Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Favorite Writerly Quotes

These are some of my favorite quotes related to writing. I'm sure you'll find some familiar ones among them, and possibly some you haven't seen before. They all resonate for me and I'm sure some will resonate for you as well.

By the way, I want to let everyone know that tomorrow I'll be posting an interview I did with Literary Agent Rebecca Strauss of McIntosh & Otis, a very successful literary agency in New York City, on the Chiseled in Rock blog. This agency is near and dear to my fuzzy little heart. :) You do NOT want to miss this exciting event. Rebecca will be available most of the day to answer your questions in comments. See you there!


One idea does not make a story, you need a second idea to rub it against in order to make a fire. ~Twyla Tharp

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. ~Anaïs Nin

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

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

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

The wastebasket is a writer's best friend. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~Anton Chekhov

Easy reading is damn hard writing. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies. ~Emme Woodhull-Bäche

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. ~Mark Twain

A writer is someone who can make a riddle out of an answer. ~Karl Kraus

Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. ~Gene Fowler

Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. ~Graycie Harmon

Every writer I know has trouble writing. ~Joseph Heller

A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the other one. ~Baltasar Gracián

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

Pen names are masks that allow us to unmask ourselves. ~C. Astrid Weber

If I'm trying to sleep, the ideas won't stop. If I'm trying to write, there appears a barren nothingness. ~Carrie Latet

The coroner will find ink in my veins and blood on my typewriter keys. ~C. Astrid Weber

Write your first draft with your heart. Re-write with your head. ~From the movie Finding Forrester

An author in his book must be like God in the universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere. ~Gustave Flaubert

If I fall asleep with a pen in my hand, don't remove it - I might be writing in my dreams. ~Danzae Pace

No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published. ~Russell Lynes

Loafing is the most productive part of a writer's life. ~James Norman Hall

A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. ~Thomas Mann, Essays of Three Decades, 1947

Sit down, and put down everything that comes into your head and then you're a writer. But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it. ~Colette, Casual Chance, 1964

Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted. ~Jules Renard, Journal, 10 April 1895


TheaH said...

Oh, but these are lovely. Many authors I must now track down and sample.


Jeannie G said...

I have to say that the one about loafing is the perfect quote. Thanks for the smile.

Alexis Morgan said...

I enjoyed these. Here's another favorite: "Good writing is clear thinking made visible." Bill Wheeler.

Anonymous said...

Great post! But, talking about loafing got me hungry....

April Richards said...

I so agree with Carrie Latet's statement. Characters wake me up at 2:30 in the morning to tell me their life's stories but when I try to write, they go mute sometimes.

Good luck on your new book :) I'd like to read it :) I like Urban fantasy :)

Chiseled in Rock said...

No wonder I've been doing it all wrong!

Gusto Dave

Renee Roberts said...

This is delightful. I love hearing how other writers manage the madness!