Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Quotes from Writers

Sometimes you read something and it just speaks to you.  These are voices who are tried and true.  They know from whence they speak.  Here are some of their words that spoke to me.  I hope they say something to you too, Gentle Writers…


Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.
- Gene Fowler

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
- Cyril Connolly

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.  There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.
– Stephen King

"What is a book?  a mirrored pool of thoughts, ideals so often better left unsaid so often better left with the soft outline of dream. "
-Ian Fleming - c.1926

Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.
--Rod Serling

My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.
--Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

Most writers regard truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.
--Mark Twain

If you can't annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.
--Kingsley Amis

Authors are judged by strange capricious rules. The great ones are thought mad, the small ones fools.
- Alexander Pope

Writers get to treat their mental illnesses every day.
- Kurt Vonnegut

Every writer, without exception, is a masochist, a sadist, a peeping Tom, an exhibitionist, a narcissist, an ‘injustice collector' and a depressed person constantly haunted by fears of unproductivity.
- Edmund Bergler, M.D.

I know of no person so perfectly disagreeable and even dangerous as an author.
- William IV

I write to write the voices out of my head.
- Julie Anne Peters

All I ask is that you do as well as you can, and remember that, while to write adverbs is human, to write he said or she said is divine.
– Stephen King

One great use of words is to hide our thoughts.
– Voltaire

I always advise children who ask me for tips on being a writer to read as much as they possibly can. Jane Austen gave a young friend the same advice, so I'm in good company there.
– J.K. Rowling

A writer ought to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.
- Mark Twain

It took me fifteen years to discover I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous.
- Robert Benchley

The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.
- Muriel Rukeyser

The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cast out....
- Howard Pyle

I am a part of all I have read.
- John Kieran

NOVEL, n. A short story padded.
- Ambrose Bierce

It's a classic ... something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.
- Mark Twain

Every compulsion is put upon writers to become safe, polite, obedient, and sterile. - Sinclair Lewis

Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings.
- Heinrich Heine, from his play Almansor: A Tragedy, published in 1823, used as an inscription on a memorial at Dachau

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
- Ray Bradbury

There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.
- Ray Bradbury

There is but one art, to omit!
- Robert Louis Stevenson

The most valuable of talents is never using two words when one will do.
- Thomas Jefferson

Kill your darlings.
- William Faulkner

As to the adjective, when in doubt, strike it out.
- Mark Twain

When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them -- then the rest will be valuable.
- Mark Twain

God only exhibits his thunder and lightning at intervals, and so they always command attention. These are God's adjectives. You thunder and lightning too much; the reader ceases to get under the bed, by and by.
- Mark Twain

A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it.
- Mark Twain

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.
- William Shakespeare

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

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.
- Robert Frost

Find out what your hero or heroine wants, and when he or she wakes up in the morning, just follow him or her all day.
- Ray Bradbury

Whenever you write, whatever you write, never make the mistake of assuming the audience is any less intelligent than you are.
- Rod Serling

You must be prepared to work always without applause.
- Ernest Hemingway

You can't be afraid to deal with your demons. You've got to go there to be able to write.
- Lucinda Williams

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

A novelist must preserve a child-like belief in the importance of things which common sense considers of no great consequence.
- W. Somerset Maugham

Writing is the hardest work in the world. I have been a bricklayer and a truck driver, and I tell you -- as if you haven't been told a million times already -- that writing is harder. Lonelier. And nobler and more enriching.
– Harlan Ellison

The faster I write, the better my output. If I'm going slow, I'm in trouble. It means I'm pushing the words instead of being pulled by them.
– Raymond Chandler

Anything you dream is fiction, and anything you accomplish is science, the whole history of mankind is nothing but science fiction.
– Ray Bradbury

Success and failure are equally disastrous.
– Tennessee Williams

I'll be writing until I can't write anymore. It's a compulsion with me. I love writing.
– J.K. Rowling

Writing is the hardest way of earning a living with the possible exception of wrestling alligators.
– William Saroyan

For a creative writer possession of the truth is less important than emotional sincerity.
- George Orwell

Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art.  The water is free.  So drink.  Drink and be filled up.
– Stephen King