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Quotations about writing

John AdamsLet us tenderly and kindly cherish therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.

 - John Adams

Stephen KingI write to find out what I think, and what I found out writing The Colorado Kid was that maybe -- I say just maybe -- it's the beauty of the mystery that allows us to live sane as we pilot our fragile bodies through this demolition-derby world.

 - Stephen King

Stephen KingI am always chilled and astonished by the would-be writers who ask me for advice and admit, quite blithely, that they "don't have time to read." This is like a guy starting up Mount Everest saying that he didn't have time to buy any rope or pitons.

 - Stephen King

Clarissa Pinkola EstesWriting, real writing, should leave a small sweet bruise somewhere on the writer . . . and on the reader.

 - Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Robert OrbenDo you realize what would happen if Moses were alive today? He'd go up to Mount Sinai, come back with the Ten Commandments, and spend the next eight years trying to get published.

 - Robert Orben

Robin HobbThe second thing you have to do to be a writer is to keep on writing. Don't listen to people who tell you that very few people get published and you won't be one of them. Don't listen to your friend who says you are better that Tolkien and don't have to try any more. Keep writing, keep faith in the idea that you have unique stories to tell, and tell them.

I meet far too many people who are going to be writers 'someday.' When they are out of high school, when they've finished college, after the wedding, when the kids are older, after I retire . . . That is such a trap You will never have any more free time than you do right now. So, whether you are 12 or 70, you should sit down today and start being a writer if that is what you want to do. You might have to write on a notebook while your kids are playing on the swings or write in your car on your coffee break. That's okay. I think we've all 'been there, done that.' It all starts with the writing.

 - Robin Hobb

Ray BradburyEvery dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme.

 - Ray Bradbury

Neil GaimanYou get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it.

 - Neil Gaiman

Blaise PascalThere are some who speak well and write badly. For the place and the audience warm them, and draw from their minds more than they think of without that warmth.

 - Blaise Pascal

Yoshida KenkoTo while away the idle hours, seated the livelong day before the ink slab, by jotting down without order or purpose whatever trifling thoughts pass through my mind, truly this is a queer and crazy thing to do!

 - Yoshida Kenko

Yoshida KenkoOne should write not unskillfully in the running hand, be able to sing in a pleasing voice and keep good time to music; and lastly, a man should not refuse a little wine when it is pressed upon him.

 - Yoshida Kenko

Salman RushdieGo for broke. Always try and do too much. Dispense with safety nets. Take a deep breath before you begin talking. Aim for the stars. Keep grinning. Be bloody-minded. Argue with the world. And never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things--childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves--that go on slipping , like sand, through our fingers.

 - Salman Rushdie

True ease in writing comes from art, not chance, As those move easiest who have learned to dance.

 - Alexander Pope

John AdamsThe jaws of power are always opened to devour and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.

 - John Adams

Henry Brooks AdamsThe difference is slight, to the influence of an author, whether he is read by five hundred readers, or by five hundred thousand; if he can select the five hundred, he reaches the five hundred thousand.

 - Henry Brooks Adams

John AdamsA pen is certainly an excellent instrument to fix a man's attention and to inflame his ambition.

 - John Adams

Isaac AsimovScience fiction writers foresee the inevitable, and although problems and catastrophes may be inevitable, solutions are not.

 - Isaac Asimov

Horace Too indolent to bear the toil of writing; I mean of writing well; I say nothing about quantity.

 - Horace

Blaise PascalThe last thing that we discover in writing a book is to know what to put at the beginning.

 - Blaise Pascal

Aldous HuxleyI have discovered the most exciting, the most arduous literary form of all, the most difficult to master, the most pregnant in curious possibilities. I mean the advertisement. . . . It is far easier to write ten passably effective sonnets, good enough to take in the not too inquiring critic, than one effective advertisement that will take in a few thousand of the uncritical buying public.

 - Aldous Huxley

He that will write well in any tongue, must follow this counsel of Aristotle, to speak as the common people do, to think as wise men do; and so should every man understand him, and the judgment of wise men allow him.

 - Roger Ascham

Joseph AddisonA true critic ought to dwell rather upon excellencies than imperfections, to discover the concealed beauties of a writer, and communicate to the world such things as are worth their observation.

 - Joseph Addison

Samuel JohnsonThe 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.

 - Samuel Johnson

William FaulknerI decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this.

I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past.

 - William Faulkner

Anne FrankI want to go on living even after my death! And therefore I am grateful to God for giving me this gift, this possibility of developing my-self and of writing, of expressing all that is in me. I can shake off everything if I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.

 - Anne Frank

Samuel Taylor ColeridgeReviewers are usually people who would have been poets, historians, biographers . . . if they could; they have tried their talents at one or the other, and have failed; therefore they turn critics.

 - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor ColeridgeIn poetry, in which every line, every phrase, may pass the ordeal of deliberation and deliberate choice, it is possible, and barely possible, to attain that ultimatum which I have ventured to propose as the infallible test of a blameless style; namely: its untranslatableness in words of the same language without injury to the meaning.

 - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

William StrunkVigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.

 - William Strunk