Quotes about writing

by Kim on May 8, 2013 · 20 comments

30 quotes about writing

“Write drunk; edit sober.” -Ernest Hemingway

“Everyone wants to know what it means, but nobody is asking, How does it feel?”- Mary Oliver on poetry

“As long as you feel inspired, your life is being well spent.” – Hugh McLeod


“Of course I wanted to know. I was a writer. I wanted to know everything.” -Gregory David Roberts

“Truth isn’t always beauty, but the hunger for it is.” -Nadine Gordimer

“You have to understand what all great painters understand: In order to forget the rules, you must know them and respect them.” -Paulo Coelho

“Don’t expect to get anything back, don’t expect recognition for your efforts, don’t expect your genius to be discovered or your love to be understood. Act because you need to act.” -Paulo Coelho

“The story I am writing exists, written in absolute perfect fashion, some place in the air. All I must do is find it and copy it.” – Jules Renard

“The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.” -Anais Nin

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” -Thoreau

“Master your instrument, master the music, and then forget all that and just play.” -Charlie Parker, Jazz musician

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” -Jack London

“If they don’t read, if they don’t love reading; if they don’t find themselves compulsively reading, I don’t think they’re really a writer.” -Rita Dove, poet

“I simply do not distinguish between work and play.” -Mary Oliver, poet

“What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible.” -Theodore Roethke

“Talent is long patience.” -Gustave Flaubert

“I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.” -Henry David Thoreau

“A writer lives, at least, in a state of astonishment. Beneath any feeling he has of the good or evil of the world lies a deeper one of wonder at it all. To transmit that feeling, he writes.” -William Sansom

“I don’t like to write, but I love to have written.” -Michael Kanin

“A writer is working when he’s staring out of the window.” -Burton Rascoe

“Nothing you write, if you hope to be any good, will ever come out as you first hoped.” -Lillian Helman

“You must write every single day of your life. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.” -Ray Bradbury

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” -E.L. Doctorow

“Details make stories human, and the more human a story can be, the better.” 
 -Ernest Hemingway

“Real writers are those who want to write, need to write, have to write.” -Robert Penn Warren

“Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.” -E.L. Doctorow

“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.” -Mark Twain

“Suspect all of your favorite sentences.” -Kenneth Atchity

“You must write for yourself, above all. That is [your] only hope of creating something beautiful.” -Gustave Flaubert

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