390 Writing Quotes And Tips By The Best Writers Of All Time

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The Best Writing Quotes Ever

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The first draft of everything is shit. Ernest Hemingway

We write to taste life in the moment and in retrospect. Anais Nin

A writer is a world trapped in a person. Victor Hugo

Good fiction’s job is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. David Foster Wallace

I had so many ideas. Jammed up. It was like they just needed permission to come out. Stephen King

All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know. Ernest Hemingway

If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write. Martin Luther

Write while the heat is in you… The writer who postpones the recording of his thoughts uses an iron which has cooled to burn a hole with. Henry David Thoreau

Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. E. L. Doctorow

If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter. Blaise Pascal Click to tweet

I am not at all in a humor for writing; I must write on until I am. Jane Austen Click to tweet

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. William Wordsworth

You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write. Saul Bellow

Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on. Louis L’Amour

Write with conviction. Pick a side and be bold. And if you’re wrong, admit it. Jeff Goins

Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself. Truman Capote

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

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

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple. Jack Kerouac Click to tweet

It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it. Jack Kerouac

For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading. Eudora Welty

I don’t want just words. If that’s all you have for me, you’d better go. F. Scott Fitzgerald

Anybody can make history. Only a great man can write it. Oscar Wilde

Good things, when short, are twice as good. Baltasar Gracián

There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story. Frank Herbert

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

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. Robin Williams (This is one of my favorite quote. Leave a reply here and let me know what’s yours!)

Top 3 Writing Quotes Images

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writing quotes write what should not be forgotten isabel allende wisdom

Write what should not be forgotten. Isabel Allende Click to tweet

writing quotes without great solitude no serious work is possible pablo picasso wisdom

Without great solitude no serious work is possible. Pablo Picasso Click to tweet

writing quotes writing is its own reward henry miller wisdom

Writing is its own reward. Henry Miller Click to tweet

Part 2. Writing Quotes That Are…

The Most Famous Writing Quotes (Hemingway, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, etc.)

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The road to hell is paved with adverbs. Stephen King Click to tweet

A short saying often contains much wisdom. Sophocles

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

Writing for me is a kind of compulsion, so I don’t think anyone could have made me do it, or prevented me from doing it. J.K. Rowling

Don’t let the bastards grind you down. Margaret Atwood

Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind. Virginia Woolf

You can write nothing of value unless you give yourself wholly to the the theme – and when you so give yourself – you lose appetite ans sleep – it cannot be helped. Charlotte Brontë

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. Benjamin Franklin Click to tweet

We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down. Kurt Vonnegut

The very reason I write is so that I might not sleepwalk through my entire life. Zadie Smith

Let us answer a book of ink with a book of flesh and blood. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Put the argument into a concrete shape, into an image, some hard phrase, round and solid as a ball, which they can see and handle and carry home with them, and the cause is half won. Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. Maya Angelou Click to tweet

History will be kind to me for I intend to write it. Winston Churchill

People should be interested in books, not their authors. Agatha Christie

A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends. Friedrich Nietzsche

The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself. Albert Camus

Writing is the painting of the voice. Voltaire

If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it. Toni Morrison

The most beautiful things are those that madness prompts and reason writes. Andre Gide

Write drunk, edit sober. Ernest Hemingway

Short Writing Quotes

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One liners, short quotes about writing, thoughts and captions for your bio, social status, self-talk, motto, mantra, signs, posters, wallpapers, backgrounds, tattoos, SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.

writing quotes a word after a word after a word is power margaret atwood wisdom

A word after a word after a word is power. Margaret Atwood Click to tweet

If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word. Margaret Atwood

Writers live twice. Natalie Goldberg

I allow my intuition to lead my path. Manuel Puig

Be obscure clearly. E.B. White

All bad writers are in love with the epic. Ernest Hemingway

A story should entertain the writer, too. Stephen King

The adverb is not your friend. Stephen King

You go where the story leas you. Stephen King

There is no perfect time to write. There’s only now. Barbara Kingsolver Click to tweet

Tears are words that need to be written. Paulo Coelho

Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery. Henry Miller

Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity. G.K. Chesterton

You must kill all your darlings. William Faulkner

To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. Herman Melville

Writers live twice. Natalie Goldberg

To survive, you must tell stories. Umberto Eco

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Elmore Leonard

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Inspirational And Uplifting Writing Quotes

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writing quotes you can make anything by writing cs lewis wisdom

You can make anything by writing. C.S. Lewis Click to tweet

Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve. J.K. Rowling

A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. Richard Bach

The answer to all writing, to any career for that matter, is love. Ray Bradbury

Shoot for the top, always. You know you’ll never make it, but what’s the fun if you don’t shoot for the top? Ursula K. Le Guin

Be courageous and try to write in a way that scares you a little. Holly Gerth

You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence. Octavia E. Butler

To know what you’re going to draw, you have to begin drawing. Pablo Picasso

I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work. Pearl S. Buck

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

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

Be strategic and resilient in the pursuit of your dreams. That sounds like a cheesy quote, right? But nah, I’m serious. Resilience is one hell of a quality to master and not many have the skin for it. Tiffany D. Jackson

The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you’re allowed to do whatever you like. Neil Gaiman

The writer must have a good imagination to being with, but the imagination has to be muscular, which means it must be exercised in a disciplined way, day in and day out, by writing, failing, succeeding and revising. Stephen King

Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good. William Faulkner Click to tweet

Once I start work on a project, I don’t stop, and I don’t slow down unless I absolutely have to. Stephen King

Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up. Jane Yolen

I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it. Chinua Achebe

The secret to being a writer is that you have to write. It’s not enough to think about writing or to study literature or plan a future life as an author. You really have to lock yourself away, alone, and get to work. Augusten Burroughs

The task of a writer consists of being able to make something out of an idea. Thomas Mann

It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way. Ernest Hemingway

You wanna fly, you got to give up the sh*t that weighs you down. Toni Morrison

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Funny Writing Quotes (Some May Surprise You)

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The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese. Gilbert K. Chesterton Click to tweet

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by. Douglas Adams

Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers. T.S. Eliot

Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke. F. Scott Fitzgerald

Women want love to be a novel. Men, a short story. Daphne du Maurier

The freelance writer is a man who is paid per piece or per word or perhaps. Robert Benchley

Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. Unknown (Submitted by the Wisdom Quotes Community)

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 you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered anyway. Stephen King

No passion in the world is equal to the passion to alter someone else’s draft. H. G. Wells

When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time. Lady Gaga

If you’re doing it for money or fame, don’t do it. If you’re doing it because you want women in your bed, don’t do it. Charles Bukowski

Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college. Kurt Vonnegut

I always start writing with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind. Patrick Dennis

Keep a small can of WD-40 on your desk — away from any open flames — to remind yourself that if you don’t write daily, you will get rusty. George Singleton

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

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. Margaret Chittenden

You just have to go on when it is worst and most helpless – there is only one thing to do with a novel and that is go straight on through to the end of the damn thing. Ernest Hemingway

I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now. Louisa May Alcott Click to tweet

If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn’t brood. I’d type a little faster. Isaac Isimov

Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money. Virginia Woolf

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Deep And Emotional Writing Quotes

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Fiction is the truth inside the lie. Stephen King Click to tweet

I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it. William Carlos Williams

The first duty of the novelist is to entertain. It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, travelling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying. Books are written by the alone for the alone. Donna Tartt

Writing is something you do alone. It’s a profession for introverts who wanna tell you a story but don’t wanna make eye contact while telling it. John Green

A writer never has a vacation. For a writer life consists of either writing or thinking about writing. Eugene Ionesco

Don’t expect the puppets of your mind to become the people of your story. If they are not realities in your own mind, there is no mysterious alchemy in ink and paper that will turn wooden figures into flesh and blood. Leslie Gordon Barnard

Whether we are describing a king, an assassin, a thief, an honest man, a prostitute, a nun, a young girl, or a stallholder in a market, it is always ourselves that we are describing. Guy De Maupassant

Of your unspoken words, you are the master; of your spoken words, the servant; of your written words, the slave. Quaker proverb

I almost always urge people to write in the first person. Writing is an act of ego and you might as well admit it. William Zinsser

Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others. Virginia Woolf

The story must strike a nerve — in me. My heart should start pounding when I hear the first line in my head. I start trembling at the risk. Susan Sontag

I don’t think of literature as an end in itself. It’s just a way of communicating something. Isabel Allende

No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published. Russell Lynes

A wounded deer leaps the highest. Emily Dickinson

Unless it comes out of your soul like a rocket, unless being still would drive you to madness or suicide or murder, don’t do it. Charles Bukowski

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

I would always be that same maddening, monstrous mixture of pedantry, egoism, politeness, selfishness, kindliness, sneakiness, larkiness, sociability, loneliness, ambition, ordered calm and hidden intensity. I would cover my life with words. I would spray the whole bloody world with words. Stephen Fry

I don’t care if a reader hates one of my stories, just as long as he finishes the book. Roald Dahl Click to tweet

How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live. Henry David Thoreau

Everywhere I go, I’m asked if the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them. Flannery O’Connor

Geniuses can be scintillating and geniuses can be somber, but it’s that inescapable sorrowful depth that shines through — originality. Jack Kerouac

Whether a character in your novel is full of choler, bile, phlegm, blood or plain old buffalo chips, the fire of life is in there, too, as long as that character lives. James Alexander Thom

Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt use it – don’t cheat with it. Ernest Hemingway

A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it. Roald Dahl

If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood. Peter Handke

If you wait for inspiration to write you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter. Dan Poynter

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Wise Writing Quotes (Words Of Wisdom)

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Good writing is often about letting go of fear and affectation. Stephen King Click to tweet

As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand. Ernest Hemingway

I try to leave out the parts that people skip. Elmore Leonard

A book is simply the container of an idea — like a bottle; what is inside the book is what matters. Angela Carter

I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide. Harper Lee

Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent. Neil Gaiman

Hard writing makes easy reading. Easy writing makes hard reading. William Zinsser

The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written. Joyce Carol Oates

If it doesn’t come bursting out of you in spite of everything, don’t do it. Unless it comes unasked out of your heart and your mind and your mouth and your gut, don’t do it. Charles Bukowski

What’s better, a poetic intuition or an intellectual work? I think they complement each other. Manuel Puig

See also: 27 Writing Lessons & Hacks From Some of the Best Writers on the Planet

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

If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don’t listen to writers talking about writing or themselves. Lillian Hellman

There are some books that refuse to be written. They stand their ground year after year and will not be persuaded. It isn’t because the book is not there and worth being written – it is only because the right form of the story does not present itself. There is only one right form for a story and if you fail to find that form the story will not tell itself. Mark Twain

Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that is is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon. E.L. Doctorow

When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest. Stephen King

Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings. Stephen King

Nothing leads so straight to futility as literary ambitions without systematic knowledge. H. G. Wells

Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing. Melinda Haynes

Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable. Francis Bacon

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards. Robert A. Heinlein

Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Click to tweet

A good title is the title of a successful book. Raymond Chandler

Don’t take anyone’s writing advice too seriously. Lev Grossman

More words of wisdom

Part 3. Writing Quotes About…

Writing Quotes About Life, The Joy Of Writing, Fear

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I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn. Anne Frank Click to tweet

Write in recollection and amazement for yourself. Jack Kerouac

Writing is the only thing that, when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else. Gloria Steinem

Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters. Neil Gaiman

I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I’m afraid of. Joss Whedon

I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing. Stephen King

Writing energy is like anything else: The more you put in, the more you get out. Richard Reeves

Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand — but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never being satisfied. Zadie Smith

Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void, but out of chaos. Mary Shelley (Frankenstein)

I’ve found, in my own writing, that a little hatred, keenly directed, is a useful thing. Alice Walker

I have trusted to intuition. I did it at the beginning. I do it even now. I have no idea how things might turn out, where in my writing I might go next. V.S. Naipaul

I write only because there is a voice within me that will not be still. Sylvia Plath Click to tweet

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

For your born writer, nothing is so healing as the realization that he has come upon the right word. Catherine Drinker Bowen

Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic fear which is inherent in a human situation. Graham Greene

I have to write to be happy whether I get paid for it or not. But it is a hell of a disease to be born with. I like to do it. Which is even worse. That makes it from a disease into a vice. Then I want to do it better than anybody has ever done it which makes it into an obsession. An obsession is terrible. Hope you haven’t gotten any. That’s the only one I’ve got left. Ernest Hemingway

Writing is something that you can never do as well as it can be done. It is a perpetual challenge and it is more difficult than anything else that I have ever done – so I do it. And it makes me happy when I do it well. Ernest Hemingway

There’s always something to write about. If there’s not then you need to live life more aggressively. Min Kim

I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. Joan Didion

When I’m writing I know I’m doing the thing I was born to do. Anne Sexton

Just as a good rain clears the air, a good writing day clears the psyche. Julia Cameron

Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences. Sylvia Plath

See also: freedom quotes

Writing Quotes About Creativity, Imagination, Solitude

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Writing is nothing more than a guided dream. Jorge Luis Borges Click to tweet

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Dr. Seuss

The monotony and solitude of a quiet life stimulates the creative mind. Albert Einstein

Writing is a product of silence and solitude. Unknown

The ability of writers to imagine what is not the self, to familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar, is the test of their power. Toni Morrison

One can never be alone enough to write. Susan Sontag

Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it. Lloyd Alexander

Good story ideas seem to come quite literally from nowhere, sailing at you right out of the empty sky: two previously unrelated ideas come together and make something new under the sun. Your job isn’t to find these ideas but to recognize them when they show up. Stephen King

Wherever you write is supposed to be a little bit of a refuge, a place where you can get away from the world. The more closed in you are, the more you’re forced back on your own imagination. Stephen King

Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s. Stephen King

Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen. John Steinbeck

Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself. Franz Kafka

Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living; it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities. Dr. Seuss

Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous – to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd. Thomas Mann

Solitude is creativity’s best friend, and solitude is refreshment for our souls. Naomi Judd Click to tweet

If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write. Somerset Maugham

Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life. Joseph Conrad

We’re past the age of heroes and hero kings… Most of our lives are basically mundane and dull, and it’s up to the writer to find ways to make them interesting. John Updike

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

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

There are no laws for the novel. There never have been, nor can there ever be. Doris Lessing

In solitude I find my answers. Kristen Butler

Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences. Anne McCaffrey

Writing is a solitary occupation. Family, friends, and society are the natural enemies of the writer. He must be alone, uninterrupted, and slightly savage if he is to sustain and complete an undertaking. Jessamyn West

Belief and reader absorption come in the details: An overturned tricycle in the gutter of an abandoned neighborhood can stand for everything. Stephen King

Stories of imagination tend to upset those without one. Terry Pratchett

The best thinking has been done in solitude. Thomas Edison

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Writing Quotes About Poetry

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Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman. Virginia Woolf Click to tweet

Poetry: the best words in the best order. Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The poet doesn’t invent. He listens. Jean Cocteau

There’s no money in poetry, but then there’s no poetry in money either. Robert Graves

Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words. Robert Frost

Breathe in experience, breathe out poetry. Muriel Rukeyser

Prose is architecture, not interior decoration. Ernest Hemingway

Poetry is the art of creating imaginary gardens with real toads. Marianne Moore

Poetry comes from the highest happiness or the deepest sorrow. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Plutarch

Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood. T. S. Eliot

Not all poetry wants to be storytelling. And not all storytelling wants to be poetry. But great storytellers and great poets share something in common: They had something to say, and did. Sarah Kay

Poetry is thoughts that breathe, and words that burn. Thomas Gray

Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal. T. S. Eliot Click to tweet

A poem is never finished, only abandoned. Paul Valery

Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary. Kahlil Gibran

Only the poet can look beyond the detail and see the whole picture. Helen Hayes

Poetry creates the myth, the prose writer draws its portrait. Jean-Paul Sartre

Poetry is an act of peace. Pablo Neruda

See also: The 8 Signs You’ve Written A Good Poem

Writing Quotes About Clarity, Style, Stories

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Style means the right word. The rest matters little. Jules Renard Click to tweet

I do not over-intellectualise the production process. I try to keep it simple: Tell the damned story. Tom Clancy

Not a wasted word. This has been a main point to my literary thinking all my life. Hunter S. Thompson

Good writers are those who keep the language efficient. That is to say, keep it accurate, keep it clear. Ezra Pound

My aim in constructing sentences is to make the sentence utterly easy to understand, writing what I call transparent prose. I’ve failed dreadfully if you have to read a sentence twice to figure out what I meant. Ken Follett

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world. Philip Pullman

I want the story to have a rhythm that keeps moving forward. Because that’s the whole point of telling a story. You’re on a journey — you’re going from here to there. It’s got to move. Ursula K. Le Guin

Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short. Henry David Thoreau

I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly. Edgar Rice Burroughs

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. Anton Chekhov

And one of [the things you learn as you get older] is, you really need less… My model for this is late Beethoven. He moves so strangely and quite suddenly sometimes from place to place in his music, in the late quartets. He knows where he’s going and he just doesn’t want to waste all that time getting there. … One is aware of this as one gets older. You can’t waste time. Ursula K. Le Guin

My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way. Ernest Hemingway Click to tweet

Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style. Stephen King

One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. Stephen King

When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done. Stephen King

Part 1. I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English – it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. Mark Twain

Part 2. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don’t mean utterly, but kill most of them – then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. Mark Twain

Part 3. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice. Mark Twain

All stories have to at least try to explain some small portion of the meaning of life. Gene Weingarten

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

See also: Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Tips on How to Write a Great Story

Zadie Smith’s 10 Rules of Writing

Quotes About The Writing Process And Perseverance

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You can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page. Jodi Picoult Click to tweet

It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer. Gerald Brenan

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. William Somerset Maugham

Trust your reader, don’t try to describe things. Give a hint and they will fulfill this hint with their own imagination. Paulo Coelho

The blizzard doesn’t last forever; it just seems so. Ray Bradbury

Talent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins. Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance. James Baldwin

In a story it’s the scene – the setting / characters / action / interaction / dialogue / feelings – that makes us hold our breath, and cry .. and turn the page to find out what happens next. And so, until the scene ends, each sentence should lead to the next sentence. Ursula K. Le Guin

Sometimes the ideas just come to me. Other times I have to sweat and almost bleed to make ideas come. It’s a mysterious process, but I hope I never find out exactly how it works. I like a mystery, as you may have noticed. J.K. Rowling

I’ve been writing since I was six. It is a compulsion, so I can’t really say where the desire came from; I’ve always had it. My breakthrough with the first book came through persistence, because a lot of publishers turned it down. J.K. Rowling

Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised. John Steinbeck

As for “Write what you know,” I was regularly told this as a beginner. I think it’s a very good rule and have always obeyed it. I write about imaginary countries, alien societies on other planets, dragons, wizards, the Napa Valley in 22002. I know these things. I know them better than anybody else possibly could, so it’s my duty to testify about them. Ursula K. Le Guin

Any man who keeps working is not a failure. He may not be a great writer, but if he applies the old-fashioned virtues of hard, constant labor, he’ll eventually make some kind of career for himself as writer. Ray Bradbury

The more I’m let alone and not worried the better I can function. Ernest Hemingway Click to tweet

I go out to my little office, where I’ve got a manuscript, and the last page I was happy with is on top. I read that, and it’s like getting on a taxiway. I’m able to go through and revise it and put myself – click – back into that world. Stephen King

When I’m working I work every day, three, four hours, and I try to get those six pages and I try to get them faily clean. Stephen King

All my life as a writer I have been commited to the idea that in fiction the story value holds dominance over every other facet of the writer’s craft; characterization, theme, mood, none of these things is anything if the story is dull. And if the story does hold you, all else can be forgiven. Stephen King

On first drafts: It is completely raw, the sort of thing I feel free to do with the door shut — it’s the story undressed, standing up in nothing but its socks and undershorts. Stephen King

Sleep on your writing; take a walk over it; scrutinize it of a morning; review it of an afternoon; digest it after a meal; let it sleep in your drawer a twelvemonth; never venture a whisper about it to your friend, if he be an author especially. Amos Bronson Alcott

It is worth mentioning, for future reference, that the creative power which bubbles so pleasantly in beginning a new book quiets down after a time, and one goes on more steadily. Doubts creep in. Then one becomes resigned. Determination not to give in, and the sense of an impending shape keep one at it more than anything. Virginia Woolf

Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. Annie Dillard

First, find out what your hero wants, then just follow him. Ray Bradbury

See also: motivational quotes

Quotes About Reading And Writing

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I wrote my first novel because I wanted to read it. Toni Morrison Click to tweet

There is no friend as loyal as a book. Ernest Hemingway

The dearest ones of time, the strongest friends of the soul — books. Emily Dickinson

The Six Golden Rules of Writing: Read, read, read, and write, write, write. Ernest Gaines

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. Stephen King

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time – or the tools – to write. Simple as that. Stephen King

I really think that reading is just as important as writing when you’re trying to be a writer because it’s the only apprenticeship we have, it’s the only way of learning how to write a story. John Green

Reading is important because, if you can read, you can learn anything about everything and everything about anything. Tomie dePaola

The unread story is not a story; it is little black marks on wood pulp. The reader, reading it, makes it live: a live thing, a story. Ursula K. Le Guin

You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write. Annie Proulx

All readers come to fiction as willing accomplices to your lies. Such is the basic goodwill contract made the moment we pick up a work of fiction.

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

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

The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book. Samuel Johnson

When I graduated from high school I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library 3 days a week for 10 years. Ray Bradbury

Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river. Lisa See Click to tweet

Writing Quotes About Words, Grammar

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Words create worlds. Pierre du Plessis Click to tweet

Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind. Rudyard Kipling

Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power. Joan Didion

I like good words that mean something. Louisa May Alcott

Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule. Stephen King

Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it. J.K. Rowling

All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind. Kahlil Gibran

The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter — ’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning. Mark Twain.

To get the right word in the right place is a rare achievement. To condense the diffused light of a page of thought into the luminous flash of a single sentence, is worthy to rank as a prize composition just by itself… Anybody can have ideas – the difficulty is to express them without squandering a quire of paper on an idea that ought to be reduced to one glittering paragraph. Mark Twain

Writing is an act of faith, not a trick of grammar. E. B. White

All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time. Ernest Hemingway

When a thought takes one’s breath away, a grammar lesson seems an impertinence. Thomas W. Higginson

Being a writer requires an intoxication with language. Jim Harrison

Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own. Carol Burnett

Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, “It might have been”. John Greenleaf Whittier

Words have the power to make things happen. Frederick Buechner Click to tweet

Colors fade, temples crumble, empires fall, but wise words endure. Edward Thorndike

Words can inspire. And words can destroy. Choose yours well. Robin Sharma

A synonym is a word you use when you can’t spell the other one. Baltasar Gracián

I don’t know the rules of grammar. If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language. David Ogilvy

Words do not express thoughts very well. They always become a little different immediately after they are expressed, a little distorted, a little foolish. Hermann Hesse

Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly – they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced. Aldous Huxley

Words are containers for power, you choose what kind of power they carry. Joyce Meyer

Your word is the power that you have to create; it is a gift. Don Miguel Ruiz

A poet can survive everything but a misprint. Oscar Wilde

Words are a lens to focus one’s mind. Ayn Rand

Quotes About Writing For Children

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I don’t write for children. I write. And somebody says, that’s for children. Maurice Sendak Click to tweet

I don’t want to write for adults. I want to write for readers who can perform miracles. Only children perform miracles when they read. Astrid Lindgren

Anyone who writes down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up, not down. E.B. White

Writing for children is bloody difficult; books for children are as complex as their adult counterparts, and they should therefore be accorded the same respect. Mark Haddon

One of the nicest things about writing for children is that you don’t find them deconstructing novels. Either they like it or they don’t like it. J.K. Rowling

I didn’t write with a target audience in mind. What excited me was how much I would enjoy writing about Harry. I never thought about writing for children ― children’s books chose me. I think if it is a good book anyone will read it. J.K. Rowling

A writer has the duty to be good, not lousy; true, not false; lively, not dull; accurate, not full of error. He should tend to lift people up, not lower them down. Writers do not merely reflect and interpret life, they inform and shape life. E.B. White

You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children. Madeleine L’Engle

So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads. Dr. Seuss

Writing Quotes About Books, Letters

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If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. Oscar Wilde Click to tweet

Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations. Henry David Thoreau

What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters. You can’t reread a phone call. Liz Carpenter

All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened. Ernest Hemingway

A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say. Italo Calvino

Read. Read anything. Read the things they say are good for you, and the things they claim are junk. You’ll find what you need to find. Just read. Neil Gaiman

If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it. Wally Lamb

Grammar is the grave of letters. Elbert Hubbard

Books worth reading are worth re-reading. Holbrook Jackson

A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge. George R. R. Martin

One sure window into a person’s soul is his reading list. Mary B. W. Tabor

A real book is not one that’s read, but one that reads us. W.H. Auden

I cannot live without books. Thomas Jefferson

By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle. Kurt Vonnegut

To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart. Phyllis Theroux

Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company. Lord Byron

It takes two to write a letter as much as it takes two to make a quarrel. Elizabeth Drew

The one good thing about not seeing you is that I can write you letters. Svetlana Alliluyeva

Letters are among the most significant memorial a person can leave behind them. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Click to tweet

One of the pleasures of reading old letters is the knowledge that they need no answer. Lord Byron

I hold that the parentheses are by far the most important parts of a non-business letter. D.H. Lawrence

Let us welcome controversial books and controversial authors. John F. Kennedy

Especially in a time in which the values of reading and inwardness are so strenuously challenged, literature is freedom. Susan Sontag

The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame. Oscar Wilde

The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity. Walt Whitman

See also: 11 Smart Tips for Brilliant Writing

Quotes About Having Difficulty Writing

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To write something you have to risk making a fool of yourself. Anne Rice Click to tweet

Every writer I know has trouble writing. Joseph Heller

Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all. Charles Bukowski

Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing. Norman Mailer

The first draft is just you telling yourself the story. Terry Pratchett

We’re professional worriers. You’re constantly imagining things that could go wrong and then writing about them. John Green

A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. Thomas Mann

I am irritated by my own writing. I am like a violinist whose ear is true, but whose fingers refuse to reproduce precisely the sound he hears within. Gustave Flaubert

I hate writing, I love having written. Dorothy Parker

You can only write regularly if you’re willing to write badly… Accept bad writing as a way of priming the pump, a warm-up exercise that allows you to write well. Jennifer Egan

I’ve always said, ‘I have nothing to say, only to add.’ And it’s with each addition that the writing gets done. The first draft of anything is really just a track. Gore Vidal

Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of job; it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper (or a blank screen) and quite often the blank piece of paper wins. Neil Gaiman

Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer. Barbara Kingsolver

The work never matches the dream of perfection the artist has to start with. William Faulkner

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. E.L. Doctorow Click to tweet

No book can ever be finished. While working on it we learn just enough to find it immature the moment we turn away from it. Karl Popper

I just give myself permission to suck. I delete about 90 percent of my first drafts… so it doesn’t really matter much if on a particular day I write beautiful and brilliant prose that will stick in the minds of my readers forever, because there’s a 90 percent chance I’m just gonna delete whatever I write anyway. I find this hugely liberating. John Green

I am not a great artist, but I have always felt impelled to write. So each day I sift the sludge anew, going through the cast-off bits and pieces of observation, of memory, of speculation, trying to make something out of the stuff that didn’t go through the filter and down the drain into the subconscious. Stephen King

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

We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. Ernest Hemingway

Anyone who says writing is easy isn’t doing it right. Amy Joy

Writing is a struggle against silence. Carlos Fuentes

Writing Quotes About Critics, Rejections

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You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one. John Wooden Click to tweet

Critics are those who have failed in literature and art. Benjamin Disraeli

The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism. Norman Vincent Peale

If you’re not failing now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative. Woody Allen

I’ve been reading reviews of my stories for twenty-five years, and can’t remember a single useful point in any of them, or the slightest good advice. Anton Chekhov

I tell writers to keep reading, reading, reading. Read widely and deeply. And I tell them not to give up even after getting rejection letters. And only write what you love. Anita Diamant

Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil—but there is no way around them. Isaac Asimov

The artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don’t have the time to read reviews. William Faulkner

Was I bitter? Absolutely. Hurt? You bet your sweet ass I was hurt. Who doesn’t feel a part of their heart break at rejection. You ask yourself every question you can think of, what, why, how come, and then your sadness turns to anger. That’s my favorite part. It drives me, feeds me, and makes one hell of a story. Jennifer Salaiz

I used to save all my rejection slips because I told myself, one day I’m going to autograph these and auction them. And then I lost the box. James Lee Burke

I think that you have to believe in your destiny; that you will succeed, you will meet a lot of rejection and it is not always a straight path, there will be detours — so enjoy the view. Michael York

I went for years not finishing anything. Because, of course, when you finish something you can be judged. Erica Jong

As a writer, the worst thing you can do is work in an environment of fear of rejection. Carol Leifer

Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. Aristotle Click to tweet

I could write an entertaining novel about rejection slips, but I fear it would be overly long. Louise Brown

The first thing you have to learn when you go into the arts is to learn to cope with rejection. If you can’t, you’re dead. Warren Adler

I had immediate success in the sense that I sold something right off the bat. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake and it really wasn’t. I have drawers full of — or I did have — drawers full of rejection slips. Fred Saberhagen

An absolutely necessary part of a writer’s equipment, almost as necessary as talent, is the ability to stand up under punishment, both the punishment the world hands out and the punishment he inflicts upon himself. Irwin Shaw

To defend what you’ve written is a sign that you are alive. William Zinsser

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement. C. S. Lewis

Quotes About The Importance Of Writing

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The most important things are the hardest things to say. Stephen King Click to tweet

I write to discover what I know. Flannery O’Connor

The joy that isn’t shared dies young. Anne Sexton

The only story that seems worth writing is a cry, a shot, a scream. A story should break the reader’s heart. Susan Sontag

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

Writers are not here to conform. We are here to challenge. We’re not here to be comfortable — we’re here, really, to shake things up. That’s our job. Jeanette Winterson

A writer without interest or sympathy for the foibles of his fellow man is not conceivable as a writer. Joseph Conrad

Everybody else is working to change, persuade, tempt and control them. The best readers come to fiction to be free of all that noise. Philip Roth

It is the writer who might catch the imagination of young people, and plant a seed that will flower and come to fruition. Isaac Asimov

Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. Rainer Maria Rilke

One writes most of all in order to take part in a collective enterprise. Italo Calvino

Deliver me from writers who say the way they live doesn’t matter. I’m not sure a bad person can write a good book. If art doesn’t make us better, then what on earth is it for. Alice Walker

Writing, the art of communicating thoughts to the mind through the eye, is the great invention of the world… enabling us to converse with the dead, the absent, and the unborn, at all distances of time and space. Abraham Lincoln

Yes there is a meaning; at least for me, there is one thing that matters – to set a chime of words tinkling in the minds of a few fastidious people. Logan Persall Smith

When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art.’ I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing. George Orwell

The only end of writing is to enable readers better to enjoy life or better to endue it. Samuel Johnson

Don’t write so that you can be understood, write so that you can’t be misunderstood. William Howard Taft

The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say. Anaïs Nin Click to tweet

Part 4. The Best Writing Tips (From The Best Writers)

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Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving. Neil Gaiman Click to tweet

In any art you’re allowed to steal anything if you can make it better. Ernest Hemingway

Don’t ever write a novel unless it hurts like a hot turd coming out. Charles Bukowski

Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too. Isabel Allende

The poet’s, the writer’s, duty is.. to help man endure by lifting his heart. William Faulkner

The only environment the artist needs is whatever peace, whatever solitude, and whatever pleasure he can get at not too high a cost. William Faulkner

In the wholeheartedness of concentration, world and self begin to cohere. With that state comes an enlarging: of what may be known, what may be felt, what may be done. Jane Hirshfield

Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia. Kurt Vonnegut

At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace. It is handed to you, but only if you look for it. You search, you break your heart, your back, your brain, and then — and only then — it is handed to you. Annie Dillard

To write well about the elegant world you have to know it and experience it to the depths of your being just as Proust, Radiguet and Fitzgerald did: what matters is not whether you love it or hate it, but only to be quite clear about your position regarding it. Italo Calvino

When you’re trying to create a career as a writer, a little delusional thinking goes a long way. Michael Lewis

There is a great deal that either has to be given up or be taken away from you if you are going to succeed in writing a body of work. Susan Sontag

A writer, like an athlete, must ‘train’ every day. What did I do today to keep in ‘form’? Susan Sontag Click to tweet

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life. Anne Lamott

See also: Timeless Advice on Writing: The Collected Wisdom of Great Writers

Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose a solid wall of sleep between the two. This you cannot do without temperance. Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s by writing.. by stepping back a bit from the real thing to look at it, that we are most present. Alison Bechdel

Truth that is naked is the most beautiful, and the simpler its expression the deeper is the impression it makes. Arthur Schopenhauer

Only a person who is congenially self-centered has the effrontery and the stamina to write essays. E.B. White

A problem with a piece of writing often clarifies itself if you go for a long walk. Helen Dunmore

You have to finish things — that’s what you learn from, you learn by finishing things. Neil Gaiman

I want my stories to move people… to feel some kind of reward from the writing. Alice Munroe

Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand. Henry Miller

See also: The 7 Secrets of Writing From the Best Writers in the World

Part 5. Conclusion

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writing quotes you will fail its inevitable its what you do with it jk rowling wisdom

You will fail. It’s inevitable. It’s what you do with it. J.K. Rowling Click to tweet

What is your favorite writing quote? Would you like to add another one here? Please let me know in the comment section below!

Call to action: Read 12 Lessons Learned from 12 Years of Writing

2 comments

  1. Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on. Louis L’Amour
    Great lines by Louis. I just started writing and I understand how important is to keep on experimenting and writing till you succeed.

    1. Yes, that’s true.
      We need to remember, like Ernest Hemingway said, that the first draft of everything is shit.
      It helps us “just write”.
      That’s where the magic happens.

      Good luck with your writings.

      Regards,
      Maxime

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