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45 Inspiring Quotes By Writers For Writers

Aspiring writers, or gluttons for punishment as we are also known, know the struggle of trying to reach down deep and find the most perfect words that will create epic sentences that will form some earth-shattering new way of looking at things. We will procrastinate, we will self-critique, we will even sometimes self-destruct; and such is the life. Here are some quotes by writers for writers on how to get by, how to succeed, and what to expect.

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"The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell their truth without humiliating himself." -Eleanor Roosevelt


"Writers must be fair and remember even bad guys (most of them, anyway) see themselves as good-- they are the heroes of their own lives. Giving them a fair chance as characters can create some interesting shades of gray-- and shades of gray are also a part of life." -Stephen King


"Write drunk, edit sober." - Ernest Hemingway


"I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide." -Harper Lee


"All you have to do is write one true sentence, write the truest sentence you know." -Ernest Hemingway


"When you are describing a shape, or sound, or tint; don't state the matter plainly, but put it in a hint, and learn to look at all things with a sort of mental squint." -Lewis Carroll


"You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say." -F. Scott Fitzgerald


"Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised." -John Steinbeck


"There is no 'writer's lifestyle.' All that matters is what you leave on the page." -Zadie Smith


"First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you're inspired or not. Habit will help you finish your stories, inspiration won't. Habit is persistence in practice." -Octavia Butler


"It takes a heap of sense to write good nonsense." -Mark Twain


"Don't forget-- no one else sees the world the way you do, so no one else can tell the stories that you have to tell." -Charles de Lint


"Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it, and sometimes you're doing good work when it feels like all you're managing to do is shovel shit from a sitting position." -Stephen King


"Be obscure clearly." -E.B. White


"Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way." -E.L. Doctorow


"All writing problems are psychological problems. Blocks usually stem from the fear of being judged. If you imagine the world listening, you'll never write a line. That's why privacy is so important. You should write first drafts as if they will never be shown to anyone." -Erica Jong


"The idea is to write so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight into the heart." -Maya Angelou


"Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential." -Jessamyn West


"If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends) 'Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?' Chances are, you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self confident. The real one is scared to death." - Steven Pressfield


"There is no secret to success except hard work and getting something indefinable which we call 'the breaks.' In order for a writer to succeed, I suggest three things- read and write- and wait." -Countee Cullen


"The daily act of writing remains as demanding and maddening as it was before, and the pleasure you get from writing, rare but profound, remains at the true heart of the enterprise. On their best days, writers all over the world are winning Pulitzers, all alone in their studios, with no one watching." -Jeffery Eugenides


"The writer must be in it, he can't be to one side of it, ever. He has to be endangered by it. His own attitudes have to be tested in it. The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always." -Arthur Miller


"Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way." -Charles Bukowski


"You might not write well every day but you can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page." -Jodi Picoult


"And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt." -Sylvia Plath


"You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write." -Saul Bellow


"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." -William Wordsworth


"Writing is both masking and unveiling." -E.B. White


"You can't wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club." -Jack London


"You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you." -Ray Bradbury


"You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better." -Anne Lamott


"Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia." -Kurt Vonnegut


"The only story that seems worth writing is a cry, a shot, a scream. A story should break the reader's heart." -Susan Sontag


"Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on." -Louis L'Amour


"There's nothing to stop a man from writing unless that man stops himself. If a man truly desires to write, then he will. Rejection and ridicule will only strengthen him. And the longer he is held back, the stronger he will become, like a mass of rising water against a dam. There is no losing in writing, it will make our toes laugh as you sleep, it will make you stride like a tiger, it will fire the eye and put you face to face with death. You will die a fighter, you will be honored in hell. The luck of the word. Go with it, send it." -Charles Bukowski


"Writing is so difficult that I feel that writers, having had their hell on earth, will escape all punishment hereafter." -Jessamyn West


"The most solid advice for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough." -William Saroyan


"Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand." -George Orwell


"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." -Ernest Hemingway


"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." -J.K. Rowling


"You just have to trust your own madness." -Clive Barker


"No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader." -Robert Frost


"Re-examine all that you have been told... dismiss that which insults your soul." -Walt Whitman


"Expansion, that is the idea the novelist must cling to, not the completion, not rounding off, but opening out." -E.M. Forster


"In the end, we write simply because we can't help it. It's a little bit like love. It's not something you plan because it's 'good for you.' It's something you fall into because you're made of the same material. So falling is your inevitable way of returning home." -Andrea Balt

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