Writing Analytics

571 Quotes on Writing

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“Notice what mentally pulls you away from your writing. Make a list of these distractions. Then, find at least one way to reduce or eliminate each distraction and implement that solution.”
“It doesn’t matter how many book ideas you have if you can’t finish writing your book.”
“Ideas are cheap… It’s the execution that is all important.”
“Write even when the world is chaotic.”
“Find your best time of the day for writing and write. Don’t let anything else interfere. Afterwards it won’t matter to you that the kitchen is a mess.”
“I can’t write without a reader. It’s precisely like a kiss—you can’t do it alone.”
“A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper.”
“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. So medicine, law, business, engineering… these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love… these are what we stay alive for.”
“I try to create sympathy for my characters, then turn the monsters loose.”
“Beginners make the mistake of thinking it’s all about being good and then take rejection personally. It’s all about finding your publishing match.”
“I finished the book to my own satisfaction, so if people want to rag on me, that’s kind of their business. The only thing I’m actually in control of is what’s in the book.”
“The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they’ve found it.”
“You are your best thing.”
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
“You will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realise how seldom they do.”
“A book is a dream that you hold in your hands.”
“A bad title can kill a book.”
“Writing is a lot of frustrating, hard work completed over time. Whether you’re good at it or talented winds up mattering less, in the end, than the ability to keep doing it, even in the face of your own pain and the world’s potential apathy.”
“You have to finish things — that’s what you learn from, you learn by finishing things.”
“A problem with a piece of writing often clarifies itself if you go for a long walk.”
“A writer, like an athlete, must ‘train’ every day. What did I do today to keep in ‘form’?”
“When you’re trying to create a career as a writer, a little delusional thinking goes a long way.”
“At the end of the day your ability to connect with your readers comes down to how you make them feel.”
“The most important things are the hardest things to say.”
“Writing, the art of communicating thoughts to the mind through the eye, is the great invention of the world… enabling us to converse with the dead, the absent, and the unborn, at all distances of time and space.”
“As Neil Gaiman taught me, the best way to defeat writer’s block is to get really bored.”
“Writing is a struggle against silence.”
“Words can inspire. And words can destroy. Choose yours well.”
“Every writer I know has trouble writing.”
“Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power.”
“Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything.”
“It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer.”
“Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.”
“We’re past the age of heroes and hero kings… Most of our lives are basically mundane and dull, and it’s up to the writer to find ways to make them interesting.”
“The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind.”
“Good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up.”
“Writing is something that you can never do as well as it can be done. It is a perpetual challenge and it is more difficult than anything else that I have ever done – so I do it. And it makes me happy when I do it well.”
“I have to write to be happy whether I get paid for it or not. But it is a hell of a disease to be born with. I like to do it. Which is even worse. That makes it from a disease into a vice. Then I want to do it better than anybody has ever done it which makes it into an obsession. An obsession is terrible. Hope you haven’t gotten any. That’s the only one I’ve got left.”
“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that is is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.”
“When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.”
“Shoot for the top, always. You know you’ll never make it, but what’s the fun if you don’t shoot for the top?”
“I don’t want just words. If that’s all you have for me, you’d better go.”
“It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.”
“Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity.”
“The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.”
“The writer must have a good imagination to begin with, but the imagination has to be muscular, which means it must be exercised in a disciplined way, day in and day out, by writing, failing, succeeding and revising.”
“If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered anyway.”
“Writing is really a way of thinking – not just feeling but thinking about things that are disparate, unresolved, mysterious, problematic or just sweet.”
“The first duty of the novelist is to entertain. It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, travelling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying. Books are written by the alone for the alone.”
“A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.”
“Writing is meant to move the heart, the mind, the soul–not the page-view meter.”
“Writing is the art of repeating oneself without anyone noticing.”
“Writing is often the process by which you realize that you do not understand what you are talking about.”
“Writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait 2 years to know whether or not it was funny.”
“The secret to being a writer is that you have to write. It’s not enough to think about writing or to study literature or plan a future life as an author. You really have to lock yourself away, alone, and get to work.”
“Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself.”
“Write with conviction. Pick a side and be bold. And if you’re wrong, admit it.”
“It’s hell writing and it’s hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.”
“We write to taste life in the moment and in retrospect.”
“The great pain of creative work is that once the thing is done, it’s dead to you. I mean, execution is literally like an execution.”
“What you read is as important as what you write.”
“The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea.”
“I’m simply interested in what is going to happen next.”
“Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players. I have 10 or so, and that’s a lot. As you get older, you become more skilful at casting them.”
“Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.”
“Somebody gets into trouble, then gets out of it again. People love that story. They never get tired of it.”
“I go out to my little office, where I’ve got a manuscript, and the last page I was happy with is on top. I read that, and it’s like getting on a taxiway. I’m able to go through and revise it and put myself back into that world.”
“So long as you write it away regularly nothing can really hurt you.”
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
“Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.”
“There’s no better teacher for writing than reading… Get a library card. That’s the best investment.”
“When you write, you don't have the social constraints of having people in front of you, so you talk about abstract matters.”
“What people are ashamed of usually makes a good story.”
“Vitality shows in not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.”
“Great books write themselves, only bad books have to be written.”
“Show me a hero and I'll write you a tragedy.”
“The reason one writes isn't the fact he wants to say something. He writes because he has something to say.”
“Find the key emotion; this may be all you need know to find your short story.”
“Often I think writing is a sheer paring away of oneself leaving always something thinner, barer, more meagre.”
“The history of my life is the history of the struggle between an overwhelming urge to write and a combination of circumstances bent on keeping me from it.”
“Every author ought to write every book as if he were going to be beheaded the day he finished it.”
“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness.”
“You're always believing ahead of your evidence. What was the evidence I could write a poem? I just believed it. The most creative thing in us is to believe in a thing.”
“I write to find out what I didn't know I knew.”
“Nearly everybody is looking for something brave to do. I don't know why people shouldn't write poetry. That's brave.”
“All there is to writing is having ideas. To learn to write is to learn to have ideas.”
“Critics write out of intellectual exercise, not poets. Poets write straight from the heart.”
“You should write first drafts as if they will never be shown to anyone.”
“It's easier to write about pain than about joy. Joy is wordless.”
“What a damnably lonely profession writing is! In order to do it, one must banish the world, and having banished it, one feels cosmically alone.”
“I believe that there's a force of life in the universe, and that when we're writing or making music or painting, we're likely to connect with that flow.”
“The only rule I have when writing is to try to tell the truth. That doesn't mean you can't exaggerate, edit, rewrite things to make them more dramatic. But emotional truth is what I look for in writing.”
“Each day that I don't write I get more fragmented.”
“Despite all the cynical things writers have said about writing for money, the truth is we write for love. That is why it is so easy to exploit us.”
“Whenever I'm asked what advice I have for young writers, I always say that the first thing is to read, and to read a lot. The second thing is to write. And the third thing, which I think is absolutely vital, is to tell stories and listen closely to the stories you're being told.”
“Here's my answer to the very real existential crisis that grips me midway through everything I've ever tried to do: I think stories help us fight the nihilistic urges that constantly threaten to consume us.”
“When I think about [characters], I like to think of them in their relationships to each other. In the same way, I think that's how humans are ultimately defined. We are our relationships to one another.”
“I really think that reading is just as important as writing when you're trying to be a writer because it's the only apprenticeship we have, it's the only way of learning how to write a story.”
“We're professional worriers. You're constantly imagining things that could go wrong and then writing about them.”
“The funny thing about writing is that whether you're doing well or doing it poorly, it looks the exact same. That's actually one of the main ways that writing is different from ballet dancing.”