A good quote on writing can leave you feeling inspired. That’s why I always make sure I have a list of my favourites close by.

Here’s my top 25.

#1 “This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it’s done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”
—Neil Gaiman

#2 “The writer must earn money in order to be able to live and to write, but he must by no means live and write for the purpose of making money.”
—Karl Marx

#3 “Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.”
—Hunter S. Thompson

#4 “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”
—William Faulkner

#5 “So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.”
—Virginia Woolf

#6 “Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.”
—Carlos Ruiz Zafón

#7 “Anecdotes don’t make good stories. Generally I dig down underneath them so far that the story that finally comes out is not what people thought their anecdotes were about.”
—Alice Munro

#8 “There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
—W. Somerset Maugham

#9 “You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.”
—F. Scott Fitzgerald

#10 “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
—Maya Angelou

#11 “When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people, not characters. A character is a caricature.”
—Ernest Hemingway

#12 “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.”
—Elmore Leonard

#13 “I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
—Anne Frank

#14 “When he [C.S. Lewis] would say, ‘You can do better than that.  Better, Tolkien, please!’  I would try.  I’d sit down and write the section over and over.  That happened with the scene I think is the best in the book, the confrontation between Gandalf and his rival wizard, Saruman, in the ravaged city of Isengard.”
—J.R.R Tolkein

#15 “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”
―J.D. Salinger

#16 “Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.”
—Henry David Thoreau

#17 “When writers die they become books, which is, after all, not too bad an incarnation.”
—Jorge Luis Borges

#18 “Writing is its own reward.”
—Henry Miller

#19 “Only in men’s imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life.”
—Joseph Conrad

#20 “Writers do not live one life, they live two. There is the living and then there is the writing. There is the second tasting, the delayed reaction.”
—Anaïs Nin

#21 “I can’t write five words but that I change seven.”
—Dorothy Parker

#22 “In general…there’s no point in writing hopeless novels. We all know we’re going to die; what’s important is the kind of men and women we are in the face of this.”
—Anne Lamott

#23 “Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.”
—Orson Scott Card

#24 “The writer must believe that what he is doing is the most important thing in the world. And he must hold to this illusion even when he knows it is not true.”
—John Steinbeck

#25 “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”
—Thomas Mann

What are some of your favourite quotes on writing? Make sure you add them to the list in the comments.

Krystina Pecorari-McBride

Krystina Pecorari-McBride

Krystina is a writer, lawn flamingo enthusiast & founder of Writing Journey Co. She would love to fall headfirst into a book and live there. Or down the rabbit hole...


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