the best writing quotes ever. i’m cereal.

Since we’re all writing a novel in one way or another… below is an organised list of my favorite writing quotes to keep ya’ll inspired.

writers image

Just keep swimming (writing):

“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”
Richard Bach

“Serious writers write, inspired or not. Over time they discover that routine is a better friend than inspiration.”
Ralph Keyes

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

“Imagination is like a muscle. I found out that the more I wrote, the bigger it got.”
 Philip José Farmer

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”

“It is better to write a bad first draft than to write no first draft at all.”
Will Shetterly

“What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks ‘the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat,’…and it might be just the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, ‘Okay. Okay. I’ll come.'”
Maya Angelou

“It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer.”
Gerald Brenan

Write what you know:

“Sit down to write what you have thought, and not to think about what you shall write.”
William Cobbett

“The secret of good writing is telling the truth.”
Gordon Lish

Despite what they say, it’s okay if you don’t have a clear direction/outline:

“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
E.L. Doctorow

“Writing is always a process of discovery—I never know the end, or even the events on the next page, until they happen. There’s a constant interplay between the imagining and shaping of the story.”
Kim Edwards

“Writing is always a process of discovery—I never know the end, or even the events on the next page, until they happen. There’s a constant interplay between the imagining and shaping of the story.”
Kim Edwards

Self-consciousness is a waste of your precious time:

“I really think that if there’s any one enemy to human creativity, especially creative writing, it’s self-consciousness.”
Andre Dubus III

“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

Cut the adverbs, the exclamation marks and the semicolons:

“The road to hell is paved with adverbs.”
Stephen King

“Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be.”
Mark Twain

“Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Remember, you’re not alone:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Ernest Hemingway

“When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth.”
Kurt Vonnegut

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”
Neil Gaiman

“Writing a novel is a terrible experience, during which the hair often falls out and the teeth decay. I’m always irritated by people who imply that writing fiction is an escape from reality. It is a plunge into reality and it’s very shocking to the system.”
Flannery O’Connor

“Read Read Read”:

“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

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

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
Stephen King

Last but not least, LIVE:

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
Jack London 

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
Stephen King

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


  1. “An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke” haha I love F. Scott Fitzgerald! Great post!


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