Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.” — Neil Gaiman

151. “The artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don’t have the time to read reviews.” — William Faulkner

152. “I think that you have to believe in your destiny; that you will succeed, you will meet a lot of rejection and it is not always a straight path, there will be detours — so enjoy the view.” — Michael York

153. “I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged.” — Erica Jong

154. “I tell writers to keep reading, reading, reading. Read widely and deeply. And I tell them not to give up even after getting rejection letters. And only write what you love.” — Anita Diamant

155. “I could write an entertaining novel about rejection slips, but I fear it would be overly long.” — Louise Brown

156. “I had immediate success in the sense that I sold something right off the bat. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake and it really wasn’t. I have drawers full of — or I did have — drawers full of rejection slips.” — Fred Saberhagen

157. “An absolutely necessary part of a writer’s equipment, almost as necessary as talent, is the ability to stand up under punishment, both the punishment the world hands out and the punishment he inflicts upon himself.” — Irwin Shaw

158. “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” — C. S. Lewis

Why does writing matter? If there’s anyone who might know the answer, it’s the people who write — and continue to write, despite adverse circumstances. Here are a few pennies for their thoughts.

159. “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

160. “If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.” — Wally Lamb

161. “A word after a word after a word is power.” — Margaret Atwood

162. “If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.” — Martin Luther

163. “The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.” — Albert Camus

164. “Good fiction’s job is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” — David Foster Wallace

165. “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” — Philip Pullman

166. “All stories have to at least try to explain some small portion of the meaning of life.” — Gene Weingarten

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

168. “The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense.” — Tom Clancy

169. “If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don’t listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.” — Lillian Hellman

170. “Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously.” — Lev Grossman

Of course, writing quotes by themselves won't write the book for you — you alone have that power. However, we hope that this post has helped inspire you in some way! If you're looking for more in-depth resources, you can check out these guides:


Have a favorite quote that we missed? If you know of more cool quotes by writers, write them in the comments!

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Robert Kenney

Your introduction to "On Editing" needs an edit. As an editor, “Write sober, edit drunk” sounds fun, but you've got Hemingway backward there.

Brian Welte

Here's a quote I absolutely adore: "The author, in his work, must be like God in the Universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere" [Quote from Gustave Flaubert]

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