Top Writers And Writing Quotes

Browse top 50 famous quotes and sayings about Writers And Writing by most favorite authors.

Favorite Writers And Writing Quotes

1. "According to Proust, one proof that we are reading a major new writer is that his writing immediately strikes us as ugly. Only minor writers write beautifully, since they simply reflect back to us our preconceived notion of what beauty is; we have no problem understanding what they are up to, since we have seen it many times before. When a writer is truly original, his failure to be conventionally beautiful makes us see him, initially, as shapeless, awkward, or perverse. Only once we have learned how to read him do we realize that this ugliness is really a new, totally unexpected kind of beauty and that what seemed wrong in his writing is exactly what makes him great."
Author: Adam Kirsch
2. "Having writers block sucks more than my actual writing. And my writing would be astonishing if I could write how I feel."
Author: Ally Spina
3. "Writers do not live one life, they live two. There is the living and then there is the writing. There is the second tasting, the delayed reaction."
Author: Anaïs Nin
4. "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
5. "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
6. "Every writer seeking a present audience necessarily enters into a servile position under it. This is true not only of those who seek a large audience, the popular writers, who whether consciously or by disposition, expand their ideal reader to include all possible types, keeping their vocabulary and ideas small, augmenting their cheerfulness to aid digestion. It is true also of the avant-gardes who long for recognition, appealing to the critics and to their fellow ‘sensitives', creating a work quiet, infinitely subtle, a work under which the bohemians can band together and decry the demand for meaning, or which the professors, that pity-proletariat class, hail as a rallying point for ‘social justice'. In such cases, writers render up their skill and toil to scaring away the common reader with boredom and impotence. Artful writing is the most private of professions."
Author: Bauvard
7. "I like writing that is restrained and invisible. I don't mean that I like things to be simple and easy to decode, the opposite. I like writers who deal with ambiguities, biased viewpoint and subjective truth; I like the writing to be clean but everything behind the writing to be complex. I like to feel that there are things going on in the spaces and behind the lines."
Author: C.S. Pacat
8. "I live in a world in which 40 men control wealth equal to that of nearly 80 countries, where to maintain their hegemony, countless acts of mayhem and massacre must occur every day. This is the reality that forms and reforms my days as it does those of all people on this hapless planet. I do not think any more that writing - mine or another's - can change the world. Perhaps in their small way, writers can answer for those who are voiceless in their extreme deprivation and suffering, but at best, in the very smallest scheme, writing can provide a moment of grace, both for her who writes and him who reads, in a very dark world."
Author: Cecile Pineda
9. "(on teaching writing) So many writers come to class with one question dominant in their mind, 'How do I make a living from this?' It's a fair enough question and one I always try to answer well - but it saddens me that it so often overshadows the more relevant questions of 'why am I writing' and 'what am I saying' and 'how do I keep it honest."
Author: Celine Kiernan
10. "There is a problem with writers. If what a writer wrote was published and sold many, many copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold a medium number of copies, the writer thought he was great. If what a writer wrote was published and sold very few copies, the writer thought he was great. If what the writer wrote never was published and he didn't have enough the money to publish it himself, then he thought he was truly great. The truth, however, was there was very little greatness. It was almost nonexistent, invisible. But you could be sure that the worst writers had the most confidence, the least self-doubt. Anyway, writers were to be avoided, and I tried to avoid them, but it was almost impossible. They hoped for some sort of brotherhood, some kind of togetherness. None of it had anything to do with writing, none of it helped at the typewriter."
Author: Charles Bukowski
11. "I believe that stories find writers, writers don't find stories. With the 'Pendragon' series, I actually had multiple story ideas and decided that instead of writing them individually, I would create a character whose journey would thread them all together."
Author: D. J. MacHale
12. "The single best piece of advice I give to aspiring writers is to always write about things that they know. I suggest that they write about people and places and events and conflicts they are familiar with. That way their writing will be real and hopefully readers will respond to it. I try to take my own advice."
Author: D. J. MacHale
13. "Creativity. Inspiration. We worship them here, Donald. They are our guidance, and we revere them. Do you understand? Revere them. So many people think that writers merely sit down and string together words and poof! a piece of writing. Not so!"
Author: David Bischoff
14. "Under fun's new administration, writing fiction becomes a way to go deep inside yourself and illuminate precisely the stuff you don't want to see or let anyone else see, and this stuff usually turns out (paradoxically) to be precisely the stuff all writers and readers share and respond to, feel. Fiction becomes a weird way to countenance yourself and to tell the truth instead of being a way to escape yourself or to present yourself in a way you figure you will be maximally likable. This process is complicated and confusing and scary, and also hard work, but it turns out to be the best fun there is.The fact that you can now sustain the fun of writing only by confronting the very same unfun parts of yourself you'd first used writing to avoid or disguise is another paradox, but this one isn't any kind of bind at all. What it is is a gift, a kind of miracle, and compared to it the reward of strangers' affection is as dust, lint."
Author: David Foster Wallace
15. "Good writers don't moralize, nor do they preach, but they do create longing for the true and the beautiful, and that is why you must write with Christ at the center of your reason for writing. That does not mean that every book must be a retelling of Luke's gospel, however, every worthy book written by a Christian will direct readers away from self, and sin, and put them on a quest for God and his gospel. Create longing for these things."
Author: Douglas Bond
16. "He was back at the point of departure, at the place that filled writers with dread and excitement, for this was where they must decide which new story to tackle of the many floating in the air, which plot to bind themselves to for a lengthy period; and they had to choose carefully, study each option calmly...because there were dangerous stories, stories that resisted being inhabited, and stories that pulled you apart while you were writing them...At that moment, before reverently committing the first word to paper, he could write anything he wanted, and this fired his blood with a powerful sense of freedom, as wonderful as it was fleeting, for he knew it would vanish the moment he chose one story and sacrificed all the others."
Author: Félix J. Palma
17. "Some writers and producers are currently writing a sitcom for me, so we'll see what happens there. I'm somewhat reluctant to talk about some of the upcoming projects that I'm working on; I've a lot of stuff on the go, including five pictures that I'm looking at producing."
Author: Gil Gerard
18. "Smart writers understand that writing is also a business. Really smart writers see themselves also as entrepreneurs. Barry Eisler"
Author: Guy Kawasaki
19. "Do you know why God invented writers? Because he loves a good story. And he doesn't give a damn about the words. Words are the curain we've hung between him and our true selves. Try not to think about the words. Don't strin for the perfect sentence. There's no such thing. Writing si guesswork. Every sentence is an educated guess, the readers as much as yours."
Author: J.R. Moehringer
20. "His sensitive nature was still smarting under the lashes of an undivided and squalid way of life. His soul was still disquieted and cast down by the dull phenomenon of Dublin. He had emerged from a two years' spell of revery to find himself in the midst of a new scene, every event and figure of which affected him intimately, disheartened him or allured and, whether alluring or disheartening, filled him always with unrest and bitter thoughts. All the leisure which his school life left him was passed in the company of subversive writers whose jibes and violence of speech set up a ferment in his brain before they passed out of it into his crude writings."
Author: James Joyce
21. "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
22. "In New York I was always so scared of saying that I wrote fiction. It just seemed like, 'Who am I to dare to do that thing here? The epicenter of publishing and writers?' I found all that very intimidating and avoided writing as a response."
Author: Jhumpa Lahiri
23. "From a writing point of view, you now have teams of screenwriters working with a director. What's lost in the process is the power of that one heart, brain, gut and soul that makes something an original piece of writing."
Author: Joe Eszterhas
24. "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
25. "Writers are like actors too. For every story we create, we must get under the skin of the characters and role play with our writing."
Author: Jyoti Arora
26. "I can't speak for other writers, but I write to create something that is better than myself, I think that's the deepest motivation, and it is so because I'm full of self-loathing and shame. Writing doesn't make me a better person, nor a wiser and happier one, but the writing, the text, the novel, is a creation of something outside of the self, an object, kind of neutralized by the objectivity of literature and form; the temper, the voice, the style; all in it is carefully constructed and controlled. This is writing for me: a cold hand on a warm forehead."
Author: Karl Ove Knausgård
27. "Henry Miller, Genet, Sade, Bataille are really important writers for me and I love them, but I feel often they don't love me, you know? I feel I always have to wrap my head around the way the girl is treated in the works, and the way the woman writer has been treated within their philosophies. I think of Kathy Acker's Blood and Guts in High School, where Janey Smith is in an S&M relationship with Jean Genet, who she follows around the deserts of Algeria, and he's horrible to her, and that's what I think of when I think of my relationship to those writers. I think you have to read the text, obviously, despite that. You seem to be subverting Sade and Bataille's ideas of the whore, and Henry Miller – all of his cunt portraits, all of his horrors that he writes about – you're writing about it from an interiority and a subjectivity that we don't typically get with the ‘whore' or the ‘slut' or the sexual girl."
Author: Kate Zambreno
28. "I am indebted to the following colleagues for their advice, assistance, or support: Dr. Alfred Lerner, Dori Vakis, Robin Heck, Dr. Todd Dray, Dr. Robert Tull, and Dr. Sandy Chun. Thanks also to Lynette Parker of East San Jose Community Law Center for her advice about adoption procedures, and to Mr. Daoud Wahab for sharing his experiences in Afghanistan with me. I am grateful to my dear friend Tamim Ansary for his guidance and support and to the gang at the San Francisco Writers Workshop for their feedback and encouragement. I want to thank my father, my oldest friend and the inspiration for all that is noble in Baba; my mother who prayed for me and did nazr at every stage of this book's writing; my aunt for buying me books when I was young. Thanks go out to Ali, Sandy, Daoud"
Author: Khaled Hosseini
29. "I know writers have to be crazy. But more than that that, they have to get made and stay mad. If things don't make a writer mad, he'll end up writing Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottantail."
Author: Leon Uris
30. "I believe writers need to be chameleons, or like Meryl Streep, who can play all sorts of characters. A good writer should be able to cross gender lines and people of all social classes. So for me, writing from a male point of view would be a great challenge, that I would look forward to taking on."
Author: Marisha Pessl
31. "Writers sometimes give up what is most strange and wonderful about their writing - soften their roughest edges - to accommodate themselves toward a group response."
Author: Mary Oliver
32. "I know I should be able to find a story in anything. Good screenwriters can pull interesting films out of the asinine and mundane. But everything I've read about writing always begins with ‘write what you know.' What I know is: quiet streets, topiary, moronic high school arsehats, and homework. Has anyone ever made a movie about homework? Probably. I bet it was in French."
Author: Melissa Keil
33. "Poetry restores language by breaking it, and I think that much contemporary writing restores fantasy, as a genre of writing in contrast to a genre of commodity or a section in a bookstore, by breaking it. Michael Moorcock revived fantasy by prying it loose from morality; writers like Jeff VanderMeer, Stepan Chapman, Lucius Shepard, Jeffrey Ford, Nathan Ballingrud are doing the same by prying fantasy away from pedestrian writing, with more vibrant and daring styles, more reflective thinking, and a more widely broadcast spectrum of themes."
Author: Michael Cisco
34. "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
35. "As social concerns override literary ones, writers seem fated to eschew virtuosity and experimentation in favor of a bland but immediately accessible style. Writing will become a means for recording chatter."
Author: Nicholas Carr
36. "All writers are, somewhere or other, mad. Not les grands fous, like Rimbaud, but mad, yes, mad. Because we do not believe in the stability of reality. We know that it can fragment, like a sheet of glass or a car's windscreen. but we also know that reality can be invented, reordered, constructed, remade. Writing is, in itself, an act of violence perpetrated against reality."
Author: Patricia Duncker
37. "Many people are partial to the notion that . . . all writers are somehow mere vessels for Truth and Beauty when they compose. That we are not really in control. This is a variation on that twee little fable that writers like to pass off on gullible readers, that a character can develop a will of his own and 'take over a book.' This makes writing sound supernatural and mysterious, like possession by faeries. The reality tends to involve a spare room, a pirated copy of MS Word, and a table bought on sale at Target. A character can no more take over your novel than an eggplant and a jar of cumin can take over your kitchen."
Author: Paul Collins
38. "Most producers I've known were writers first, and writing is a vital part of any game show. You could easily argue that the writing is the key ingredient that makes 'Jeopardy!' so great."
Author: Randy West
39. "The second thing you have to do to be a writer is to keep on writing. Don't listen to people who tell you that very few people get published and you won't be one of them. Don't listen to your friend who says you are better that Tolkien and don't have to try any more. Keep writing, keep faith in the idea that you have unique stories to tell, and tell them. I meet far too many people who are going to be writers 'someday.' When they are out of high school, when they've finished college, after the wedding, when the kids are older, after I retire . . . That is such a trap You will never have any more free time than you do right now. So, whether you are 12 or 70, you should sit down today and start being a writer if that is what you want to do. You might have to write on a notebook while your kids are playing on the swings or write in your car on your coffee break. That's okay. I think we've all 'been there, done that.' It all starts with the writing."
Author: Robin Hobb
40. "Writers in what we now call the Middle English period (late twelfth century to 1485) did not necessarily always write in English. The language was in a state of flux: attempts were made to assert the French language, to keep down the local language, English, and to make the language of the church (Latin) the language of writing."
Author: Ronald Carter
41. "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
42. "Now, it's undeniably true that male writers (including yours truly) are generally and commercially allowed to write about "girl stuff" without being penalized for doing so. In part this is the same old shit it's always been ... I've said before that men who write mostly about men win prizes for revealing the human condition, while women who write about both men and women are filed away as writing "womens' issues." Likewise, in fantasy, the imprimatur of a dude somehow makes stuff like romance, relationship drama, introspection, and adorable animal companions magically not girly after all.In a sense, we male fantasists are allowed to be like money launderers for girl cooties."[Game of Thrones and Invisible Cootie Vectors (blog post, March 30, 2014)]"
Author: Scott Lynch
43. "This is a short book because most books about writing are filled with bullshit. Fiction writers, present company included, don't understand very much about what they do -- not why it works when it's good, not why it doesn't when it's bad. I figured the shorter the book, the less bullshit."Stephen King, On Writing"
Author: Stephen King
44. "Writers like to write, and writing in different forms - short, long, bite-sized, done on the fly, done with painstaking attention - all interest me."
Author: Susan Orlean
45. "I never asked Tolstoy to write for me, a little colored girl in Lorain, Ohio. I never asked [James] Joyce not to mention Catholicism or the world of Dublin. Never. And I don't know why I should be asked to explain your life to you. We have splendid writers to do that, but I am not one of them. It is that business of being universal, a word hopelessly stripped of meaning for me. Faulkner wrote what I suppose could be called regional literature and had it published all over the world. That's what I wish to do. If I tried to write a universal novel, it would be water. Behind this question is the suggestion that to write for black people is somehow to diminish the writing. From my perspective there are only black people. When I say 'people,' that's what I mean."
Author: Toni Morrison
46. "If writers just sit and talk about oppression, they are not going to do much writing."
Author: V. S. Naipaul
47. "So I have to create the whole thing afresh for myself each time. Probably all writers now are in the same boat. It is the penalty we pay for breaking with tradition, and the solitude makes the writing more exciting though the being read less so. One ought to sink to the bottom of the sea, probably, and live alone with ones words."
Author: Virginia Woolf
48. "However far fiction writers stray from their own lives and experiences - and I stray pretty far from mine - I think, ultimately, that we may be writing what we need to write in some way, albeit unconsciously."
Author: Wally Lamb
49. "My advice for aspiring writers is go to New York. And if you can't go to New York, go to the place that represents New York to you, where the standards for writing are high, there are other people who share your dreams, and where you can talk, talk, talk about your interests. Writing books begins in talking about it, like most human projects, and in being close to those who have already done what you propose to do."
Author: Walter Kirn
50. "As a writer one doesn't belong anywhere. Fiction writers, I think, are even more outside the pale, necessarily on the edge of society. Because society and people are our meat, one really doesn't belong in the midst of society. The great challenge in writing is always to find the universal in the local, the parochial. And to do that, one needs distance."
Author: William Trevor

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Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self."
Author: Alfred North Whitehead

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