Writing Quotations

Writing Quotations
  1. "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."
    -- Douglas Adams

  2. "Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."
    -- Scott Adams

  3. "I tell my students you have an absolute right to write about people you know and love. You do. But the kicker is you have a responsibility to make the characters large enough that you will not have sinned against them."
    -- Dorothy Allison

  4. "If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing."
    -- Kingsley Amis

  5. "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. "
    -- Maya Angelou

  6. "I believe talent is like electricity. We don't understand electricity. We use it. You can plug into it and light up a lamp, keep a heart pump going, light a cathedral, or you can electrocute a person with it. Electricity will do all that. It makes no judgment. I think talent is like that. I believe every person is born with talent."
    -- Maya Angelou

  7. "The world I create in writing compensates for what the real world does not give me."
    -- Gloria Anzaldua

  8. "Writing comes more easily if you have something to say."
    -- Sholem Asch

  9. "In relation to a writer, most readers believe in the Double Standard: they may be unfaithful to him as often as they like, but he must never, never be unfaithful to them."
    -- W. H. Auden

  10. "A word is a bud attempting to become a twig. How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream. A word is a bud attempting to become a twig. How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams. The blank page gives the right to dream."
    -- Gaston Bachelard

  11. "My feeling about technique in art is that it has the same value as technique in lovemaking. That is to say, heartfelt ineptitude has its charm and so has heartless skill, but what you really want is passionate virtuosity. "
    -- John Barth

  12. "The covers of this book are too far apart."
    -- Ambrose Bierce

  13. "NOVEL, n. A short story padded."
    -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

  14. "STORY, n. A narrative, commonly untrue."
    -- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1911

  15. "If you did not write every day, the poisons would accumulate and you would begin to die, or act crazy or both -- you must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you."
    -- Ray Bradbury

  16. "If you stuff yourself full of poems, essays, plays, stories, novels, films, comic strips, magazines, music, you automatically explode every morning like Old Faithful. I have never had a dry spell in my life, mainly because I feed myself well, to the point of bursting. I wake early and hear my morning voices leaping around in my head like jumping beans. I get out of bed to trap them before they escape."
    -- Ray Bradbury

  17. "Beneath the rule of men entirely great, / The pen is mightier than the sword."
    -- Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton, Richelieu, II.

  18. "If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. As to that regular, uninterrupted love of writing...I do not understand it. I feel it as a torture, which I must get rid of, but never as a pleasure. On the contrary, I think composition a great pain."
    -- Lord Byron

  19. "The process of writing has something infinite about it. Even though it is interrupted each night, it is one single notation."
    -- Elias Canetti

  20. "A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author."
    -- G. K. Chesterton

  21. "Truth must necessarily be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind and therefore congenial to it."
    -- G. K. Chesterton

  22. "I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I write and I understand."
    -- Chinese Proverb

  23. "I feel at times that I'm making up these little people and I've lost my mind."
    -- Carolyn Chute

  24. "The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense."
    -- Tom Clancy

  25. "Our admiration of fine writing will always be in proportion to its real difficulty and its apparent ease."
    -- Charles Caleb Colton

  26. "One of the few things I know about writing is this: Spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book, give it, give it all, give it now . . . Some more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from brehind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes."
    -- Annie Dillard

  27. "Writers are not just people who sit down and write. They hazard themselves. Every time you compose a book your composition of yourself is at stake."
    -- E. L. Doctorow

  28. "Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia."
    -- E. L. Doctorow

  29. "Writing is turning one's worst moments into money."
    -- J. P. Donleavy

  30. "More than kisses, letters mingle souls."
    -- John Donne

  31. "Imagination is more important than knowledge."
    -- Albert Einstein

  32. "Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers."
    -- T. S. Eliot

  33. "I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top."
    -- English Professor, Ohio University

  34. "The maker of a sentence launches out into the infinite and builds a road into Chaos and old Night, and is followed by those who hear him with something of wild, creative delight."
    -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  35. "An author ought to write for the youth of his own generation, the critics of the next, and the school-masters of ever afterward."
    -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

  36. "All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath."
    -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

  37. "I'm trying to cause people to be interested in the particulars of their lives because I think that's one thing literature can do for us. It can say to us: pay attention. Pay closer attention. Pay stricter attention to what you say to your son. "
    -- Richard Ford

  38. "New writers are often told, "Write what you know." I would broaden that by saying, "Write what you know emotionally.""
    -- Marjorie Franco

  39. "Think of all the other writers out there in the world, taking the same detour from word processor to coffeepot, thesaurus in hand, hopes in tow. We're all in it together, crossing over and over the elusive bridge between words and literature."
    -- Abby Frucht

  40. "Once something is written down, I will argue, I will listen to its music, I will change, reorder and rewrite."
    -- Serge Gavronsky

  41. "It has always been my practice to cast a long paragraph in a single mould, to try it by my ear, to deposit it in my memory, but to suspend the action of the pen till I had given the last polish to my work."
    -- Edward Gibbon

  42. "Great authors are admirable in this respect: in every generation they make for disagreement. Through them we become aware of our differences."
    -- André Gide

  43. "The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes."
    -- André Gide

  44. "Finally, one just has to shut up, sit down, and write."
    -- Natalie Goldberg

  45. "In the middle of the world, make one positive step. In the center of chaos, make one definitive act. Just write."
    -- Natalie Goldberg

  46. "I have read your book and much like it."
    -- Moses Hadas, book reviewer

  47. "Thank you for sending me a copy of your book - I'll waste no time reading it."
    -- Moses Hadas, book reviewer

  48. "This book fills a much-needed gap."
    -- Moses Hadas, book reviewer

  49. "Manuscript: something submitted in haste and returned at leisure."
    -- Oliver Herford

  50. "A writer is like a bag lady going through life with a sack and a pointed stick collecting stuff. "
    -- Tony Hillerman

  51. "When I use a word, it means what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less."
    -- Humpty Dumpty (via Lewis Carroll)

  52. "What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure."
    -- Samuel Johnson

  53. "Why don't you write books people can read?"
    -- Nora Joyce, to her husband James

  54. "One writes to make a home for oneself, on paper, in time, in others' minds."
    -- Alfred Kazin

  55. "It's hard enough to write a good drama, it's much harder to write a good comedy, and it's hardest of all to write a drama with comedy. Which is what life is."
    -- Jack Lemmon

  56. "If you have one strong idea, you can't help repeating it and embroidering it. Sometimes I think that authors should write one novel and then be put in a gas chamber."
    -- John P. Marquand

  57. "After all, all he did was string together a lot of old, well-known quotations."
    -- H. L. Mencken, on Shakespeare

  58. "Author: A fool, who, not content with having bored those who have lived with him, insists on tormenting the generations to come."
    -- Montesquieu

  59. "Writers have an island, a center of refuge, within themselves. It is the mind's anchorage, the soul's Great Good Place."
    -- Wright Morris

  60. "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 Nabokov

  61. "The rule of the writer is not to say what we can all say but what we are unable to say."
    -- Anais Nin

  62. "We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection."
    -- Anais Nin

  63. "Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say."
    -- Sharon O'Brien

  64. "Everywhere I go, I'm asked if the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. "
    -- Flannery O'Connor

  65. "There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher."
    -- Flannery O'Connor

  66. "I might write four lines or I might write twenty. I subtract and I add until I really hit something. You don't always whittle down, sometimes you whittle up."
    -- Grace Paley

  67. "This novel is not to be tossed lightly aside, but hurled with great force."
    -- Dorothy Parker

  68. "The mind wraps itself around a poem. It is almost sensual, particularly if you work on a computer. You can turn the poem round and about and upside down, dancing with it a kind of bolero of two snakes twisting and coiling, until the poem has found its right and proper shape."
    -- Marge Piercy

  69. "To write a good love letter, you ought to begin without knowing what you mean to say, and to finish without knowing what you have written."
    -- Jean Jacques Rousseau

  70. "It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? for the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. Growth is exciting; growth is dynamic and alarming. Growth of the soul, growth of the mind."
    -- Vita Sackville-West

  71. "Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work."
    -- Carl Sandburg

  72. "But have the courage to write whatever your dream is for yourself."
    -- May Sarton

  73. "What I like in a good author isn't what he says, but what he whispers."
    -- Logan Pearsall Smith

  74. "Originality does not consist in saying what no one has ever said before, but in saying exactly what you think yourself. "
    -- James Stephen

  75. "A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure."
    -- Henry David Thoreau

  76. "Anyone nit-picking enough to write a letter of correction to an editor doubtless deserves the error that provoked it."
    -- Alvin Toffler

  77. "I believe in not quite knowing. A writer needs to be doubtful, questioning. I write out of curiousity and bewilderment."
    -- William Trevor

  78. "I've never quite believed that one chance is all I get. Writing is my way of making other chances."
    -- Anne Tyler

  79. "I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead. "
    -- Mark Twain

  80. "Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very"; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be."
    -- Mark Twain

  81. "A poem is never finished, only abandoned."
    -- Paul Valery

  82. "Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary."
    -- Frank L. Visco, How to Write Good

  83. "I don't know which is more discouraging, literature or chickens."
    -- E. B. White

  84. "Biography lends to death a new terror."
    -- Oscar Wilde

  85. "Although written many years ago, Lady Chatterley's Lover has just been reissued by the Grove Press, and this pictorial account of the day-to-day life of an English gamekeeper is full of considerable interest to outdoor minded readers, as it contains many passages on pheasant-raising, the apprehending of poachers, ways to control vermin, and other chores and duties of the professional gamekeeper. Unfortunately, one is obliged to wade through many pages of extraneous material in order to discover and savour those sidelights on the management of a midland shooting estate, and in this reviewer's opinion the book cannot take the place of J. R. Miller's Practical Gamekeeping."
    -- Ed Zern, Field and Stream, November 1959

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