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 mollyfennig.com/insomnus). 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
  40. “All fiction has to have a certain amount of truth in it to be powerful.” -George R.R. Martin 
  41. “What I don’t write is as important as what I write.” -Jamaica Kincaid
  42. “Even if you only wrote one word, it’s more than those who wrote none.” -Unknown
  43. “One must be ruthless with one’s own writing or someone else will be.” -John Berryman
  44. “Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.” -Erica Jong
  45. “Fairy tales are more than true, not because they tell us that dragons exist, but that dragons can be beaten.” -Unknown
  46. “You can fix anything but a blank page.” -Nora Roberts
  47. “Don’t make your protagonist fight the whole world at once, but make it feel like they are.” -Molly Fennig
  48. “A writer is simply a photographer of thoughts.” -Unknown
  49. “I hate writing, but I love having written.” -Dorthy Parker
  50. “Writing is somewhere between torture and fun.” -Unknown
  51. “Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.” -Pablo Picasso
  52. “A villain is just a victim whose story hasn’t been told.” -Chris Colfer
  53. “Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously.” Lev Grossman
  54. “I learned to write by reading the kinds of books I wished I’d written.” -Barbara Kingsolver
  55. “Writing seems hard because… It’s one of the hardest things people do.” -William Zinsser
  56. “If you wish to be a writer, write.” -Epictetus
  57. “I love reading. It’s a great way to avoid writing.” -Tony Kushner
  58. “Get your facts first then you may distort them as you please.” -Mark Twain
  59. “You don’t have to say everything to say something.” -Beth Moore
  60. “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
  61. “The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you.” –W. Somerset Maugham
  62. “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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