Occasionally, there is a quote I come across that speaks to me in some way. This page is for the growing list of quotes I like that encourage, or make me think or laugh. I hope you enjoy these and will check back for more I’ll be adding.
Winston Churchhill: It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.
Benjamin Franklin: If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.
Henry David Thoreau: I put a piece of paper under my pillow, and when I could not sleep I wrote in the dark.
Stephen King: Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.
Winston Churchill: Writing … it begins as an amusement, then it becomes a mistress, then a master, and finally a tyrant.
Leonard Bernstein: To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.
Seneca: Associate with people who are likely to improve you.
Elmore Leonard: I try to leave out the parts that people skip.
Author Unknown: Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
Anton Chekhov: Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
Isaac Asimov: If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster.
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.
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”
W. Somerset Maugham: A good style should show no signs of effort. What is written should seem a happy accident.
From the movie Finding Forrester: Write your first draft with your heart. Re-write with your head.
Robert Benchley: 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.
Ernest Hemingway: Always stop for the day while you still know what will happen next.
Dr. Seuss: Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!
Dr. Seuss: Be awesome! Be a book nut!
Dr. Seuss: Think and wonder, wonder and think.
Winston Churchhill: History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.
Winston Churchhill: The short words are best, and the old words are best of all.
Dr Seuss: Simple, short sentences don’t always work. You have to do tricks with pacing, alternate long sentences with short, to keep it vital and alive. Virtually every page is a cliffhanger – you’ve got to force them to turn it.
Mark Twain: The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
Paul Engle: Writing is rewriting what you have rewritten.
Hope Clark: Write more and publish slowly.
William Faulkner: Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.
William Faulkner: Don’t be ‘a writer’. Be writing.
William Wordsworth: Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.
Winston Churchhill: Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.
Neil Gaiman: You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we’re doing it.
Mason Cooley: Writers mean more than they say and say more than they mean.
James Wolcott: Telling writers to shut up is a sure way to keep them talking.
Samuel Butler: Do not hunt for subjects, let them choose you, not you them. Only do that which insists on being done and runs right up against you, hitting you in the eye until you do it.
K.M. Weiland: Advice: Writing is both a gift and an art. As a gift, it must be approached with humility: the writer is only the vessel through which inspiration flows. As an art, it must be approached with passion and discipline: a gift that’s never developed wasn’t worth the giving.
K.M. Weiland: Hinting at secrets makes for fantastic blurbs.
Robin Williams: You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.
Thomas Helm: My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter.
P. J. O’Rourke: Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
Einstein: Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
Hope Clark: Remember, writing isn’t competitive. Publishing is.
Chris Hadfield: If you start thinking that only your biggest and shiniest moments count, you’re setting yourself up to feel like a failure most of the time. Personally, I’d rather feel good most of the time, so to me everything counts: the small moments, the medium ones, the successes that make the papers and also the ones that no one knows about but me. The challenge is avoiding being derailed by the big, shiny moments that turn other people’s heads. You have to figure out for yourself how to enjoy and celebrate them, and then move on. – Page 267, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth
Arthur Miller: The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.
Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back: Do. Or do not. There is no try.
Anne Frank: Paper has more patience than people.
Maya Angelou: We write for the same reason we walk, talk, climb mountains, or swim oceans – because we can.
Melinda Haynes: Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.
Walt Disney: There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island.
Kristi Holl: … writers write. That just means that writers have the habit of writing, plain and simple.
Unknown: If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started. And when I started I was desperately wishing to be where I am now.
Comedian Kevin Hart: Not only do you get to choose how you interpret each chapter, but your interpretation writes the next chapter. So why not choose the interpretation that serves your life the best?
C. S. Lewis: You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
Maya Angelou: Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
James McBride: You have to be a little bit innocent to be a writer. You have to believe that things will get better.
James McBride: Writing chooses you and you have to make your peace with that.
John Steinbeck: If there is a magic in story writing, and I am convinced there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes, but by no means always, find the way to do it.
James M. Barrie: Cut it down by half, leaving nothing out.