Celebrating the Writer's Festival with Inspirational Quotes
Celebrating the Writer's festival with inspirational quotes from authors

To help celebrate the writers festival we've brought together for you an inspiring collection of quotes about writing and publishing by those deeply involved.

50 Inspiring Quotes About Writing

I don't know much about creative writing programs. But they're not telling the truth if they don't teach, one, that writing is hard work, and, two, that you have to give up a great deal of life, your personal life, to be a writer. - Doris Lessing

I would venture to guess that Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman. - Virginia Woolf

Sometimes questions are more important than answers. - Nancy Willard

What creates a writer is huge, psychological dysfunction. - Kathy Lette

The writer who possesses the creative gift owns something of which he is not always master - something that at times strangely wills and works for itself. - Charlotte Bronte

Writing shouldn't come between the reader and what's being described. It should be as transparent as possible. - Diana Athill

Writing is a deeply immersive experience. When the words are flying, the house could be burgled and I wouldn’t notice. I have a low boredom threshold and I like intensity – writing is a way of escaping the quotidian. - Monica Ali

What literature can and should do is change the people who teach the people who don't read the books. - A S Byatt

I think I may boast myself to be, with all possible vanity, the most unlearned and uninformed female who ever dared to be an authoress. - Jane Austen

I've always believed in writing without a collaborator, because when two people are writing the same book, each believes he gets all the worries and only half the royalties. - Agatha Christie

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

Writing is not a job description. A great deal of it is luck. Don't do it if you are not a gambler because a lot of people devote many years of their life to it. I think people become writers because they are compulsive wordsmiths. - Margaret Atwood

I hate the term "mystery". That's not what I write. I think the Scarpetta novels are much more character-driven than an average puzzle solver. Writing should be like a pane of glass - there's another world on the other side and your vision carries you there, but you're not aware of having passed through a barrier to get there. - Patricia Cornwall

I write what I would like to read – what I think other women would like to read. If what I write makes a woman in the Canadian mountains cry and she writes and tell me about it, especially if she says, ‘I read it to Tom when he came in form work and he cried too’, I feel I have succeeded. - Kathleen Norris

We do not need to proselytise either by our speech or by our writing. We can only do so really with our lives. Let our lives be open books for all to study.
Mahatma Gandhi

The business of the poet and novelist is to show the sorriness underlying the grandest things, and the grandeur underlying the sorriest things. - Thomas Hardy

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

It seems to me that anyone whose library consists of a Kindle lying on a table is some sort of bloodless nerd. - Penelope Lively

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

All writers are vain, selfish and lazy, and at the very bottom of their motives there lies a mystery. Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon which one can neither resist nor understand. - George Orwell

If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way? - Emily Dickinson

I once asked a young dissertation writer whether her suddenly grayed hair was due to ill health or personal tragedy; she answered: “It was the footnotes". - Joanna Russ

I will never stop writing. People often ask when I will retire, but I say it’s none of their business. Writing defines who I am. I love the feeling of holding a finished book in my hands, and then I can’t wait to start the great adventure of writing the next one. - Barbara Taylor Bradford

If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor. - Edgar Rice Burroughs

Women and fiction remain, so far as I am concerned, unsolved problems. - Virginia Woolf

The writer's intention hasn't anything to do with what he achieves. The intent to earn money or the intent to be famous or the intent to be great doesn't matter in the end. Just what comes out. - Lillian Hellman

The art of writing is to explain the complications of the human soul with the simplicity that can be universally understood. - Allan Sillitoe

Only two classes of books are of universal appeal. the very best and the very worst. - Ford Madox Ford

It really is most extraordinary, having lived all these years as a cheerful but inconspicuous blue-stockinged, gray-haired, backseat publishing lady, to become a sort of show- stopper. - Diana Athill

Prose on certain occasions can bear a great deal of poetry; on the other hand, poetry sinks and swoons under a moderate weight of prose. - Walter Savage Landor

If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water. - Ernest Hemingway

All writing is difficult. The most you can hope for is a day when it goes reasonably easily. Plumbers don't get plumber's block, and doctors don't get doctor's block; why should writers be the only profession that gives a special name to the difficulty of working, and then expects sympathy for it? - Philip Pullman

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

What the detective story is about is not murder but the restoration of order. - P D James

The only reason for being a professional writer is that you just can't help it. - Leo Rosten

Go in the She Inspires online competitionsBeware of self-indulgence. The romance surrounding the writing profession carries several myths: that one must suffer in order to be creative; that one must be cantankerous and objectionable in order to be bright; that ego is paramount over skill; that one can rise to a level from which one can tell the reader to go to hell. These myths, if believed, can ruin you. If you believe you can make a living as a writer, you already have enough ego. - David Brin

I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it. - Ernest Hemingway

If you have other things in your life - family, friends, good productive day work - then these can interact with your writing and the sum will be all the richer. - David Brin

And as to experience--well, think how little some good poets have had, or how much some bad ones have. - Elizabeth Bishop

The long-lived books of tomorrow are concealed somewhere amongst the so-far unpublished MSS of today. - Philip Unwin

The reason 99% of all stories written are not bought by editors is very simple. Editors never buy manuscripts that are left on the closet shelf at home. - John Campbel

In an abundant society where people have laptops, cellphones, iPods and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books. - Harper Lee

There is creative reading as well as creative writing. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is perfectly okay to write garbage--as long as you edit brilliantly. - C J Cherryh

I can't start writing until I have a closing line. - Joseph Heller

One must be an inventor to read well. There is then creative reading as well as creative writing. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Coleridge was a drug addict. Poe was an alcoholic. Marlowe was killed by a man whom he was treacherously trying to stab. Pope took money to keep a woman's name out of a satire then wrote a piece so that she could still be recognized anyhow. Chatterton killed himself. Byron was accused of incest. Do you still want to be a writer - and if so, why? - Bennett Cerf, Co-founder of Random House

When you give someone a book you re giving them the most imaginative of gifts, because you're taking a personal interest in what interests them. - W H Smith

In science there is a dictum: don't add an experiment to an experiment. Don't make things unnecessarily complicated. In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your reader to admire your words when you want them to believe your story. - Ben Bova

When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature. - Ernest Hemingway

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