185 Total Quotes

Writers And Writing Quotes

Brian Aldiss
Writers must fortify themselves with pride and egotism as best they can. The process is analogous to using sandbags and loose timbers to protect a house against flood. Writers are vulnerable creatures like anyone else. For what do they have in reality? Not sandbags, not timbers. Just a flimsy reputation and a name.
Brian Aldiss
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Four basic premises of writing: clarity, brevity, simplicity, and humanity.
William Zinsser
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John Wesley
Once in seven years I burn all my sermons; for it is a shame if I cannot write better sermons now than I did seven years ago.
John Wesley
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Robertson Davies
I think of an author as somebody who goes into the marketplace and puts down his rug and says, ''I will tell you a story,'' and then he passes the hat.
Robertson Davies
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George Bernard Shaw
You must not suppose, because I am a man of letters, that I never tried to earn an honest living.
George Bernard Shaw
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I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better.
J. Liebling
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Henry David Thoreau
How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.
Henry David Thoreau
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Willa Cather
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
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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
He who does not expect a million readers should not write a line.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
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T.S. Eliot
Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.
T.S. Eliot
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Of the creative spirits that flourished in Concord, Massachusetts, during the middle of the nineteenth century, it might be said that Hawthorne loved men but felt estranged from them, Emerson loved ideas even more than men, and Thoreau loved himself.
Leon Edel
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Yes, it's hard to write, but it's harder not to.
Carl Doren
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Oliver Wendell Holmes
The older author is constantly rediscovering himself in the more or less fossilized productions of his earlier years.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
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I was an only child. I lost both my parents. By the time I was twenty I was bald. I'm homosexual. In the way of circumstances and background to transcend I had everything an artist could possibly want. It was practically a blueprint. I was programmed to be a novelist or a playwright. But I'm not.
Alan Bennett
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Every writer is a narcissist. This does not mean that he is vain; it only means that he is hopelessly self-absorbed.
Leo Rosten
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You who write, choose a subject suited to your abilities and think long and hard on what your powers are equal to and what they are unable to perform.
Horace,
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I make no complaint. I am a writer. I do not accept my condition; I will strive to change it; but I inhabit it, I am trying to learn from it.
Salman Rushdie
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Vita Sackville-West
It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? for the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. Growth is exciting; growth is dynamic and alarming. Growth of the soul, growth of the mind.
Vita Sackville-West
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The writer has a grudge against society, which he documents with accounts of unsatisfying sex, unrealized ambition, unmitigated loneliness, and a sense of local and global distress. The square, overpopulation, the bourgeois, the bomb and the cocktail party are variously identified as sources of the grudge. There follows a little obscenity here, a dash of philosophy there, considerable whining overall, and a modern satirical novel is born.
Renata Adler
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Susan Sontag
The writer is either a practicing recluse or a delinquent, guilt-ridden one; or both. Usually both.
Susan Sontag
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Ernest Hemingway
The writer must write what he has to say, not speak it.
Ernest Hemingway
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Every writer ''creates'' his own precursors. His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future.
Jorge Borges
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Whores and writers, Mahound. We are the people you can't forgive.
Salman Rushdie
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The need to express oneself in writing springs from a mal-adjustment to life, or from an inner conflict which the adolescent (or the grown man) cannot resolve in action. Those to whom action comes as easily as breathing rarely feel the need to break loose from the real, to rise above, and describe it... I do not mean that it is enough to be maladjusted to become a great writer, but writing is, for some, a method of resolving a conflict, provided they have the necessary talent.
Andre Maurois
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The only phenomenon with which writing has always been concomitant is the creation of cities and empires, that is the integration of large numbers of individuals into a political system, and their grading into castes or classes. It seems to have favored the exploitation of human beings rather than their enlightenment.
Claude Levi-Strauss
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Henry David Thoreau
A perfectly healthy sentence, it is true, is extremely rare. For the most part we miss the hue and fragrance of the thought; as if we could be satisfied with the dews of the morning or evening without their colors, or the heavens without their azure.
Henry David Thoreau
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A writer is a person who has solutions for which there are no riddles.
Gregory Nunn
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William Hazlitt
The characteristic of Chaucer is intensity: of Spencer, remoteness: of Milton elevation and of Shakespeare everything.
William Hazlitt
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Ernest Hemingway
They can't yank a novelist like they can a pitcher. A novelist has to go the full nine, even if it kills him.
Ernest Hemingway
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Oscar Wilde
This morning I took out a comma and this afternoon I put it back in again.
Oscar Wilde
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