Writing Analytics

571 Quotes on Writing

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“Fools read fast. Geniuses reread.”
“If you love to write, start a blog. If you love to talk, start a podcast. If you love to solve problems, start a business. If you love freedom, do what you love.”
“The most important thing is to keep going. The second most important thing is to choose the right direction.”
“The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.”
“A character is never the author who created him. It is quite likely, however, that an author may be all his characters simultaneously.”
“I sometimes need to write things which I cannot completely control but which therefore prove that what is in me is stronger than I am.”
“There is scarcely any passion without struggle.”
“I write differently from what I speak, I speak differently from what I think, I think differently from the way I ought to think, and so it all proceeds into deepest darkness.”
“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity.”
“I need solitude for my writing; not 'like a hermit' — that wouldn't be enough — but like a dead man.”
“Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.”
“Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.”
“You can't blame a writer for what the characters say.”
“Good writing is rewriting.”
“When seriously explored, the short story seems to me the most difficult and disciplining form of prose writing extant. Whatever control and technique I may have I owe entirely to my training in this medium.”
“I always felt that nobody was going to understand me, going to understand what I felt about things. I guess that's why I started writing. At least on paper I could put down what I thought.”
“I think the only person a writer has an obligation to is himself. If what I write doesn't fulfill something in me, if I don't honestly feel it's the best I can do, then I'm miserable.”
“It's a very excruciating life facing that blank piece of paper every day and having to reach up somewhere into the clouds and bring something down out of them.”
“It takes a lot of bad writing to get to a little good writing.”
“Never demean yourself by talking back to a critic, never. Write those letters to the editor in your head, but don't put them on paper.”
“Writing in the first person automatically gives you a point of view.”
“I also write the last paragraph or page of a story first. That way I always know what I'm working towards.”
“When I'm writing, I never write more than four hours a day.”
“When I am writing, I try to do it five hours a day but I spend about two of those just fooling around.”
“That's all a writer has to write about - what he sees and hears and what not.”
“Technically I feel total fluidity in writing. I feel there's nothing technically that I can't do the way a certain sort of pianist feels that. But that doesn't mean it comes easily. It doesn't.”
“The difference between children and adults is that they're shorter - not dumber.”
“When you make a decision, you don't have to be locked into it. One of the ways that you grow is by starting over.”
“My favorite book is my next one. I’m always hoping to make my next book my best one.”
“An artist is waiting for the audience to understand the work. A craftsman is working to understand the audience.”
“Writing for children is as easy as describing the history of the Byzantium in three words.”
“I also learn a lot about everybody else's process. People create in different ways, so that has opened me up to different processes and experimenting.”
“It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”
“The responsibility of a writer is to excavate the experience of the people who produced him.”
“You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can't, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world...”
“One writes out of one thing only - one's own experience.”
“This is the only real concern of the artist, to recreate out of the disorder of life that order which is art.”
“Any writer, I suppose, feels that the world into which he was born is nothing less than a conspiracy against the cultivation of his talent.”
“If you are going to be a writer there is nothing I can say to stop you; if you're not going to be a writer nothing I can say will help you. What you really need at the beginning is somebody to let you know that the effort is real.”
“When you're writing you're trying to find out something which you don't know.”
“All of my writer friends and I have one thing in common: We didn't listen to the naysayers. We kept writing. And eventually we have all been published.”
“When I write poetry, I can write pretty much anywhere and anytime. But with prose, I have to be consistent”
“I am always trying to look at every situation in my work with both a telescope and a microscope.”
“We do not write in order to be understood; we write in order to understand.”
“Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.”
“You can make anything by writing.”
“Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else.”
“Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I have found out long ago.”
“Never use abstract nouns when concrete ones will do. If you mean “More people died” don’t say “Mortality rose.””
“If they won't write the kind of books we like to read we shall have to write them ourselves.”
“What you want is practice, practice, practice. It doesn’t matter what we write (at least this is my view) at our age, so long as we write continually as well as we can.”
“I feel that every time I write a page either of prose or of verse, with real effort, even if it’s thrown into the fire the next minute, I am so much further on.”
“The story itself should force its moral upon you. You find out what the moral is by writing the story.”
“Maybe the hardest thing in writing is simply to tell the truth about things as we see them.”
“Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on.”
“I have written a great many stories and I still don't know how to go about it except to write it and take my chances.”
“To finish is sadness to a writer — a little death. He puts the last word down and it is done. But it isn't really done. The story goes on and leaves the writer behind, for no story is ever done.”
“The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.”
“If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it-bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn't belong there.”
“Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page a day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.”
“When I face the desolate impossibility of writing five hundred pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day's work is all I can permit myself to contemplate.”
“I write because I like to write. I find joy in the texture and tone and rhythm of words. It is a satisfaction like that which follows good and shared love.”
“I wish to God I knew as much about writing as I did when I was 19. I was absolutely certain about most things then. Also, I suspect, more accurate.”
“The craft of writing is the art of penetrating other minds with the figures that are in your own mind.”
“I do want to make it very convincing. And the best way to do that is to put most of it in dialogue.”
“I don't think there is a single sentence in this whole book [East of Eden] that does not either develop character, carry on the story or provide necessary background.”
“I nearly always write — just as I nearly always breathe.”
“Your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person-a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.”
“The basic rule [of writing] given us was simple and heartbreaking. A story to be effective had to convey something from the writer to the reader, and the power of its offering was the measure of its excellence. Outside of that, there were no rules.”
“In writing, habit seems to be a much stronger force than either willpower or inspiration.”
“Three hours of writing require twenty hours of preparation. Luckily I have learned to dream about the work, which saves me some working time.”