50 of the Greatest Quotes for Writers

50 of the Greatest Quotes for Writers

Having a hard time finding your muse today? That feeling when you can’t seem to find the right words and you’re stuck―the ever present battle against resistance is overwhelming―don’t be surprised! This is part of our becoming as writers. And as pros, we must show up, sit for hours, and embrace our callings―to write.

To tell our stories, share our ideas, provide our services, and simply enjoy writing itself―it’s a day of rediscovering the art.

Here’s a roundup of timeless quotes from the veterans and pros to remind us that we are not alone. They have experienced the good, the bad and the ugly days, too, but didn’t quit.

So, don’t give up. Start writing and if you’re going through hell as you write, get through it. You’ll never know what you can create from it.

50. “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” ― Stephen King

49. “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” ― Mark Twain

48. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” ― Anaïs Nin

47. “Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.” ― William Faulkner

46. “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ― Louis L’Amour

45. “To become an able and successful man in any profession, three things are necessary: nature, study, and practice.” ― Henry Ward Beecher

44. “The highest reward for man’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.” ― John Ruskin

43. “Go beyond yourself ― write.” ― Pearle Louise Munn Bishop

42. “Let those who want to save the world if you can get to see it clear and as a whole. Then any part you make will represent the whole if it’s made truly. The thing to do is work and learn to make it.” ― Ernest Hemingway

41. “When a writer is able to experience the whole range of human emotions, from deep depressions to glorious highs, it creates a whole inventory of feelings and musings from which they can choose and infuse into their words and characters.” ― David Perry


40. “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” ― Douglas Adams

39. “One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” ― Jack Kerouac

38. “A blank piece of paper is God’s way of telling us how hard it is to be God.” ― Sidney Sheldon

37. “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.” ― Joan Didion

36. “Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.” ― Nathaniel Hawthorne

35. “Any writer worth his salt writes to please himself…It’s a self-exploratory operation that is endless. An exorcism of not necessarily his demon, but of his divine discontent.” ― Harper Lee

34. “The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon.” ― Robert Cormier

33. “Writers are the exorcists of their own demons.” ― Mario Vargas Llosa

32. “Words bounce. Words, if you let them, will do what they want to do and what they have to do.” ― Anne Carson

31. “Writer’s block? I’ve heard of this. This is when a writer cannot write, yes? Then that person isn’t a writer anymore. I’m sorry, but the job is getting up in the fucking morning and writing for a living.” ― Warren Ellis


30. “I don’t ask writers about their work habits. I really don’t care. Joyce Carol Oates says somewhere that when writers ask each other what time they start working and when they finish and how much time they take for lunch, they’re actually trying to find out, “Is he as crazy as I am?” I don’t need that question answered.” ― Philip Roth

29. “There is no such thing as an “aspiring writer”. You are a writer. Period.” ― Matthew Reilly

28. “Writing is really just a matter of writing a lot, writing consistently and having faith that you’ll continue to get better and better. Sometimes, people think that if they don’t display great talent and have some success right away, they won’t succeed. But writing is about struggling through and learning and finding out what it is about writing itself that you really love.” ― Laura Kasischke

27. “Writing is the geometry of the soul. ” ― Plato

26. “I have forced myself to begin writing when I’ve been utterly exhausted, when I’ve felt my soul as thin as a playing card…and somehow the activity of writing changes everything.” ― Joyce Carol Oates

25. “Nobody told all the new e-mail writers that the essence of writing is rewriting. Just because they are writing with ease and enjoyment doesn’t mean they are writing well.” ― William Zinsser

24. “In order to write the book you want to write, in the end you have to become the person you need to become to write that book.” ― Junot Díaz

23. “It just happens to be the way that I’m made. I have to write things down to feel I fully comprehend them.” ― Haruki Murakami

22. “The words get easier the moment you stop fearing them.” ― Tahereh Mafi

21. “If you can quit, then quit. If you can’t quit, you’re a writer.” ― R.A. Salvatore

20. “Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing.” ― E.L. Doctorow

19. “It’s good for you to write down your thoughts. It’s therapeutic because it forces you to slow down and think about life.” ― Katie Kacvinsky

18. “I write because I must. It’s not a choice or a pastime, it’s an unyielding calling and my passion.” ― Elizabeth Reyes

17. “My goal is to write every day. I say it is my ideal. I am careful not to pass judgment or create anxiety if I do not do it. No one lives up to his ideal.” ― Natalie Goldberg

16. “The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can’t help it.” ― Leo Rosten

15. “I write because I cannot NOT write.” ― Charlotte Brontë

14. “Only amateurs say that they write for their own amusement. Writing is not an amusing occupation. It is a combination of ditch-digging, mountain-climbing, treadmill and childbirth. Writing may be interesting, absorbing, exhilarating, racking, relieving. But amusing? Never!” ― Edna Ferber

13. “My perfect day is sitting in a room with some blank paper. That’s heaven. That’s gold and anything else is just a waste of time.” ― Cormac McCarthy

12. “I’m an aspiring writer.’ I hate that phrase. You’re either a writer or you’re not.” ― Jake Black

11. “Words have weight.” ― Stephen King


10. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” ― Henry Ford

9. “If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities.” ― Dale Carnegie

8. “If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.” – Ayn Rand

7. “A true piece of writing is a dangerous thing. It can change your life.” ― Tobias Wolff

6. “Writing is thinking on paper.” — William Zinsser

5. “There’s no such thing as perfect writing, just like there’s no such thing as perfect despair.” — Haruki Murakami

4. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.” — Stephen King

3. “The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” — Steven Pressfield

2. “Writing wasn’t easy and wasn’t fun. It was hard and lonely, and the words seldom just flowed.” — William Zinsser

1. “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightening to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.” ― Chuck Close


Would you like to share your favorite quote(s) to our readers? Much better, why not write your personal quote on comments below to motivate us.

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