Quotes About Writing

“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

“If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  ~Toni Morrison

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

“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

“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 clichés like the plague.”
~William Safire, Great Rules of Writing

“You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you.  And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.”  ~Arthur Polotnik

“As to the adjective, when in doubt, strike it out.”  ~Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson, 1894

“If I’m trying to sleep, the ideas won’t stop.  If I’m trying to write, there appears a barren nothingness.”  ~Carrie Latet

“Write your first draft with your heart.  Re-write with your head.”  ~From the movie Finding Forrester

“An author in his book must be like God in the universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere.”  ~Gustave Flaubert

“Sit down, and put down everything that comes into your head and then you’re a writer.  But an author is one who can judge his own stuff’s worth, without pity, and destroy most of it.”  ~Colette, Casual Chance, 1964

“Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted.”  ~Jules Renard, Journal, 10 April 1895

“An original writer is not one who imitates nobody, but one whom nobody can imitate.”  ~Chateaubriand, Le Génie du Christianisme, 1802

“There’s many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.” ~Flannery O’Connor

“Every writer is a skater, who must go partly where he would and partly where the skates carry him.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” ~ C. S. Lewis

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