Selected Quotes about Writers

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster. -- Isaac Asimov

I don't wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work. -- Pearl S. Buck

In a mood of faith and hope my work goes on. A ream of fresh paper lies on my desk waiting for the next book. I am a writer and I take up my pen to write. -- Pearl S. Buck

I am writing in the garden. To write as one should of a garden one must write not outside it or merely somewhere near it, but in the garden. -- Frances Hodgson Burnett

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself. -- Albert Camus

Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand -- a business as safe and commendable as making soap or breakfast foods -- or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values. -- Willa Cather

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. -- Winston Churchill

The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense. -- Tom Clancy

Poetry: the best words in the best order. -- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

All human beings have an innate need to hear and tell stories and to have a story to live by ... religion, whatever else it has done, has provided one of the main ways of meeting this abiding need. -- Harvey Cox

The test of literature is, I suppose, whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it. -- Elizabeth Drew

Put the argument into a concrete shape, into an image, some hard phrase, round and solid as a ball, which they can see and handle and carry home with them, and the cause is half won. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

The reality is more excellent than the report. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

There was never a good biography of a good novelist. There couldn't be. He is too many people if he's any good. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald

Critics are by no means the end of the law. Do not think all is over with you because you articles are rejected. It may be that the editor has his drawer full, or that he does not know enough to appreciate you, or you have not gained a reputation, or he is not in a mood to be pleased. A critic's judgment is like that of any intelligent person. If he has experience, he is capable of judging whether a book will sell. That is all. -- Lavina Goodell

Good things, when short, are twice as good. -- Gracin

Anyone who believes you can't change history has never tried to write his memoirs. -- David Ben Gurion

If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don't listen to writers talking about writing or themselves. -- Lillian Hellman

Women do not always have to write about women, or gay men about gay men. Indeed, something good and new might happen if they did not. -- Kathryn Hughes

Take care that you never spell a word wrong. Always before you write a word, consider how it is spelled, and, if you do not remember, turn to a dictionary. It produces great praise to a lady to spell well. -- Thomas Jefferson

Fiction is the truth inside the lie. -- Stephen King

One of the obligations of the writer is to say or sing all that he or she can, to deal with as much of the world as becomes possible to him or her in language. -- Denise Levertov

Arguments over grammar and style are often as fierce as those over IBM versus Mac, and as fruitless as Coke versus Pepsi and boxers versus briefs. -- Jack Lynch

Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. There's many a best-seller that could have been prevented by a good teacher. -- Flannery O'Conner

Everywhere I go, I'm asked if the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don't stifle enough of them. -- Flannery O'Connor

Yes there is a meaning; at least for me, there is one thing that matters - to set a chime of words tinkling in the minds of a few fastidious people. -- Logan Pearsall Smith

A short saying often contains much wisdom. -- Sophocles

Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don't feel I should be doing something else. -- Gloria Steinem

I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English - it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them - then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice. -- Mark Twain

There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn't because the book is not there and worth being written -- it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself. -- Mark Twain

To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself...Anybody can have ideas--the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph. -- Mark Twain

Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn't matter. I'm not sure a bad person can write a good book, If art doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for. -- Alice Walker

Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn't matter. I'm not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn't make us better, then what on earth is it for. -- Alice Walker

Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking. -- Jessamyn West

English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education -- sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. -- E. B. White

Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it. -- Oscar Wilde

It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything. -- Virginia Woolf

When, however, one reads of a witch being ducked, of a woman possessed by devils, of a wise woman selling herbs, or even a very remarkable man who had a mother, then I think we are on the track of a lost novelist, a suppressed poet. . . indeed, I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman. -- Virginia Woolf

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

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