Top Writers And Life Quotes

Browse top 37 famous quotes and sayings about Writers And Life by most favorite authors.

Favorite Writers And Life Quotes

1. "...she felt about reading what some writers felt about writing: that it was impossible not to do it and that at this late stage of her life she had been chosen to read as others were chosen to write."
Author: Alan Bennett
2. "To become a writer a person must read constantly, the more varied the writers and their material then all the better. One must also have a lot of life experience, travel to exotic locations and live among the local people. Yet most importantly a writer needs the determination to keep at their writing regardless of what others might say or think about it"
Author: Andrew James Pritchard
3. "Forgiveness. The ability to forgive oneself. Stop here for a few breaths and think about this because it is the key to making art, and very possibly the key to finding any semblance of happiness in life. Every time I have set out to translate the book (or story, or hopelessly long essay) that exists in such brilliant detail on the big screen of my limbic system onto a piece of paper (which, let's face it, was once a towering tree crowned with leaves and a home to birds). I grieve for my own lack of talent and intelligence. Every. Single. Time. Were I smarter, more gifted, I could pin down a closer facsimile of the wonders I see. I believe, more than anything, that this grief of constantly having to face down our own inadequacies is what keeps people from being writers. Forgiveness, therefore, is key. I can't write the book I want to write, but I can and will write the book I am capable of writing. Again and again throughout the course of my life I will forgive myself."
Author: Ann Patchett
4. "Writing and reading decrease our sense of isolation. They depen and widen and expand our sense of life: they feed the soul. When writers make us shake our heads with the exactness of their prose and their truths, and even make us laugh about ourselves or life, our buoyancy is restored. We are given a shot at dancing with, or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It's like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can't stop the raging storm, but singing can change the hearts and spirits of the people who are together on that ship."
Author: Anne Lamott
5. "That kind of thinking [that writers must alleviate their guilt for leading a creative life] is based on the idea that the creative life is somehow self-indulgent. Artists and writers have to understand and live the truth that what we are doing is nourishing the world. William Carlos Williams said, "It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there." You can't eat a book, right, but books have saved my life more often than sandwiches. And they've saved your life... But we don't say, oh, Maya Angelou should have silenced herself because other people have other destinies. It's interesting, because artists are always encouraged to feel guilty about their work. Why? Why don't we ask predatory bankers how they alleviate their guilt?"
Author: Ariel Gore
6. "It's a great paradox and a great injustice that writers write because we fear death and want to leave something indestructable in our wake, and at the same time, are drawn to things that kill: whiskey and cigarette, unprotected sex and deep fried burritos.It's true that you can get away with drinking and smoking and sunbathing when you're in your teens and twenties, and it's true that rock stars are free to die at twenty-nine, but a lit star needs a long life."
Author: Ariel Gore
7. "Writing, music, sculpting, painting, and prayer! These are the three things that are most closely related! Writers, musicians, sculptors, painters, and the faithful are the ones who make things out of nothing. Everybody else, they make things out of something, they have materials! But a written work can be done with nothing, it can begin in the soul! A musical piece begins with a harmony in the soul, a sculpture begins with a formless, useless piece of rock chiseled and formed and molded into the thing that was first conceived in the sculptor's heart! A painting can be carried inside the mind for a lifetime, before ever being put onto paper or canvass! And a prayer! A prayer is a thought, a remembrance, a whisper, a communion, that is from the soul going to what cannot be seen, yet it can move mountains! And so I believe that these five things are interrelated, these five kinds of people are kin."
Author: C. JoyBell C.
8. "When the last autumn of Dickens's life was over, he continued to work through his final winter and into spring. This is how all of us writers give away the days and years and decades of our lives in exchange for stacks of paper with scratches and squiggles on them. And when Death calls, how many of us would trade all those pages, all that squandered lifetime-worth of painfully achieved scratches and squiggles, for just one more day, one more fully lived and experienced day? And what price would we writers pay for that one extra day spent with those we ignored while we were locked away scratching and squiggling in our arrogant years of solipsistic isolation?Would we trade all those pages for a single hour? Or all of our books for one real minute?"
Author: Dan Simmons
9. "...a writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down. Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life."
Author: E.B. White
10. "Writers perform an extremely important role: they make others dream, those who are unable to dream for themselves. And everyone needs to dream. Could there be any more important job in life than that?"
Author: Félix J. Palma
11. "Art is made by those who consider themselves to have failed at whatever isn't art. And of course it is loved as consolation, or a call to arms, by those who feel the same. One of the reasons there seem to be fewer readers for literature today than there were yesterday is that the concept of failure has been outlawed. If we are all beautiful, all clever, all happy, all successes in our way, what do we want with the language of the dispossessed? But the nature of failure ensures that writers will go on writing no matter how many readers they have. You have to master the embarrassments and ignominies of life."
Author: Howard Jacobson
12. "I craved a form of naive realism. I paid special attention, I craned my readerly neck whenever a London street I knew was mentioned, or a style of frock, a real public person, even a make of car. Then, I thought, I had a measure, I could guage the quality of the writing by its accuracy, by the extent to which it aligned with my own impressions, or improved upon them. I was fortunate that most English writing of the time was in the form of undemanding social documentary. I wasn't impressed by those writers (they were spread between South and North America) who infiltrated their own pages as part of the cast, determined to remind poor reader that all the characters and even they themselves were pure inventions and the there was a difference between fiction and life. Or, to the contrary, to insist that life was a fiction anyway. Only writers, I thought, were ever in danger of confusing the two."
Author: Ian McEwan
13. "We've inherited many ideas about writing that emerged in the eighteenth century, especially an interest in literature as both an expression and an exploration of the self. This development ? part of what distinguishes the "modern" from the "early modern" ? has shaped the work of many of our most celebrated authors, whose personal experiences indelibly and visibly mark their writing. It's fair to say that the fiction and poetry of many of the finest writers of the past century or so ? and I'm thinking here of Conrad, Proust, Lawrence, Joyce, Woolf, Kafka, Plath, Ellison, Lowell, Sexton, Roth, and Coetzee, to name but a few ? have been deeply autobiographical. The link between the life and the work is one of the things we're curious about and look for when we pick up the latest book by a favorite author."
Author: James Shapiro
14. "All writers--all beings--are exiles as a matter of course. The certainty about living is that it is a succession of expulsions of whatever carries the life force...All writers are exiles wherever they live and their work is a lifelong journey towards the lost land.."
Author: Janet Frame
15. "The thing that worries me is that I'm so different from other writers. Connecticut is just another state to me. And nature - well, nature is just nature. When I see a tree whose leafy mouth is pressed against the earth's sweet flowing breast, I think, 'Well, that's a nice-looking oak,' but it doesn't change my way of life.Now I'm not going to stand here and run down trees and flowers. Personally, I have three snake plants of my own, and in a tearoom I'm the first one to notice the geraniums. But the point is, I keep my head."
Author: Jean Kerr
16. "At college, I was told there were four great women novelists in the 19th century – Jane Austen, George Eliot, Charlotte and Emily Brontë. Not one of them led an enviable life – all of them had to sacrifice ludicrously in order to be writers. I wasn't prepared to do that.You could become ill so that you could retreat to the bedroom, avoid your domestic responsibilities and write like Emily Dickinson and Christina Rossetti. You had to forget about writing if you weren't prepared to sacrifice any other things you might want from life, like kids or lovers. It's not like that now."
Author: Jeanette Winterson
17. "Political writers argue in regard to the love of liberty with the same philosophy that philosophers do in regard to the state of nature; by the things they see they judge of things very different which they have never seen, and they attribute to men a natural inclination to slavery, on account of the patience with which the slaves within their notice carry the yoke; not reflecting that it is with liberty as with innocence and virtue, the value of which is not known but by those who possess them, though the relish for them is lost with the things themselves. I know the charms of your country, said Brasidas to a satrap who was comparing the life of the Spartans with that of the Persepolites; but you can not know the pleasures of mine."
Author: Jean Jacques Rousseau
18. "I know there are a lot of musicians and a lot of artists, and there are a lot of writers and other people who inspire young people, but I'd like to see somebody in political life be able to connect and make these choices that we need to make in Washington real in terms of people's lives."
Author: John F. Kerry
19. "There are many writing courses, there's plenty of demand for them. The shortage is having something to write about, and that can't be taught in schools. There is no course in finding something to write about.Many beginners lacked something as fundamental as experience of life. It's a postmodern misconception that you can write first and live later. But many young people want to become writers because they want to live like writers. This is putting the cart before the horse. You must live first, and then decide if you have something to say afterwards. Life itself is a determining factor. Writing is the fruit of life. Life isn't the fruit of writing."
Author: Jostein Gaarder
20. "Writers are first and foremost observers. We lose ourselves in the watching and then the telling of the world we find. Often we feel on the fringes, in the margins of life. And that's where we belong. What you are a part of, you cannot observe."
Author: Lisa Unger
21. "I'm a big John Steinbeck fan. Cormac McCarthy. I've always loved the stories of regular people. Mark Twain, too. When you look back at some of the epic writers of our country's history, very rarely do you find upper-class royalty. We seem to delve into the struggle of life and the labor of life much more frequently."
Author: Lucas Neff
22. "I would not have majored in English and gone on to teach literature had I not been able to construct a counterargument about the truthfulness of fiction; still, as writers turn away from the industrious villages of George Eliot and Thomas Hardy, I learn less and less from them that helps me to ponder my life. In time, I found myself agreeing with the course evaluations written by my testier freshman students:'All the literature we read this term was depressing.' How naive. How sane."
Author: Mary Rose O'Reilley
23. "How do you get the happy ending? John Irving ought to know. One of my favorite authors, Irving writes these multigenerational epics of fiction that somehow work out in the end. How does he do it? He says, 'I always begin with the last sentence ; then I work my way backwards, through the plot, to where the story should begin.' Thst sounds like a lot of work, especially compared to the fantasy that great writers sit down and just go where the story takes them. Irving lets us know that good stories and happy endings are more intentional than that. Most 20 something's can't write the last sentence of their lives. But when pressed, they usually can identify things they want in their 30s or 40s or 60s -or things they don't want- and work backward from there. This is how you have your own multigenerational epic with a happy ending. This is how you live your life in real time."
Author: Meg Jay
24. "The term - 'Fairy-Tales' is so ironical in itself, when I sometimes sit to write love stories with a happy ending, it usually drags me into a dilemma whether, I should even begin with a love story at first place or not? Because honestly, I haven't seen many of them reaching climax, most of them just die out in the mid. Then comes the concept of fairy tales or what we say 'fiction', where nothing is impossible!But over time, if I've realized something, it is that there's no such term called fiction when it comes to reality! Its harsh, in-your-face-sarcastic, ironical and highly irrational. You can't expect what's coming up next, and how it's going to blow you. In the real life, the entire meaning of fiction ceases to exist. Conclusively, we writers, deal with harsh reality and write lively fictions, this job in itself is so ironical but, that's life..."
Author: Mehek Bassi
25. "True writers know that writing is not something they feel required to do,or to make a living they must do, it is quite frankly like breathing. Somecan breathe often and fluently, some short breaths, some a long exhaleand for many of us it is the patient steady breathing surrounding life."
Author: Milissa R. Bailey
26. "One of the most brilliant Russian writers of the twentieth century, Yevgeny Zamyatin belongs to the tradition in Russian literature represented by Gogol, Leskov, Bely, Remizov, and, in certain aspects of their work, also by Babel and Bulgakov. It is a tradition, paradoxically, of experimenters and innovators. Perhaps the principal quality that unites them is their approach to reality and its uses in art - the refusal to be bound by literal fact, the interweaving of reality and fantasy, the transmutation of fact into poetry, often grotesque, oblique, playful, but always expressive of the writer's unique vision of life in his own, unique terms."
Author: Mirra Ginsburg
27. "As writers we live life twice, like a cow that eats its food once and then regurgitates it to chew and digest it again. We have a second chance at biting into our experience and examining it. ...This is our life and it's not going to last forever. There isn't time to talk about someday writing that short story or poem or novel. Slow down now, touch what is around you, and out of care and compassion for each moment and detail, put pen to paper and begin to write."
Author: Natalie Goldberg
28. "Writers of the world, if you've got a story, I want to hear it. I promise it will follow me to my last breath. My soul will dance with pleasure, and it'll change the quality of all my waking hours. You will hearten me and brace me up for the hard days as they enter my life on the prowl. I reach for a story to save my own life. Always. It clears the way for me and makes me resistant to all the false promises signified by the ring of power. In every great story, I encounter a head-on collision with self and imagination."
Author: Pat Conroy
29. "Some take pains to be biblical, but many [Christian financial teachers, writers, investment counselors, and seminar leaders] simply parrot their secular colleagues. Other than beginning and ending with prayer, mentioning Christ, and sprinkling in some Bible verses, there's no fundamental difference. They reinforce people's materialist attitudes and lifestyles. They suggest a variety of profitable plans in which people can spend or stockpile the bulk of their resources. In short, to borrow a term from Jesus, some Christian financial experts are helping people to be the most successful 'rich fools' they can be."
Author: Randy Alcorn
30. "This is incredible. This is quite amazing because who you're honoring tonight is not only myself but the ghost of a lot of your favorite writers. And I wouldn't be here except that they spoke to me in the library. The library's been the center of my life. I never made it to college. I started going to the library when I graduated from high school. I went to the library every day for three or four days a week for 10 years and I graduated from the library when I was 28."
Author: Ray Bradbury
31. "Do you know why books such as this are so important? Because they have quality. And what does the word quality mean? To me it means texture. This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You'd find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite profusion. The more pores, the more truthfully recorded details of life per square inch you can get on a sheet of paper, the more ‘literary' you are. That's my definition anyway. Telling detail. Fresh detail. The good writers touch life often. The mediocre ones run a quick hand over her. The bad ones rape her and leave her for the flies. So now you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life."
Author: Ray Bradbury
32. "If we're lucky, writer and reader alike, we'll finish the last line or two of a short story and then just sit for a minute, quietly. Ideally, we'll ponder what we've just written or read; maybe our hearts or intellects will have been moved off the peg just a little from where they were before. Our body temperature will have gone up, or down, by a degree. Then, breathing evenly and steadily once more, we'll collect ourselves, writers and readers alike, get up, "created of warm blood and nerves" as a Chekhov character puts it, and go on to the next thing: Life. Always life."
Author: Raymond Carver
33. "I hate to be a nag, but you have got to read. Like most authors, I run creative writing workshops from time to time, and speak, when invited to writers' circles and at summer schools, and I'm continually amazed at the number of would-be writers who scarcely read. For ideas to germinate and proliferate there has to be fertile ground to sow them in, and for the ground to be fertile it must be mulched with observation, imagination, and other writing."
Author: Sarah Harrison
34. "Most inspirational writers were born as driftwood and will say they have been beaten against every shoreline during their life. We understand storms. We understand drowning. We understand being devalued. We understand being stranded alone on a beach. God made us this way so we would know where every lighthouse can be found and tell others how to find them. We were never meant to stand on the beach with you because every rescue we do rescues ourselves. We always go back to the sea because that is where driftwood belongs--forever searching for answers to our endless questions and sharing what we learned...(2012, Writer's Conference)"
Author: Shannon L. Alder
35. "Let the systematic theologian spell it out. Let the artists throw out thoughts and slants, maybe even slants no one else has thought of. They should give another view of something familiar to help us learn more about it. They should deal with love, life, good, evil, God, the world and faith. Many of the biblical writers were poets more than they were theologians. Poets and prophets ranted and raved, and storytellers wrote great yarns that all had different slants on God and life and faith. Perhaps the poet's absence from the Church for many centuries has left it deprived of much insight."
Author: Steve Stockman
36. "Two kinds of writers. Those who think this life is all there is, and want to describe everything: the fall, the battle, the accouchement, the horse-race. That is, Tolstoy. And those who think this life is a kind of testing-ground (for what we don't know — to see how much pleasure + pain we can bear or what pleasure + pain are?) and want to describe only the essentials. That is, Dostoyevsky. The two alternatives. How can one write like T. after D.? The task is to be as good as D. — as serious spiritually, + then go on from there."
Author: Susan Sontag
37. "Writers do not write what they want, they write what they can. When I was 21 I wanted to write like Kafka. But, unfortunately for me, I wrote like a script editor for The Simpsons who'd briefly joined a religious cult and then discovered Foucault. Such is life. And now, when I finish a long day of CNN-related fear and loathing mixed with eyeballing my own resolutely white screen, I do not crawl into bed with 500-page comic novels about "multicultural" London. I read Carver. Julio Cortázar. Amis's essays. Baldwin. Lorrie Moore. Capote. Saramago. Larkin. Wodehouse. Anything, anything at all, that doesn't sound like me."
Author: Zadie Smith

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Weak men like humble women, especially great women who make them feel as inferior."
Author: Brent Weeks

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