Writing Analytics

571 Quotes on Writing

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“I like to know the places I write about. I feel like it helps me ground the novel. My novels are 'realistic novels,' but they can also be fantastical, so it's nice to have a setting that grounds them a little bit.”
“Read a lot. Read broadly... Tell stories to your friends, and pay attention to when they get bored... Write a lot.”
“Different authors write different ways, have different relationships with their audiences, and those are all legitimate.”
“I write about broken people who need other people in order to go on. But those are the only kind of people I know to exist. We are all broken.”
“One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore. Another is that writing motivates you to look closely at life, at life as it lurches by and tramps around.”
“The very first thing I tell my new students on the first day of a workshop is that good writing is about telling the truth.”
“Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises.”
“Writing is about hypnotizing yourself into believing in yourself, getting some work done, then unhypnotizing yourself and going over the material coldly.”
“To be a good writer, you not only have to write a great deal but you have to care. You do not have to have a complicated moral philosophy. But a writer always tries, I think, to be a part of a solution, to understand a little about life and to pass this on.”
“Writing can be a pretty desperate endeavor, because it is about some of our deepest needs: our need to be visible, to be heard, our need to make sense of our lives, to wake up and grow and belong.”
“The real payoff is the writing itself, that a day when you have gotten your work done is a good day, that total dedication is the point.”
“Plot springs from character... I've always sort of believed that these people inside me- these characters- know who they are and what they're about and what happens, and they need me to help get it down on paper because they don't type.”
“I don't think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won't be good at it.”
“Rituals are a good signal to your unconscious that it is time to kick in.”
“That thing you had to force yourself to do-the actual act of writing-turns out to be the best part.”
“Write regularly, whether you feel like writing or not, and whether you think what you're writing is any good or not.”
“You just have to keep getting out of your own way so that whatever it is that wants to be written can use you to write it.”
“If you are hoping to find your self-worth and fulfillment in other peoples' opinion of your writing, you will never find it.”
“Stop trying to write sentences and start trying to write stories.”
“I think sometimes we give people a lot of credit just because they're writing nice sentences even if it isn't adding up to much.”
“All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.”
“I started writing when I was twenty, and my first book came out seventeen years later.”
“The only real advice you can give anyone is to keep writing.”
“I started writing one afternoon when I was twenty, and ever since then I have written every day. At first I had to force myself. Then it became part of my identity, and I did it without thinking.”
“It can take years. With the first draft, I just write everything. With the second draft, it becomes so depressing for me, because I realize that I was fooled into thinking I'd written the story. I hadn't-I had just typed for a long time. So then I have to carve out a story from the 25 or so pages. It's in there somewhere-but I have to find it.”
“I started writing when I was twenty. My first book came out when I was thirty-five. But I never expected that it would happen quickly.”
“I'm glad that I didn't have the Internet when I started writing. I started writing when I was 20 and didn't show a word of it to anyone until I was 28. I had the sense to keep it to myself. Now the temptation with blogs and such, they're just getting it out there; maybe it would have been best to keep it to themselves.”
“Write relentlessly, until you find your voice. Then, use it.”
“Write to please just one person.”
“Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them in order that the reader may see what they are made of.”
“Nobody will stop you from creating. Do it tonight. Do it tomorrow. That is the way to make your soul grow - whether there is a market for it or not!”
“I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle.”
“Talent is extremely common. What is rare is the willingness to endure the life of the writer.”
“Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.”
“People should practice an art in order to make their souls grow and not to make money or become famous. Paint a picture. Write.”
“Thank God for novelists. Thank God there are people willing to write everything down. Otherwise, so much would be forgotten.”
“The reason we write fiction is because it's so much easier to exist spending part of each day in an imaginary world.”
“Start [writing] as close to the end as possible.”
“It's only recently that I've come to understand that writers are not marginal to our society, that they, in fact, do all our thinking for us, that we are writing myths and our myths are believed, and that old myths are believed until someone writes a new one.”
“What everybody is well advised to do is to not write about your own life, this is if you want to write fast. You will be writing about your own life anyway but you won't know it.”
“History is filled with brilliant people who wanted to fix things and just made them worse.”
“The first step - especially for young people with energy and drive and talent, but not money - the first step to controlling your world is to control your culture. To model and demonstrate the kind of world you demand to live in. To write the books. Make the music. Shoot the films. Paint the art.”
“Have your adventures, make your mistakes, and choose your friends poorly all — these make for great stories.”
“I wanted to write about the moment when your addictions no longer hide the truth from you. When your whole life breaks down. That's the moment when you have to somehow choose what your life is going to be about.”
“That's why I write, because life never works except in retrospect. You can't control life, at least you can control your version.”
“Real writers write because they love to write. They don't write for public acclaim.”
“Don't rush or force the ending. All you have to know is the next scene, or the next few scenes.”
“The worst part of writing fiction is the fear of wasting your life behind a keyboard. The idea that, dying, you'll realize you only lived on paper.”
“Every time I write something, I think, this is the most offensive thing I will ever write. But no. I always surprise myself.”
“Writing is like sex, if it's difficult you're not doing it right.”
“I always thought I'd write when I retired - when I turned 65. But by the time I was 33, to tell you the truth, I was a little bored with drugs and sex, and I thought I'd do the writing thing.”
“What you write should entertain you and serve you first. Don't worry about maintaining anything beyond your own attention. Focus on exorcising your demons in the work. If you can do that, then you'll succeed in the world.”
“Alternating the thoughtful task of writing with the mindless work of laundry or dish washing will give you the breaks you need for new ideas and insights to occur.”
“I remember selling my first short story and thinking, Oh my god, I sold something for fifty dollars! That gives me the authority to say I'm a writer and to actually write more things! It legitimized the activity.”
“Some writers research in order to write. I write in order to research topics that interest me.”
“Every character sees the world through a framework of education and experience that they're proud experts about. To write a character, find out what they know best, and THEN you'll know how they'll describe a "hot day." Or a "pretty girl."”
“My writing process isn't a very organized thing. The actual writing part is a tiny part of my life. I often write in public. I bring my laptop or write freehand in notebooks. Then, I'll read through them while I exercise or walk the dog. The very last thing I do is the sitting alone at the computer part.”
“I write compulsively. I've got so many ideas, and I love to do it so much, I can't not do it. I write the way some people do drugs.”
“I was attracted to science fiction because it was so wide open. I was able to do anything and there were no walls to hem you in and there was no human condition that you were stopped from examining.”
“A workshop is a way of renting an audience, and making sure you’re communicating what you think you’re communicating. It’s so easy as a young writer to think you’re been very clear when in fact you haven’t.”
“Writing is one of the few professions in which you can psychoanalyse yourself, get rid of hostilities and frustrations in public, and get paid for it.”
“And I have this little litany of things they can do. And the first one, of course, is to write – every day, no excuses. It’s so easy to make excuses. Even professional writers have days when they’d rather clean the toilet than do the writing.”
“I think writers use absolutely everything that happens to us, and surely if I had had a different sort of childhood and still come out a writer, I’d be a different kind of writer.”
“Fantasy is totally wide open; all you really have to do is follow the rules you’ve set. But if you’re writing about science, you have to first learn what you’re writing about.”
“When I began writing science fiction, when I began reading, heck, I wasn’t in any of this stuff I read. The only black people you found were occasional characters or characters who were so feeble-witted that they couldn’t manage anything, anyway. I wrote myself in since I’m me and I’m here and I’m writing.”
“We are a naturally hierarchical species. When I say these things in my novels, sure, I make up the aliens and all of that, but I don’t make up the essential human character.”
“I thought I was on my way as a writer. In fact, I had five more years of rejection slips and horrible little jobs ahead of me before I sold another word.”
“If you want a thing — truly want it, want it so badly that you need it as you need air to breathe, then unless you die, you will have it.”
“Every story I create, creates me. I write to create myself.”
“I write about people who do extraordinary things. It just turned out that it was called science fiction.”
“My writing can be a kind of therapy for me, and I’m sure some of their origins extend well back into my childhood.”
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”
“The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.”
“Each time I write a book, every time I face that yellow pad, the challenge is so great. I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody and they’re going to find me out.”
“I believe that the most important single thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.”
“I make writing as much a part of my life as I do eating or listening to music.”
“Making a decision to write was a lot like deciding to jump into a frozen lake.”
“I want to write so well that a person is 30 or 40 pages in a book of mine before she realizes she's reading.”
“We need to remember that we are all created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed.”
“Talent is like electricity. We don't understand electricity. We use it.”
“When I'm writing, I write. And then it's as if the muse is convinced that I'm serious and says, 'Okay. Okay. I'll come.'”
“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”
“Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you're doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing.”
“The writer isn't made in a vacuum. Writers are witnesses. The reason we need writers is because we need witnesses to this terrifying century.”
“Writing is immensely difficult. The short forms especially.”
“One of the things I had to learn as a writer was to trust the act of writing. To put myself in the position of writing to find out what I was writing.”
“I've known several cases of writers who decide to write about something and they research the hell out of it and when they're ready to write, they can't move because they are so burdened. I start writing. Whatever I need somehow comes to hand.”
“I thought of myself as a writer for years before I got around to writing anything.”
“When I'm writing, I like to seal everything off and face the wall, not to look outside the window. The only way out is through the sentences.”
“Nobody knows where ideas come from, but let us say, if you immerse yourself in something, whether it be music, painting, or writing…you are going to get ideas about it. But you have to do the immersing first. You’re not just sitting there, waiting for lightning to strike.”
“I’m more of a downhill skier. I try to go as fast as I can and then I have to backtrack a lot and fill in revisions.”
“A story needs a break in a pattern to get it going…If everything is perfect all the time, there isn’t a story.”
“Likability is a factor when you’re choosing a roommate, but it’s not necessarily a factor when you’re creating a living character.”
“Any form of human creativity is a process of doing it and getting better at it…[Writers] don’t usually peak in their 20s. It’s usually quite a lot later on.”
“When I was starting to write, none of us thought we were going to have careers. We thought we were going to have vocations, which is quite a different thing. So our idea of being a writer was not a six-figure contract.”
“When push comes to shove, the buck stops with you. So whoever’s advice you may have taken, whatever alterations may have been made, what is on that page is going to be considered your work.”
“You become a writer by writing. There is no other way. So do it. Do it more. Do it again. Do it better. Fail. Fail better.”
“If you focus on results and finding shortcuts, you’ll get impatient. If you focus on the process and doing the right thing, you’ll be unstoppable.”
“Telling the truth seems risky in the short term, but builds something in the long term. Telling lies seems safe in the short term, but destroys everything in the long term.”