Writing Analytics

706 Quotes on Writing

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“People on the outside think there's something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn't like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that's all there is to it.”
“If you have other things in your life—family, friends, good productive day work—these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer.”
“Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.”
“A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.”
“It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.”
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”
“[Where ideas come from?] My standard answer is 'I don't know where they come from, but I know where they come to, they come to my desk.' If I'm not there, they go away again, so you've got to sit and think.”
“Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.”
“Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.”
“The English language is an arsenal of weapons. If you are going to brandish them without checking to see whether or not they are loaded, you must expect to have them explode in your face from time to time.”
“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.”
“A writer is working when he's staring out of the window.”
“It's none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.”
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit.”
“You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
“Writing is always a process of discovery - I never know the end, or even the events on the next page, until they happen.”
“Growing up is highly overrated. Just be an author.”
“Correct what you can; learn from what you can't.”
“Rule one, you have to write. If you don't write, nothing will happen.”
“The writer is by nature a dreamer – a conscious dreamer.”
“It's amazing what we can do if we simply refuse to give up.”
“I hate writing, I love having written.”
“Write like it matters, and it will.”
“Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed.”
“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”
“People say to me they don't have time to write and I just look at them like they're crazy. Like I have time to write?? If you want to be a writer there's only one way to do it…make time to write.”
“Style is not a tool, it is not a method, it is not a choice of words alone. Being much more than all this, style constitutes an intrinsic component or characteristic of the author's personality.”
“Making people believe the unbelievable is no trick; it's work. … Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything.”
“Every murderer is probably somebody's old friend.”
“You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.”
“Writing is a solitary business. It's just you and your characters and a blank page you need to fill.”
“To my fellow writers' I say, 'Write. Build an imaginary world like nobody's watching.”
“Every book contains a secret – even the writer doesn't always know what it is.”
“Good fiction can help us to expand our circle of empathy to include people unlike ourselves.”
“Writing - the act of one person giving a piece of their soul to another.”
“Everything you can imagine is real.”
“You can not describe anything without betraying your point of view, your aspirations, your fears, your hopes. Everything.”
“…fiction gives us empathy: it puts us inside the minds of other people, gives us the gift of seeing the world through their eyes. Fiction is a lie that tells us true things, over and over.”
“As a start-up writer, there is need for you to define your area of interest. You should know what inspires you to becoming a writer. Choose what interests you most and make it your pathway to achieving your dream, then work on it. Both fiction and nonfiction writers have everything in common- they are writers, authors, and the both achieve greatness and influence when they write prolifically.”
“I still maintain that the times get precisely the literature that they deserve, and that if the writing of this period is gloomy the gloom is not so much inherent in the literature as in the times.”
“Action is the pulse of any good story, but the character is the heart. If the action has no consequence to the character, the story loses heart.”
“I think one of the great things about fiction is that it takes the chaos of life and feeds it back to one in a form that is emotionally satisfying.”
“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”
“You take people, you put them on a journey, you give them peril, you find out who they really are.”
“The very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life.”
“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”
“There is no real ending. It's just the place where you stop the story.”
“Go inside where silence is. Stay there. Let words bubble up.”
“I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning.”
“Good fiction's job is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”
“Ideas are cheap. It's the execution that is all important.”
“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”
“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.”
“Almost anyone can be an author; the business is to collect money and fame from this state of being.”
“The creative adult is the child who survived.”
“The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul.”
“Write while the heat is in you… The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with.”
“We don't know what you see. We have no idea what you're thinking. We need your contribution, your vision, your truth.”
“Writing a novel is an enormous undertaking, and self-doubt will be part of that process. There will be days you just don't know if you can do it. And on those days what is gonna save you is your process. Your ritual. So if you're just starting to write a novel, go create that process, go create that ritual.”
“The story is an explosion. And you get to the end of it, and once it's done, then you get to walk around it and you get to look at the shrapnel and the damage it did. And you get to see who died. And you get to see how it worked.”
“I do not write with ease, nor am I ever pleased with anything I write. And so I rewrite.”
“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”
“It takes a heap of sense to write good nonsense.”
“If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.”
“There's no rule on how it is to write … Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly. Sometimes it is like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.”
“Give yourself time to get better.”
“When I sit down to write, I do not say to myself, 'I am going to produce a work of art.' I write 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.”
“I am not at all in a humor for writing; I must write on until I am.”
“The desire to write well can never be fulfilled without hard work.”
“Play around. Dive into absurdity and write. Take chances. You will succeed if you are fearless of failure.”
“Good stories are common. Good and memorable stories are far, far less common.”
“Examine every word you put on paper. You'll find a surprising number that don't serve any purpose.”
“To be a serious writer requires discipline that is iron fisted. It's sitting down and doing it whether you think you have it in you or not. Everyday. Alone. Without interruption. Contrary to what most people think, there is no glamour to writing. In fact, it's heartbreak most of the time.”
“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”
“If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.”
“It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.”
“A word after a word after a word is power.”
“A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
“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.”
“You grow ravenous. You run fevers. You know exhilarations. You can't sleep at night, because your beast-creature ideas want out and turn you in your bed. It is a grand way to live.”
“There's a thousand other great writing tips, but generally, do what works for you. Try different things and keep doing whatever it is that helps you get words on the page.”
“Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
“Write what you're passionate about. I wouldn't model your hero on yourself, though some people do that–but I would give her some traits that hook into your own deepest fears.”
“Read. Read. Read. Just don't read one type of book. Read different books by various authors so that you develop different style.”
“The villain starts the story; the hero ends it.”
“Some people like to figure out everything their character is going to do for the whole book. Other people just write from day to day, not knowing what's going to happen next. Most people are a mix of both.”
“Nobody is a villain in their own story.”
“The more you read, the more you will write. The better the stuff you read, the better the stuff you will write.”
“Sometimes, you won't really know what the book is about until you actually get done with the first draft.”
“Write regularly even when you don't feel like writing, even if it's just a little bit every day.”
“Ours is a trade of perseverance, not perfection.”
“[Be] willing to write really badly.”
“The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt.”
“The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone's neurosis.”
“You fail only if you stop writing.”
“I don't know how to write. I know how I write. And then the next day, I don't know again. The not knowing is what makes writing interesting and enjoyable to me.”
“Most of my work consisted of crossing out. Crossing out was the secret of all good writing.”
“What people value in their books—and thus what they count as literature—really tells you more about them than it does about the book.”