Top 10 Quotes About Writing

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As we close out this year, I know I’m thinking about what I did and did not accomplish (more of the latter, I’m afraid!) and how to make changes for the new year. But, to end on a positive note, I’ve pulled some of my favorite quotes about writing. I plan to use these to motivate, inspire, and push me…and I hope they do the same for you!

On Reading

I’ve been advised many times to read more in order to write better. That, and it’s fun. We all got into this because we love to read, right? So make time for it! Don’t believe me? Listen to the masters.

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”
–Stephen King

“Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”
–William Faulkner

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

Good writing is easy to read. At least, that’s a maxim I believe. It’s also true that good writing, which is easy to read is not easy to do! Here are my favorite “craft” quotes.

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

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”
—Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.”

-Elmore Leonard

Get ‘Er Done

When I was working on my master’s, I was reminded the best thesis is a complete thesis. While that might not always be true, there’s a striking difference between those who complete a book and those who have to be so perfect it never gets done. You can edit a manuscript. You can’t edit a blank piece of paper. For those of you who need a push, listen to the best sellers.

“I don’t get writer’s block because I don’t believe in it. I believe you sit in front of the computer and force your fingers to get something on the screen.”
― Janet Evanovich

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

“Be ruthless about protecting writing days, i.e., do not cave in to endless requests to have ‘essential’ and ‘long overdue’ meetings on those days.

-JK Rowling

Miscellaneous…But They Ring True

Finally, my last ones just rang true for me. The Virginia Woolf one made me laugh, and Steinbeck was so right about being on a roll. Happy writing!

“Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.”
–Virginia Woolf

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”
John Steinbeck

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About Author

Mary is a young adult writer and archaeologist. By day she teaches at a local college, and by night she writes about the adventures of adolescence.

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