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Quotes on Writing

10 Years Ago


Here are some quotes on writing:   There's nothing to writing.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.  ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.  ~Ray Bradbury
The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.  ~Anaïs Nin

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.  ~E.L. Doctorow
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.  ~Sylvia Plath If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.  ~Toni Morrison I'm not a very good writer, but I'm an excellent rewriter.  ~James Michener


The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction.  By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is you really want to say.  ~Mark Twain


The wastebasket is a writer's best friend.  ~Isaac Bashevis Singer


Don't be too harsh to these poems until they're typed.  I always think typescript lends some sort of certainty:  at least, if the things are bad then, they appear to be bad with conviction.  ~Dylan Thomas, letter to Vernon Watkins, March 1938


Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.  ~William Wordsworth


The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.  ~Vladimir Nabakov
Easy reading is damn hard writing.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne


Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies.  ~Emme Woodhull-Bäche


Metaphors have a way of holding the most truth in the least space.  ~Orson Scott Card


A metaphor is like a simile.  ~Author Unknown


The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.  ~Mark Twain
If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood.  I'd type a little faster.  ~Isaac Asimov Words - so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.  ~Nathaniel Hawthorne


A critic can only review the book he has read, not the one which the writer wrote.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.
~William Safire, "Great Rules of Writing"
A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the other one.  ~Baltasar Gracián


When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.  ~Enrique Jardiel Poncela
The only cure for writer's block is insomnia.  ~Merit Antares

I'd rather be caught holding up a bank than stealing so much as a two-word phrase from another writer.  ~Jack Smith The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes.  ~Agatha Christie