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My drug of choice is writing--writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Compilation of Awesome Writing Quotes

These have been up (piecemeal) on Writing About Writing's Facebook Page over the last few weeks.  I thought I'd share them in one post.





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

Never write about a place until you're away from it, because that gives you perspective.
Ernest Hemingway

I write the first sentence and trust in God for the next.
Laurence Sterne

Writing a poem is discovering.
Robert Frost

If you know what you are going to write when you're writing a poem, it's going to be average.
Derek Walcott


However great a man's natural talent may be, the art of writing cannot be learned all at once.
Jean Jacques Rousseau

You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country.
Robert Frost

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.
Oscar Wilde

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Cyril Connolly

The secret of popular writing is never to put more on a given page than the common reader can lap off it with no strain whatsoever on his habitually slack attention.
Ezra Pound


I try to leave out the parts that people skip. 
Elmore Leonard

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

Look for all fancy wordings and get rid of them…Avoid all terms and expressions, old or new, that embody affectation.
Jacques Barzun

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

The idea is to get the pencil moving quickly…Once you've got some words looking back at you, you can take two or three - throw them away and look for others.
Bernard Malamud

If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it. 
Toni Morrison

To be clear is the first duty of a writer; to charm and to please are graces to be acquired later.
Brander Matthews

…your reader is at least as bright as you are.
William Maxwell


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

Writing is an adventure.
Winston Churchill

Know something, sugar? Stories only happen to people who can tell them.
Allan Gurganus

... only he is an emancipated thinker who is not afraid to write foolish things.
Anton Chekhov

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.
Robert Benchley

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


Whether or not you write well, write bravely. 
Bill Stout

The writer's duty is to keep on writing…
William Styron

Never trust the artist. Trust the tale.
D.H. Lawrence

The first draft of anything is shit
Ernest Hemingway

Use the right word and not its second cousin.
Mark Twain

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


You only learn to be a better writer by actually writing. 
Doris Lessing

Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time…The wait is simply too long.
Leonard S. Bernstein

I seat myself at the typewriter and hope, and lurk.
Mignon Eberhart

The business of the novelist is not to relate great events, but to make small ones interesting.
Arthur Schopenhauer





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