Some Famous Writing Quotes in English

“We lose everything because everything remains except us. And therefore any form of posterity may be an affront, and perhaps any memory, as well.”

-Javier Marias

“Kim olursak olal?m, dünyan?n hangi yerinde ya?arsak ya?ayal?m, ta derinlerde bir yerde hepimiz bir eksiklik duygusu ta??maktay?z. Sanki temel bir ?eyimizi kaybetmi?iz de geri alamamaktan korkuyoruz. Neyin eksik oldu?unu bilenimizde hakikaten çok az.”

-Elif ?afak

“Stories are medicine. I have been taken with stories since I heard my first. They have such power; they do not require that we do, be, act, anything -- we need only listen.”

-Clarissa Pinkola Estés

“Polysyllables obfuscate a preponderant ignorance with so much more style and panache.”

-John Patrick Lowrie

“A word after a word after a word is power.”

-Margaret Atwood

“The real writer is one who really writes. Talent is an invention like phlogiston after the fact of fire. Work is its own cure. You have to like it better than being loved.”

-Marge Piercy

“Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.”

-T.S. Eliot

“The things you experience are written on your cells as memories and patterns, which are reprinted again on the next generation. And even if you never lift a shovel or plant a cabbage, every day of your life something is written upon you. And when you die, the entirety of that written record returns to the earth. All we have on this earth, all we are, is a record. Maybe the only things that persist are not the evildoers and demons (though, admittedly, they do have a certain longevity) but copies of things. The original has long since passed away from this universe, but on and on we copy.”

-Madeleine Thien

“Poetry is only the highest eloquence of passion, the most vivid form of expression that can be given to our conception of anything, whether pleasurable or painful, mean or dignified, delightful or distressing. It is the perfect coincidence of the image and the words with the feeling we have, and of which we cannot get rid in any other way, that gives an instant "satisfaction to the thought." This is equally the origin of wit and fancy, of comedy and tragedy, of the sublime and pathetic.”

-William Hazlitt

“so much of the world is plunged in darkness and chaos...So ring the bells that still can ringForget your perfect offeringThere is a crack in everythingThat’s how the light gets in.”

-Leonard Cohen

“Write what should not be forgotten.”

-Isabel Allende

“Everybody gets told to write about what they know. The trouble with many of us is that at the earlier stages of life we think we know everything- or to put it more usefully, we are often unaware of the scope and structure of our ignorance.”

-Thomas Pynchon

“Relate comic things in pompous fashion. Irregularity, in other words the unexpected, the surprising, the astonishing, are essential to and characteristic of beauty. Two fundamental literary qualities: supernaturalism and irony. The blend of the grotesque and the tragic are attractive to the mind, as is discord to blasé ears. Imagine a canvas for a lyrical, magical farce, for a pantomime, and translate it into a serious novel. Drown the whole thing in an abnormal, dreamy atmosphere, in the atmosphere of great days … the region of pure poetry.”

-Charles Baudelaire

“The mysterious does not spell itself out in capital letters, as many writers believe, but is always between, an interstice.”

-Julio Cortázar

“If a bloke gave you a hundred quid for a book you can bet your life it’s his way, but if all the poor and suffering people raise their hats to you for writing it - that’s different; it makes it worthwhile then.”

-Alan Marshall

“A good approach is to allow one dream per novel. Then, in the final revision, go back and get rid of that, too.”

-Howard Mittelmark

“From shit, thus, I extract pure Shinola”

-Umberto Eco

“I speak to the Black experience, but I am always talking about the human condition--about what we can endure, dream, fail at and survive.”

-Maya Angelou

“Writers of fiction embellish reality almost without knowing it.”

-Aljean Harmetz

“If a writer falls in love with you, you can never die.”

-Mik Everett

“Writing enlarges the landscape of the mind. ”

-V.S. Pritchett

“Ni soy romántica ni escribo novelas románticas. Soy positiva y sensible, y escribo novelas de sentimientos, que no es lo mismo. Para mí, la novela puede ser sentimental, no me molesta que me encasillen en la novela rosa, pero es evidente que muchos ignoran que la denominación rosa procede de cuando las tapas de la novela eran de ese color. El amor nunca pasa de moda y aunque mis novelas puedan parecerse entre sí, todas son diferentes. El desamor es lo que más está presente en ellas.”

-Corín Tellado

“Assuming you can write clear English sentences, give up all worry about communication. If you want to communicate, use the telephone.”

-Richard Hugo

“A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.”

-Mark Twain

“Writing always means hiding something in such a way that it then is discovered; because the truth that can come from my pen is like a shard that has been chipped from a great boulder by a violent impact, then flung far away; because there is no certitude outside falsification.”

-Italo Calvino

“For a novelist, a given historic situation is an anthropologic laboratory in which he explores his basic question: What is human existence?”

-Milan Kundera

“In Catcher in the Rye, the protagonist Holden Caulfield mentions reading books that make him wish he could be friends with the author and be able to call him on the phone and so forth. I would consider a literary work that made someone feel this way a success. Furthermore, it’s the only kind of success in literature that means anything to me.”

-Thomas Ligotti

“A writer is a world trapped in a person.”

-Victor Hugo

“When I type a title page, I hold it and I look at it and I think, I just need four thousand sentences to go with this and I’ll have a book.”

-Betsy Byars

“Existence is a series of footnotes to a vast, obscure, unfinished masterpiece.”

-Vladimir Nabokov

“Only a mediocre person is always at his best. ”

-W. Somerset Maugham

“To write simply is as difficult as to be good.”

-W. Somerset Maugham

“I want to do something splendid… Something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead… I think I shall write books.”

-Louisa May Alcott

“I want to write about people who dream and wait for the night to end, who long for the light so they can hold the ones they love.”

-Haruki Murakami

“If you want to concentrate deeply on some problem, and especially some piece of writing or paper-work, you should acquire a cat. Alone with the cat in the room where you work ... the cat will invariably get up on your desk and settle placidly under the desk lamp ... The cat will settle down and be serene, with a serenity that passes all understanding. And the tranquility of the cat will gradually come to affect you, sitting there at your desk, so that all the excitable qualities that impede your concentration compose themselves and give your mind back the self-command it has lost. You need not watch the cat all the time. Its presence alone is enough. The effect of a cat on your concentration is remarkable, very mysterious.”

-Muriel Spark

“I edit my own stories to death. They eventually run and hide from me.”

-Jeanne Voelker

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

-Ernest Hemingway

“The act of writing itself is much like the construction of a mirror made of words. Looking at certain illuminated corners of or cracks within the mirror, the author can see fragments of an objective reality that comprise the physical universe, social communities, political dynamics, and other facets of human existence. Looking in certain other corners of the same mirror, he or she may experience glimpses of a True Self sheltered deftly behind a mask of public proprieties.”


“I would rather write 10,000 notes than a single letter of the alphabet.”

-Ludwig van Beethoven

“Writing comes more easily if you have something to say.”

-Sholem Asch

“Every few weeks she would shut herself up in her room, put on her scribbling suit, and fall into a vortex, as she expressed it, writing away at her novel with all her heart and soul, for till that was finished she could find no peace.”

-Louisa May Alcott

“People often ask me why my style is so simple. It is, in fact, deceptively simple, for no two sentences are alike. It is clarity that I am striving to attain, not simplicity.Of course, some people want literature to be difficult and there are writers who like to make their readers toil and sweat. They hope to be taken more seriously that way. I have always tried to achieve a prose that is easy and conversational. And those who think this is simple should try it for themselves.”

-Ruskin Bond

“Collaborating on a film script involves two people sitting in a room separated by the silence of two minds working together.”

-Darlene Craviotto

“Send message to the future by writing it today!”

-Toba Beta

“Reading and writing are in themselves subversive acts. What they subvert is the notion that things have to be the way they are, that you are alone, that no one has ever felt the way you have.”

-Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

“Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only Beauty. There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.”

-Oscar Wilde

“A good story should provoke discussion, debate, argument...and the occasional bar fight.”

-J. Michael Strazynski

“Words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean.  Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes.”

-Theodore Dreiser

“It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

“When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even of a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet, of some mute and inglorious Jane Austen, some Emily Bronte who dashed her brains out on the moor or mopped and mowed about the highways crazed with the torture that her gift had put her to. Indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman.”

-Virginia Woolf

“Failure is usually boring. It is the credible but unrealized threat of failure that is interesting.”

-Robin Laws

“Next morning I went over to Paul’s for coffee and told him I had finished. “Good for you,” he said without looking up. “Start the next one today.”

-Steven Pressfield

“Beginnings are so important. Just finding that right moment to introduce this character, this world, it’s everything.”

-Aryn Kyle

“I go silent so I can write. When my tongue is wagging my fingers are silent.”

-Sonia Rumzi

“The process of writing has something infinite about it. Even though it is interrupted each night, it is one single notation, and it seems most true when it eschews artistic devices of any sort.”

-Elias Canetti

“I wonderif you ever read my poemsand wish they were writtenfor you.”

-Kamand Kojouri

“Maybe love was meant to save us from ourselves.”

-robert m drake

“The writer has little control over personal temperament, none over historical moment, and is only partly in charge of his or her own aesthetic.”

-Julian Barnes

“A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam.”

-Frederik Pohl

“All that I hope to say in books, all that I ever hope to say, is that I love the world.”

-E.B. White

“There are... otherwise quite decent people who are so dull of nature that they believe that they must attribute the swift flight of fancy to some illness of the psyche, and thus it happens that this or that writer is said to create not other than while imbibing intoxicating drink or that his fantasies are the result of overexcited nerves and resulting fever. But who can fail to know that, while a state of psychical excitement caused by the one or other stimulant may indeed generate some lucky and brilliant ideas, it can never produce a well-founded, substantial work of art that requires the utmost presence of mind.”

-E.T.A. Hoffmann

“The one ironclad rule is that I have to try. I have to walk into my writing room and pick up my pen every weekday morning.”

-Anne Tyler

“Only by examining our personal biases can we truly grow as artists; only by cultivating empathy can we truly grow as people.”

-Jen Knox

“If only these walls could talk…the world would know just how hard it is to tell the truth in a story in which everyone’s a liar.”

-Gregg Olsen

“...the best way to know the Truth or Beauty is to try to express it. And what is the purpose of existence Here or Yonder but to discover truth and beauty and express it, i.e., share it with others?”

-Brenda Ueland

“Writing is the best anti-depressant.”

-Fierce Dolan

“I write for the kid in me. . . . Often when I’m working on a story, I’ll find myself laughing at something my characters have done, or even being surprised at where they’ve taken the story. It’s as if they have a life all their own. What I do is create them and then let them go on to entertain me. . . .”

-Elvira Woodruff

“Better to work for yourself alone. You do as you like and follow your own ideas, you admire yourself and please yourself: isn’t that the main thing? And then the public is so stupid. Besides, who reads? And what do they read? And what do they admire?”

-Gustave Flaubert

“Closed in a room, my imagination becomes the universe, and the rest of the world is missing out.”

-Criss Jami

“Stay humble as a writer: write on toilet paper.”

-Jonas Eriksson

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”

-Stephen King

“I HAD known him as a bulldozer, as a samurai, as an android programmed to kill, as Plastic Man and Titanium Man and Matter-Eater Lad, as a Buick Electra, as a Peterbilt truck, and even, for a week, as the Mackinac Bridge, but it was as a werewolf that Timothy Stokes finally went too far.”

-Michael Chabon

“Where would David Copperfield be if Dickens had gone to writing classes? Probably about seventy minor characters short, is where. (Did you know that Dickens is estimated to have invented thirteen thousand characters? Thirteen thousand! The population of a small town!)”

-Nick Hornby

“Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.”

-Jules Renard

“My life will be the best illustration of all my work.”

-Hans Christian Andersen

“I know I was writing stories when I was five. I don’t remember what I did before that. Just loafed, I suppose.”

-P. G. Wodehouse

“What is written is merely the dregs of experience.”

-Franz Kafka

“If you want to be a writer-stop talking about it and sit down and write!”

-Jackie Collins

“I got this story from someone who had no business in the telling of it.”

-Edgar Rice Burroughs

“And middle-class women, although taught to value established forms, are in the same position as the working class: neither can use established forms to express what the forms were never intended to express (and may very well operate to conceal).”

-Joanna Russ

“A place that proves if you get enough talented people in a room, one or two are bound to offer some helpful advice. Kind if like monkeys with typewriters.”

-A. Lee Martinez

“I went to the library. I looked at the magazines, at the pictures in them. One day I went to the bookshelves, and pulled out a book. It was Winesburg, Ohio.. I sat at a long mahogany table and began to read. All at once my world turned over. The sky fell in. The book held me. The tears came. My heart beat fast. I read until my eyes burned. I took the book home. I read another Anderson. I read and I read, and I was heartsick and lonely and in love with a book, many books, until it came naturally, and I sat there with a pencil and a long tablet, and tried to write, until I felt I could not go on because the words would not come as they did in Anderson, they only came like drops of blood from my heart.”

-John Fante

“Remember, it is no sign of weakness or defeat that your manuscript ends up in need of major surgery. This is a common occurrence in all writing, and among the best writers.”

-William Strunk

“There is a rule for fantasy writers: The more truth you mix in with a lie, the stronger it gets.”

-Diane Duane

“To be a writer is to embrace rejection as a way of life.”

-Dana Stabenow

“A tamed woman will never leave her mark in the world.”

-robert m drake

“Always choose love over fear.”

-A.D. Posey

“It is a pity he did not write in pencil. As you have no doubt frequently observed, the impression usually goes through -- a fact which has dissolved many a happy marriage.”

-Arthur Conan Doyle

“There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up the pen to write.”

-William Makepeace Thackeray

“Those moments before a poem comes, when the heightened awareness comes over you, and you realize a poem is buried there somewhere, you prepare yourself. I run around, you know, kind of skipping around the house, marvelous elation. It’s as though I could fly.”

-Anne Sexton

“This is what love does: It makes you want to rewrite the world. It makes you want to choose the characters, build the scenery, guide the plot. The person you love sits across from you, and you want to do everything in your power to make it possible, endlessly possible. And when it’s just the two of you, alone in a room, you can pretend that this is how it is, this is how it will be.”

-David Levithan

“Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have "essential" and "long overdue" meetings on those days. The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time allotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg.”

-J.K. Rowling

“The experience of returning to the blank page and having nothing in the drawer was intensely painful. I just thought, I never want that to happen again.”

-Edgar Wright

“Perhaps if I make myself write I shall find out what is wrong with me.”

-Dodie Smith

“When one does something, one must do it wholly and well. Those bastard existences where you sell suet all day and write poetry at night are made for mediocre minds – like those horses that are equally good for saddle and carriage, the worst kind, that can neither jump a ditch nor pull a plow.”

-Gustave Flaubert

“In the Middle Ages, cathedrals and convents burned like tinder; imagining a medieval story without a fire is like imagining a World War II movie in the Pacific without a fighter plane shot down in flames.”

-Umberto Eco

“And I thought, eight years ago, when I began carefully charting the progress of American Gods, nervously dipping my toes into the waters of blogging, would I have imagined a future in which, instead of recording the vicissitudes of bringing a book into the world, I would be writing about not-even-interestingly missing cups of cold camomile tea? And I thought, yup. Sounds about right.Happy Eighth birthday, blog.”

-Neil Gaiman

“When all the details fit in perfectly, something is probably wrong with the story.”

-Charles Baxter

“When you can write music that endures, bravo. Until then, keep quiet and study the work of those who can.”

-Jennifer Donnelly

“Borges said there are only four stories to tell: a love story between two people, a love story between three people, the struggle for power and the voyage. All of us writers rewrite these same stories ad infinitum.”

-Paolo Coelho

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