Writer’s Life Quotes


“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” — Stephen King

“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.”
—Enid Bagnold

“The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels…. These things are your becoming.” —Cheryl Strayed

“The woman who survives intact and happy must at once be tender and tough. She must have convinced herself, or be in the unending process of convincing herself that she, her values, and her choices are important. ~ Maya Angelou

“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. The poet’s voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.” ~ William Faulkner

I think it is just as important to sing about beautiful mornings as it is to talk about slums. I just couldn’t write anything without hope in it. ~ Oscar Hammerstein

On the artist’s journey we are redefining and reconfiguring ourselves and our lives. ~ Steven Pressfield.

You just have to work with what God sends, and if God doesn’t seem to understand the concept of commercial success, then that’s your bad luck.~ Michael Frayn

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. ~ Ernest Hemingway

We need to ascend beyond our own petty Resistance, our own negative self-judgment and self-sabotage, our own “I’m not worthy” mind-set. ~Steven Pressfield.

A controller doesn’t trust his/her ability to live through the pain and chaos of life. There is no life without pain just as there is no art without submitting to chaos.~ Rita Mae Brown

All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right-about-face which turns us from failure towards success. ~Dorothea Brande

“Strength just comes in one brand – you. Stand up at sunrise and meet what they send you and keep your hair combed” ~Reynolds Price

One writes to make a home for oneself, on paper, in time, in others’ minds. ~Alfred Kazin

It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way. ~Ernest Hemingway

The telephone and visitors are the work destroyers. ~Ernest Hemingway (interview with George Plimpton)

I’d known enough flush times and lean ones to understand that money came and went. And that one day I’d also lose my looks, my seemingly boundless energy and maybe the ability to catch the eye of an attractive man and the audacity to Rollerblade. My name would be forgotten. So would bad reviews, and good ones. But loving a child is something that lasts.  Long after all the rest is gone, that’s what endures. ~Joyce Maynard.

I often have to write a hundred pages or more before there’s a paragraph that’s alive .~ Philip Roth

Anyone could write a novel, given six weeks, pen, paper, and no telephone or wife. ~Arthur Evelyn Waugh

The process of writing a book is infinitely more important than the book that is completed as a result of the writing, let alone the success or failure that book may have after it is written . . . the book is merely a symbol of the writing. In writing the book, I am living. I am growing. I am tapping myself. I am changing. The process is the product. ~Theodore Isaac Rubin

Writers write to influence their readers, their preachers, their auditors, but always, at bottom, to be more themselves. ~Aldous Huxley.

Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing. ~
Melinda Haynes

You and I may only be mortals, with all the foolishness and fallibility that that state implies, but we’re mortals made in the image of heaven. The gods can’t do their work without us. So let’s be bold, in their cause and in our own. It’s our job, we humans, to make manifest that which is unmanifest–and to raise into consciousness, in this material dimension, that which had been known before only in heaven. ~ Steven Pressfield.

So you see, imagination needs moodling – long, inefficient, happy idling, dawdling and puttering. ~ Brenda Ueland.

Today the problem that has no name is how to juggle work, love, home and children. ~Betty Friedan

You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.~ Ray Bradbury

I learned… that inspiration does not come like a bolt, nor is it kinetic, energetic striving, but it comes into us slowly and quietly and all the time, though we must regularly and every day give it a little chance to start flowing, prime it with a little solitude and idleness.” ~Brenda Ueland

Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking.–Jessamyn West (Hide and Seek)

If one sets aside time for a business engagement, a trip to the hairdresser, a social engagement, or a shopping trip, that time is accepted as inviolable.  But if one says, “I cannot come because that is my time to be alone”, one is considered rude, egotistical or strange. What a commentary on our civilization, when being alone is considered suspect; when one has to apologize for it, make excuses, hide the fact that one practices it – like a secret vice. ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

You can be a little ungrammatical if you come from the right part of the country.~ Robert Frost

The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense. ~Tom Clancy

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make.~Truman Capote

Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely essential. ~Jessamyn West

Write what should not be forgotten.” -Isabel Allende

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

About writers: “…each of whom braves his or her way onto the blank page day after day, trusting the subconscious, believing in the power of language to lift us out of ourselves, to transform us, to bring us tidings of love, and of great joy.” ~Dannye Romine Powell

I have never known any distress that an hour’s reading did not relieve. ~Baron de Montesquieu

Modern life doesn’t allow space for contemplation unless we force it.~ Deborah Chester, novelist.

Self-initiate, self-motivate, self-validate.~ Steven Pressfield

When we sit down each day and do our work, power concentrates around us… Ideas come. Insights accrete.~Steven Pressfield

Good writers define reality; bad ones merely restate it. A good writer turns fact into truth; a bad writer will, more often than not, accomplish the opposite. ~Edward Albee

Writers aren’t exactly people; they’re a whole lot of people trying to be one person. ~F.Scott Fitzgerald

I have never felt like I was creating anything. For me, writing is like walking through a desert and all at once, poking up through the hardpan, I see the top of a chimney. I know there’s a house under there, and I’m pretty sure that I can dig it up if I want. That’s how I feel. It’s like the stories are already there. What they pay me for is the leap of faith that says: ‘If I sit down and do this, everything will come out OK. ~Stephen King

2 thoughts on “Writer’s Life Quotes

  1. Pingback: Created to Be a Writer | Curtiss Ann Matlock

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