The life of a writer can be plagued with self-doubt and even loneliness. The following quotes for writers serve to quash these doubts and lift your spirits – today, tomorrow and whenever else you may need it.
Whether you’re a freelance writer or a poet, by the time you’re done reading these quotes for writers you’ll be feeling less lonely and phony and more in tune with something meaningful.
1. “If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.” ~ Elmore Leonard
2: [Tweet ““Write. Rewrite. When not writing or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.” ~ Larry L. King”]
3. “Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” ~ Franz Kafka
4. “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
5. “To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.” ~ Allen Ginsberg
6. “Reading is more important than writing.” ~ Roberto Bolaño
7. “Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson
8: [Tweet ““The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps.” ~ Robert Benchley”]
9. “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
10. “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” ~ Virginia Woolf
11. “For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word.” ~ Catherine Drinker Bowen
12. “The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
13. “Style means the right word. The rest matters little.” ~ Jules Renard
14. “It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.” ~ Jack Kerouac
15. “One thing that helps is to give myself permission to write badly. I tell myself that I’m going to do my five or 10 pages no matter what, and that I can always tear them up the following morning if I want. I’ll have lost nothing—writing and tearing up five pages would leave me no further behind than if I took the day off.” ~ Lawrence Block
16. “Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood—you will either write or you will not—and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.” ~ Jim Tully
17. “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.” ~ Ray Bradbury
18: [Tweet ““When I say work I only mean writing. Everything else is just odd jobs.” ~ Margaret Laurence”]
19. “The first draft of anything is shit.” ~ Ernest Hemingway
Finally – and I know it’s far from snappy – I love this next quote. It’s surely everything you need:
20. “Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty – describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember… Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
So write, rewrite, read and bleed onto the page. Search for the truth and be inspired. Most of all, know that you’re not alone when you stare at the blank page or feel unable to express your ideas.
You’re in good company – these quotes for writers prove it.
Image courtesy of scribbletaylor via Flickr. Text added.