25 Top Quotes About Writing

If you are thinking about becoming a writer, then finding some inspirational quotes about the art of writing can really help boost your creativity.

If you are looking for some top quotes about writing, I’ve compiled 25 that are worth a read.

It could be just what you need to get past your most recent bout of writer’s block.

The Top Quotes About Writing

1. Richard Ben Cramer

“I’m out there to clean the plate. Once they’ve read what I’ve written on a subject, I want them to think, ‘That’s it!’ I think the highest aspiration people in our trade can have is that once they’ve written a story, nobody will ever try it again.”

2. Annie Proulx

“You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.”

3. Robert Louis Stevenson

“I kept always two books in my pocket: one to read, one to write in.”

4. Enid Bagnold

“Who wants to become a writer? And why? Because it’s the answer to everything. … It’s the streaming reason for living. To note, to pin down, to build up, to create, to be astonished at nothing, to cherish the oddities, to let nothing go down the drain, to make something, to make a great flower out of life, even if it’s a cactus.”

5. Samuel Johnson

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”

6. Mary B.W. Tabor

“One sure window into a person’s soul is his reading list.”

7. Leigh Brackett

“Plot is people. Human emotions and desires founded on the realities of life, working at cross purposes, getting hotter and fiercer as they strike against each other until finally there’s an explosion—that’s Plot.”

8. George Orwell

“When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.”

9. William S. Burroughs

“Cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can’t fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.”

10. Gore Vidal

“Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players. … I have 10 or so, and that’s a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.”

11. Orson Scott

“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.”

12. Mark Twain

“Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.”

13. Natalie Goldberg

“Write what disturbs you, what you fear, what you have not been willing to speak about. Be willing to be split open.”

14. Henry David Thoreau

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”

15. Susan Sontag

“The story must strike a nerve in me. My heart should start pounding when I hear the first line in my head. I start trembling at the risk.”

16. Octavia E. Butler

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence.”

17. Louis L’Amour

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

18. Sylvia Plath

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”

19. Virginia Woolf

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”

20. Stephen King

“When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.”

21. Jodi Picoult

“You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page”

22. Ruth Rendell

“I get a lot of letters from people. They say, “I want to be a writer. What should I do?” I tell them to stop writing to me and get on with it.”

23. E.L. Doctorow

“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.”

24. Anne McCaffrey

“Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences.”

25. Robert Frost

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”

The Final Word on Quotes About Writing

Everyone has a different writing style, so it is helpful to look at lots of different quotes about writing to find a source of inspiration. Even though writing can be a challenge, it is also rewarding.

Finding top quotes about writing and referring back to those quotes is a great way to get the gears spinning.

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