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62 Quotes About Writing

I just sold my 40th copy of my book, InSomnus, on its fourth day in publication! (To learn more about it, go to If you haven’t yet purchased a copy, you can get your copy on Amazon

Here are 62 inspirational quotes about writing (for other writers, myself as I start writing again, and anyone in need of a little motivation.) 

62 Writing Quotes
  1. “Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.” -Cyril Connolly

  2. “Anyone who is going to be a writer knows enough at 15 to write several novels.” —May Sarton

  3. “The scariest moment is always just before you start.” -Steven King

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

  5. “Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.” -Lloyd Alexander

  6. “I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.” -James Michener

  7. “I leave out the parts that people skip.” -Elmore Leonard

  8. “Write something that people may not ‘enjoy’ but will never forget.” -Chuck Palahniuk

  9. “Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it, the writing will be as it should be.” – Mark Twain

  10. “Every book you pick up has its own lesson… Often the bad books have more to teach than the good ones.”-Steven King

  11. “Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.” -Mark Twain

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

  13. “Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way.” -Ray Bradbury

  14. “Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes, work never begun.” -Christina Rossetti

  15. “It is perfectly okay to write garbage—as long as you edit brilliantly.” – C. J. Cherryh

  16. “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” – Douglas Adams

  17. “The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with.” –William Faulkner

  18. “All we can do is to write dutifully and day after day, every day, giving our work the very best of what we are capable.” -Madeleine L’engle

  19. “Sometimes it takes years for a person to become an overnight success.” -Prince

  20. “No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader’s intelligence or whose attitude is patronizing.” – E. B. White

  21. “If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.” -Edgar Rice Burroughs

  22. “Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you’d most like not to lose.” -Neil Gaiman

  23. “There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” –Joseph Brodsky

  24. “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” -Ben Franklin

  25. “What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.” -Samuel Johnson

  26. “No two persons ever read the same book.” -Edmund Wilson

  27. “I don’t think writers should write about answers, I think writers should write about questions.” -Paul Haggis

  28. “If I waited for perfection I would never write a word.” -Margaret Atwood

  29. “Don’t be ‘a writer’. Be writing.” -William Faulkner

  30. “Every writer I know has trouble writing.” -Joseph Heller

  31. “Fiction writing is the act of weaving a series of lies to arrive at a greater truth.” -Khaled Hosseini

  32. “Fiction is the truth inside the lie.” -Stephen King

  33. “The only thing more tormenting than writing is not writing.” -Cynthia Ozick

  34. “Every character should want something, even if it’s only a glass of water.” -Kurt Vonnegut

  35. “The thing all writers do best is find ways to avoid writing.” Alan Dean Foster

  36. “Work finally begins when the fear of doing nothing exceeds the fear of doing it badly.” -Alain de Botton

  37. “We do not remember days, we remember moments.” Cesare Pavese

  38. “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” -Anton Chekhov

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

“All fiction has to have a certain amount of truth in it to be powerful.” -George R.R. Martin 

  1. “What I don’t write is as important as what I write.” -Jamaica Kincaid

  2. “Even if you only wrote one word, it’s more than those who wrote none.” -Unknown

  3. “One must be ruthless with one’s own writing or someone else will be.” -John Berryman

  4. “Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.” -Erica Jong

  5. “Fairy tales are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but that dragons can be beaten.” -Unknown

  6. “You can fix anything but a blank page.” -Nora Roberts

  7. “Don’t make your protagonist fight the whole world at once, but make it feel like they are.” -Molly Fennig

  8. “A writer is simply a photographer of thoughts.” -Unknown

  9. “I hate writing, but I love having written.” -Dorthy Parker

  10. “Writing is somewhere between torture and fun.” -Unknown

  11. “Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.” -Pablo Picasso

  12. “A villain is just a victim whose story hasn’t been told.” -Chris Colfer

  13. “Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously.” Lev Grossman

  14. “I learned to write by reading the kinds of books I wished I’d written.” -Barbara Kingsolver

  15. “Writing seems hard because… It’s one of the hardest things people do.” -William Zinsser

  16. “If you wish to be a writer, write.” -Epictetus

  17. “I love reading. It’s a great way to avoid writing.” -Tony Kushner

  18. “Get your facts first then you may distort them as you please.” -Mark Twain

  19. “You don’t have to say everything to say something.” -Beth Moore

  20. “Writing a book is like telling a joke and having to wait 2 years to know whether or not it was funny.” -Alain de Botton

  21. “The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you.” –W. Somerset Maugham

  22. “The worst thing you write is better than the best thing you did not write.” -Unknown

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What’s your favorite quote? Comment below.

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