Quotes


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Quote Author
We are a species that needs and wants to understand who we are. Sheep lice do not seem to share this longing, which is one reason why they write so little.Anne Lamott
Wake the happy words.Theodore Roethke
Vigorous writing is concise.William Strunk
Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.William Blake
Unless a writer lives with a periodic
delusion of his greatness, he will not continue writing. He must believe, against all reason and evidence, that the public will experience a catastrophic loss if he does not complete his novel. The public is just clamoring to give him his fame.
Leonard Bishop
To write what is worth publishing, to find honest people to publish it, and get sensible people to read it, are the three great difficulties in being an author.
Charles Caleb Colton
To produce a mighty work, you must choose a mighty theme.Herman Melville
To me the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the music the words make. Truman Capote
To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph.Mark Twain
Thus, in a real sense, I am constantly writing autobiography, but I have to turn it into fiction in order to give it credibility.Katherine Paterson, The Spying Heart, 1989
Through joy and through sorrow, I wrote. Through hunger and through thirst, I wrote. Through good report and through ill report, I wrote. Through sunshine and through moonshine, I wrote. What I wrote it is unnecessary to say.Edgar Allan Poe
Those who say that it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing it.Chinese proverb
This manuscript of yours that has just come back from another editor is a precious package.  Don't consider it rejected.  Consider that you've addressed it 'to the editor who can appreciate my work' and it has simply come back stamped 'not at this address.'  Just keep looking for the right address.Barbara Kingsolver
These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves.Gilbert Highet
There´s no money in poetry, but there´s no poetry in money, either.Robert Graves
There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open up a vein.Walter Smith
There's not much to be said about the period except that most writers don't reach it soon enough.William Zinsser
There's a great power in words, if you don't hitch too many of them together.Josh Billings
There was never a good biography of a good novelist. There couldn't be. He is too many people if he's any good.F. Scott Fitzgerald
There is properly no history; only biography.Ralph Waldo Emerson
There is no iron that can enter the human heart with such stupefying effect, as a period placed at just the right moment. Isaac Babel
There is no great writing, only great rewriting.Justice Brandeis
There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. W. Somerset Maugham
There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn't because the book is not there and worth being written -- it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself.Mark Twain
There are many ways to be free. One of them is to transcend reality by imagination, as I try to doAnais Nin
There are events which are so great that if a writer has participated in them his obligation is to write truly rather than assume the presumption of altering them with invention.
Ernest Hemingway
There are days when the result is so bad that no fewer than five revisions are required. In contrast, when I'm greatly inspired, only four revisions are needed.John Kenneth Galbraith
There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write.William Makepeace Thackeray
The writer probably knows what he meant when he wrote a book, but he should immediately forget what he meant when he´s written it.William Golding
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.John Steinbeck
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. E. L. Doctorow
The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything.John Irving (1942 - )
The wastepaper basket is still the writer's best friend.Issac Bashevis Singer
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.Muriel Rukeyser
The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it.Alice Walker
The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cast out.Howard Pyle
The shorter and plainer the better.Beatrix Potter
The secret of good writing is to say an old thing in a new way or to say a new thing in an old way.Richard Harding Davis
The secret of getting ahead is getting started.Agatha Christie
The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.Anaïs Nin
The relationship of editor to author is knife to throat.Unknown
The reason why so few good books are written is that so few people who can write know anything.
Walter Bagehot
The reality is more excellent than the report.Ralph Waldo Emerson
The quality which makes man want to write and be read is essentially a desire for self-exposure and masochism. Like one of those guys who has a compulsion to take his thing out and show it on the street.James Joyce
The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all.Mark Twain
The profession of book-writing makes horse racing seem like a solid, stable business.John Steinbeck
The plot is the line on which I hang the wash, and the wash is what I care about.Robert B. Parker
The person who FINDS the time [to write] is the one who is going to become a writer. The person who doesn’t, won’t. Meg Cabot
The pen is mightier than the swordBulwer-Lytton
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. Vladimir Nabakov
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