Monday, March 26, 2012

Quotes from writers about writing

Here are some of my favourite quotes about writing from writers. Personally, I struggle to even out my thoughts without a good, energy consuming project and what better long-term project is there than writing for someone addicted to stories and escapism. It only remains to be seen whether this leads me anywhere other than fantasyland.
For me, writing is cathartic.

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
 - Cyril Connolly

Writing is a cop-out. An excuse to live perpetually in fantasy land, where you can create, direct and watch the products of your own head. Very selfish.
 - Monica Dickens

There are many reasons why novelists write – but they all have one thing in common: a need to create an alternative world.
 - John Fowles

Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.
 - Melinda Haynes

Writing wasn’t easy to start. After I finally did it, I realized it was the most direct contact possible with the part of myself I thought I had lost, and which I constantly find new things from. Writing also includes the possibility of living many lives as well as living in any time or world possible. I can satisfy my enthusiasm for research, but jump like a calf outside the strict boundaries of science. I can speak about things that are important to me and somebody listens. It’s wonderful!
 - Virpi Hämeen-Anttila

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don't try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It's the one and only thing you have to offer.
 - Barbara Kingsolver

Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted.
 - Jules Renard

Reading usually precedes writing and the impulse to write is almost always fired by reading. Reading, the love of reading, is what makes you dream of becoming a writer.
 - Susan Sontag

Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it.
 - Jesse Stuart

I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten - happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.
 - Brenda Ueland

I can’t help but to write, I have a inner need for it. If I’m not in the middle of some literary project, I’m utterly lost, unhappy and distressed. As soon as I get started, I calm down.
 - Kaari Utrio

If you're a freelance writer and aren't used to being ignored, neglected, and generally given short shrift, you must not have been in the business very long.
 - Poppy Z. Brite

Writing is the hardest work in the world. I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you – as if you haven't been told a million times already – that writing is harder.  Lonelier. And nobler and more enriching.
 - Harlan Ellison

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.
 - Robert A. Heinlein

It's tougher than Himalayan yak jerky on January. But, as any creative person will tell you, there are days when there's absolutely nothing sweeter than creating something from nothing.
 - Richard Krzemien

Writing is not a genteel profession. It's quite nasty and tough and kind of dirty.
 - Rosemary Mahoney

People are certainly impressed by the aura of creative power, which a writer may wear, but can easily demolish it with a few well-chosen questions. Bob Shaw has observed that the deadliest questions usually come as a pair: "Have you published anything?" – loosely translated as: I've never heard of you – and "What name do you write under?" – loosely translatable as: I've definitely never heard of you.
 - Brian Stableford

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.
 - Red Smith

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

I was working on the proof of one of my poems all the morning, and took out a comma. In the afternoon I put it back again.
 - Oscar Wilde

If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I'd type a little faster.
 - Isaac Asimov

Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed.
 - Ray Bradbury

Life is what happens to a writer between drafts.
 - Damon (aka Dennis R. Miller)

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

You can't say, I won't write today because that excuse will extend into several days, then several months, then… you are not a writer anymore, just someone who dreams about being a writer.
 - Dorothy C. Fontana

The way you define yourself as a writer is that you write every time you have a free minute. If you didn't behave that way you would never do anything.
 - John Irving

Writing is a fairly lonely business unless you invite people in to watch you do it, which is often distracting and then have to ask them to leave.
 - Marc Lawrence

You may be able to take a break from writing, but you won't be able to take a break from being a writer.
 - Stephen Leigh

One hasn't become a writer until one has distilled writing into a habit, and that habit has been forced into an obsession. Writing has to be an obsession. It has to be something as organic, physiological and psychological as speaking or sleeping or eating.
 - Niyi Osundare

God sells us all things at the price of the labor.
 - Leonardo da Vinci

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