Top Writing Well Quotes

Browse top 146 famous quotes and sayings about Writing Well by most favorite authors.

Favorite Writing Well Quotes

1. "The primary requisite for writing well about food is a good appetite. Without this, it is impossible to accumulate, within the allotted span, enough experience of eating to have anything worth setting down."
Author: A. J. Liebling
2. "I can't help but notice that you keep writing love poetry to my wife. Well, you see, I married her, which makes her my wife. You know what you might want to try? Writing some poems about the sunset. The sunset isn't fucking married."
Author: A.J. Jacobs
3. "I write four books a year. I'm very fortunate that I write quickly; around 3,500 words a day. Being strict about delineating my writing time and personal life, as well as keeping distractions at bay, is the only way I can accomplish this."
Author: Alexander McCall Smith
4. "I've never told another soul about the stories I make up while I'm trying to fall asleep, and I would never even consider writing them down. They're just too personal. Nathan fell silent as well, and I realized that maybe I wasn't the only one who felt that way. I wondered how many people in the world have daydreams spinning around in their heads that they would never put into words. Probably more than you would think."
Author: Alicia Thompson
5. "Of all those arts in which the wise excel, Nature's chief masterpiece is writing well."
Author: Andre Breton
6. "Muses are fickle, and many a writer, peering into the voice, has escaped paralysis by ascribing the creative responsibility to a talisman: a lucky charm, a brand of paper, but most often a writing instrument. Am I writing well? Thank my pen. Am I writing badly? Don't blame me blame my pen. By such displacements does the fearful imagination defend itself."
Author: Anne Fadiman
7. "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 thirteen-year old school girl. Oh well, it doesn't matter. I feel like writing."
Author: Anne Frank
8. "There is no way of writing well and also of writing easily."
Author: Anthony Trollope
9. "When you write a story, don't just write it - live it;When putting words into the mouth of a protagonist (or any character) imagine yourself saying them and while writing about the reaction of the listener, write it the way you would react.Let the conversations not be meant merely to be read but felt as well.If you do not feel what you write; how can you expect the readers to feel it?"
Author: Arti Honrao
10. "I'm trained as an architect; writing is like architecture. In buildings, there are design motifs that occur again and again, that repeat -- patterns, curves. These motifs help us feel comfortable in a physical space. And the same works in writing, I've found. For me, the way words, punctuation and paragraphs fall on the page is important as well -- the graphic design of the language. That was why the words and thoughts of Estha and Rahel, the twins, were so playful on the page ... I was being creative with their design. Words were broken apart, and then sometimes fused together. "Later" became "Lay. Ter." "An owl" became "A Nowl." "Sour metal smell" became "sourmetal smell."Repetition I love, and used because it made me feel safe. Repeated words and phrases have a rocking feeling, like a lullaby. They help take away the shock of the plot -- death, lives destroyed or the horror of the settings -- a crazy, chaotic, emotional house, the sinister movie theater."
Author: Arundhati Roy
11. "I've written poetry since I was a kid. As the years went on, I got into writing stories and screenplays, but I always, always kept up with poetry as well."
Author: Blake Jenner
12. "Writing a play, you start with less, so more is demanded of you. It's as if you have to not only write a symphony, but invent the instruments as well."
Author: David Ives
13. "Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That's why it's so hard."(Interview with NEH chairman Bruce Cole, Humanities, July/Aug. 2002, Vol. 23/No. 4)"
Author: David McCullough
14. "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."
Author: Dodie Smith
15. "Writers say two things that strike me as nonsense. One is that you must follow an absolute schedule everyday. If you're not writing well, why continue it? I just don't think this grinding away is useful."
Author: Edmund White
16. "She started writing notes and keeping them under her pillow, and then she started writing them on her pillowcase, hoping they would help her have better dreams. And if she couldn't sleep, she could just read them and be reminded of something so stunningly beautiful that her heart would swell and her bones would sigh and for just a second, the world would not seem like it was going to crush her."
Author: Emily Brontë
17. "I'm too impatient to wait for things to happen to me. If I should be out of work for two months I would go crazy. So as soon as I'm free, I start writing. While it is necessary for me to write, I know that if I go too long without acting on the stage I don't feel well."
Author: Erland Josephson
18. "To have come on all this new world of writing, with time to read in a city like Paris where there was a way of living well and working, no matter how poor you were, was like having a great treasure given to you. You could take your treasure with you when you traveled too, and in the mountains where we lived in Switzerland and Italy, until we found Schruns in the high valley in the Vorarlberg in Austria, there were always the books, so that you lived in the new world you had found, the snow and the forests and the glaciers and their winter problems and your high shelter in the Hotel Taube in the village in the day time, and at night you could live in the other wonderful world the Russian writers were giving you."
Author: Ernest Hemingway
19. "A man is a fool not to put everything he has, at any given moment, into what he is creating. You're there now doing the thing on paper. You're not killing the goose, you're just producing an egg. So I don't worry about inspiration, or anything like that. It's a matter of just sitting down and working. I have never had the problem of a writing block. I've heard about it. I've felt reluctant to write on some days, for whole weeks, or sometimes even longer. I'd much rather go fishing, for example, or go sharpen pencils, or go swimming, or what not. But, later, coming back and reading what I have produced, I am unable to detect the difference between what came easily and when I had to sit down and say, "Well, now it's writing time and now I'll write." There's no difference on paper between the two."
Author: Frank Herbert
20. "You once said that you would like to sit beside me while I write. Listen, in that case I could not write at all. For writing means revealing oneself to excess; that utmost of self-revelation and surrender, in which a human being, when involved with others, would feel he was losing himself, and from which, therefore, he will always shrink as long as he is in his right mind-- for everyone wants to live as long as he is alive-- even the degree of self-revelation and surrender is not enough for writing.Writing that springs from the surface of existence-- when there is no other way and deeper wells have dried up-- is nothing, and collapses the moment a truer emotion makes the surface shake. That is why one can never be alone enough when one writes, why there can never be enough silence around one when one writes, why even night is not night enough."
Author: Franz Kafka
21. "About your writing with you left hand, are you ambidextrous, Mr. Ewell?""I most positively am not, I can use one hand good as the other. One hand good as the other."
Author: Harper Lee
22. "Fresh proof of the risks you run in writing about players, and of the advisability of not standing to leeward of their self-esteem when one has had the misfortune to wound it in the slightest degree. When you criticize a singer, you do not have his colleagues up in arms against you. Indeed, they generally feel that you have not been severe enough. But the virtuoso instrumentalist who belongs to a well-known musical organization always claims that in criticizing him you are 'insulting' the whole institution, and though the contention is absurd he sometimes succeeds in making the other players believe it."
Author: Hector Berlioz
23. "And so when you have lost everything, no more roads, no direction, no fixed signs, no ground, no thoughts able to resist other thoughts, when you are lost, beside yourself, and you continue getting lost, when you become the panicky movement of getting lost, then, that's when, where you are unwoven weft, flesh that lets strangeness come through, defenseless being, without resistance, without batten, without skin, inundated with otherness, it's in these breathless times that writings traverse you, songs of an unheard-of purity flow through you, addressed to no one, they well up, surge forth, from the throats of your unknown inhabitants, these are the cries that death and life hurl in their combat."
Author: Hélène Cixous
24. "Of writing well, be sure, the secret liesIn wisdom :therefore study to be wise."
Author: Horace
25. "I made up my mind long ago to follow one cardinal rule in all my writing—to be clear. I have given up all thought of writing poetically or symbolically or experimentally, or in any of the other modes that might (if I were good enough) get me a Pulitzer prize. I would write merely clearly and in this way establish a warm relationship between myself and my readers, and the professional critics—Well, they can do whatever they wish."
Author: Isaac Asimov
26. "Very early on in writing the series, I remember a female journalist saying to me that Mrs Weasley, 'Well, you know, she's just a mother.' And I was absolutely incensed by that comment. Now, I consider myself to be a feminist, and I'd always wanted to show that just because a woman has made a choice, a free choice to say, 'Well, I'm going to raise my family and that's going to be my choice. I may go back to a career, I may have a career part time, but that's my choice.' Doesn't mean that that's all she can do. And as we proved there in that little battle, Molly Weasley comes out and proves herself the equal of any warrior on that battlefield."
Author: J.K. Rowling
27. "What the young writer needs to develop, to achieve his goal of becoming a great artist, is not a set of aesthetic laws but artistic mastery. He cannot hope to develop mastery all at once; it involves too much. But if he pursues his goal in the proper way, he can approach it much more rapidly than he would if he went at it hit-or-miss, and the more successful he is at each stage along the way, the swifter his progress is likely to be. Invariably when the beginning writer hands in a short story to his writing teacher, the story has many things about it that mark it as amateur. But almost as invariably, when the beginning writer deals with some particular, small problem, such as description of a setting, description of a character, or brief dialogue that has some definite purpose, the quality of the work approaches the professional. Having written some small thing very well, he begins to learn confidence."
Author: John Gardner
28. "The Roman Emperor Julian, writing in the fourth century, regretted the progress of Christianity because it pulled people away from the Roman gods. He said, 'Atheism [I.e. the Christian faith!] has been specially advanced through the loving service rendered to strangers, and through their care for the burial of the dead. It is a scandal that there is not a single Jew who is a beggar, and that the godless Galileans care not only for their own poor but for ours as well; while those who belong to us look in vain for the help that we should render them."
Author: John Piper
29. "Stanley went on, "highly dangerous, fanatical and additictied to violence'- Blimey Fred, is it your mother writing this? They seem to know you so well"
Author: Jonathan Stroud
30. "I am made to think, not for the first time, that in my writing I have plunged ahead-head-on, heedlessly one might say-or 'fearlessly'- into my own future: this time of utter raw anguished loss. Though I may have had, since adolescence, a kind of intellectual/literary precocity, I had not experienced much;nor would I experience much until I was well into middle age-the illnesses and deaths of my parents, this unexpected death of my husband. We play at paste till qualified for pearl says Emily Dickinson. Playing at paste is much of our early lives. And then, with the violence of a door slammed shut by wind rushing through a house, life catches up with us."
Author: Joyce Carol Oates
31. "If we are interested in a writing life - as opposed to a writing career - then we are in it for the process and not the product - for the body of work and not for the quick hit of one well-realised piece."
Author: Julia Cameron
32. "When I opened the box, I had to remove myself from whose handwriting it was that I was reading and whose story I was hearing. I had to, or I never would have made it past the first letter. If I stopped to think about my Grandpa writing to my Grandma, knowing how much he loved her and how many years he spent without her after her death, I knew I wouldn't be able to make it through just one letter without an onslaught of tears. And it was Grandpa, a voice I knew so well. One that I miss terribly."
Author: Kara Martinelli
33. "Again, the opportunity has come to start off with our best. Make sure all the 365 pages of your book are worth the writing; as well publishing for."
Author: Kaushal Yadav
34. "I'll tell you what you did with Atheists for about 1500 years. You outlawed them from the universities or any teaching careers, besmirched their reputations, banned or burned their books or their writings of any kind, drove them into exile, humiliated them, seized their properties, arrested them for blasphemy. You dehumanised them with beatings and exquisite torture, gouged out their eyes, slit their tongues, stretched, crushed, or broke their limbs, tore off their breasts if they were women, crushed their scrotums if they were men, imprisoned them, stabbed them, disembowelled them, hanged them, burnt them alive.And you have nerve enough to complain to me that I laugh at you."
Author: Madalyn Murray O'Hair
35. "I folded my hands back on my desk, and as I did, I saw Paul's slanted handwriting standing out against my blocky, square printing on my skin. He'd managed to find room to squeeze in the words females hurt my brain on my left hand. I raised an eyebrow at him and he gave me a look like, well it's true, isn't it?"
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
36. "I'm writing this in part to tell you that if you ever wonder what you've done in your life, and everyone does wonder sooner or later, you have been God's grace to me, a miracle, something more than a miracle. You may not remember me very well at all, and it may seem to you to be no great thing to have been the good child of an old man in a shabby little town you will no doubt leave behind. If only I had the words to tell you."
Author: Marilynne Robinson
37. "Although he had changed his name, his history came with him, even to his writing. The rhythm of his rain-soaked childhood became a sequence of words. His memories of the understory of the great forest burst into lyrical phrases, as resinous as the sap of a pinecone, as crisp as the shell of a beetle. Sentences grew long, then pulled up short, taking on the tempo of the waves upon the shore, or swayed gently, like the plaintive song of a lone harmonica. His fury became essays that pointed, stabbed, and burned. His convictions played out with the monotonous determination of a printing press. And his affections became poems, as warm and supple as the wool of a well-loved sheep."
Author: Pam Muñoz Ryan
38. "...in all my writings I have always tried — how far successfully I know not — to advance the cause of Truth and Right and to induce my readers to put their trust in the love of God our Saviour, for this life as well as the life to come."
Author: R.M. Ballantyne
39. "In writing the short novel Fahrenheit 451 I thought I was describing a world that might evolve in four or five decades. But only a few weeks ago, in Beverly Hills one night, a husband and wife passed me, walking their dog. I stood staring after them, absolutely stunned. The woman held in one hand a small cigarette-package-sized radio, its antenna quivering. From this sprang tiny copper wires which ended in a dainty cone plugged into her right ear. There she was, oblivious to man and dog, listening to far winds and whispers and soap-opera cries, sleep-walking, helped up and down curbs by a husband who might just as well not have been there. This was not fiction."
Author: Ray Bradbury
40. "There!" Mars finished writing and threw the scroll at Octavian. "A prophecy. You can add it to your books, engrave it on the floor, whatever."Octavian read the scroll. "This says, 'Go to Alaska. Find Thanatos and free him. Come back by sundown on June twenty-fourth or die'.""Yes," Mars said. "Is that not clear?""Well, my lord...usually prophecies are unclear. They're wrapped in riddles. They rhyme, and..."Mars casually popped another grenade off his belt. "Yes?""The prophecy is clear!" Octavian announced. "A quest!"
Author: Rick Riordan
41. "Ivanov's fear was of a literary nature. That is, it was the fear that afflicts most citizens who, one fine (or dark) day, choose to make the practice of writing, and especially the practice of fiction writing, an integral part of their lives. Fear of being no good. Also fear of being overlooked. But above all, fear of being no good. Fear that one's efforts and striving will come to nothing. Fear of the step that leaves no trace. Fear of the forces of chance and nature that wipe away shallow prints. Fear of dining alone and unnoticed. Fear of going unrecognized. Fear of failure and making a spectacle of oneself. But above all, fear of being no good. Fear of forever dwelling in the hell of bad writers."
Author: Roberto Bolaño
42. "Man knows, and in the course of years he comes to know it increasingly well, feeling it ever more acutely, that memory is weak and fleeting, and if he doesn't write down what he has learned and experienced, that which he carries within him will perish when he does. This is when it seems everyone wants to write a book. Singers and football players, politicians and millionaires. And if they themselves do not know how, or else lack the time, they commission someone else to do it for them...engendering this reality is the impression of writing as a simple pursuit, though those who subscribe to that view might do well to ponder Thomas Mann's observation that, 'a writer is a man for whom writing is more difficult than it is for others"
Author: Ryszard Kapuściński
43. "For me, playwriting is and has always been like making a chair. Your concerns are balance, form, timing, lights, space, music. If you don't have these essentials, you might as well be writing a theoretical essay, not a play."
Author: Sam Shepard
44. "I hate writing, I hate pens and paper and all that fussiness. I have done well enough without it too, I think. Oh, I am lying to myself. I have feared writing. But books have saved me sometimes, that is the truth - my Samaritans."
Author: Sebastian Barry
45. "[...] as I have seen with other people whose sense of their work is vocational rather than pragmatic, my desire to write, to understand things at a depth I can reach in no other way, pushes me to write and go on writing, even when my wants—for an easier or more sociable life, or one less exposed and fraught—are certainly well known to my rational mind. p.293"
Author: Stephanie Dowrick
46. "Mother seemed happiest when making and tending home, the sewing machine whistling and the Mixmaster whirling. Her deepest impulse was to nurture, to simply dwell; it had nothing to do with ambition and achievement in the world...How had I come to believe that my world of questing and writing was more valuable than her dwelling and domestic artistry?...I wanted to go out and do things--write books, speak out. I've been driven by that. I don't know how to rest in myself very well, how to be content staying put. But Mother knows how to BE at home--and really, to be in herself. It's actually very beautiful what she does...I think part of me just longs for the way Mother experiences home."
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
47. "Then, in my most careful handwriting, come all the details it would be a crime to forget. Lady licking Prim's cheek. My father's laugh. Peeta's father with the cookies. The colour of Finnick's eyes. What Cinna could do with a length of silk. Boggs reprogramming the Holo. Rue poised on her toes, arms slightly extended, like a bird about to take flight. On and on. We seal the pages with salt water and promises to live well to make their death count."
Author: Suzanne Collins
48. "She gazed out across the rooftops of Ankh-Morpork and reasoned like this: writing was only the words that people said, squeezed between layers of paper until they were fossilized (fossils were well known on the Discworld, great spiraled shells and badly constructed creatures that were left over from the time when the Creator hadn't really decided what He wanted to make and was, as it were, just idly messing around with the Pleistocene). And the words people said were just shadow of real things. But some things were too big to be really trapped in words, and even the words were too powerful to be completely tamed by writing."
Author: Terry Pratchett
49. "You know, the immortality of the soul, free will and all that -- it's all very amusing to talk about up to the age of twenty-two, but not after that. Then one ought to be giving one's mind to having fun without catching the pox, arranging one's life as comfortably as possible, having a few decent drawings on the wall, and above all writing well. That's the important thing: well-made sentences...and then a few metaphors. Yes, a few metaphors. They embellish a man's existence."
Author: Théophile Gautier
50. "Does doing something old with new technology mean that I'm teaching with technology and that I'm doing so in a way as to really improve the reading and writing skills of the students in my classroom?" (2007, 214). Her answer, as well as mine, would be no. When we simply bring a traditional mind-set to literacy practices, and not a mind-set that understands new literacies (an idea developed by Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel, which I elaborate on later) into the process of digital writing, we cannot make the substantive changes to our teaching that need to happen in order to embrace the..."
Author: Troy Hicks

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I write and that way rid myself of me and then at last I can rest."
Author: Clarice Lispector

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