How to live the creative life
1. To live a creative life we must first lose the fear of being wrong. ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce
2. Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over again, and you will grow stronger until you have accomplished a purpose…not the one you began with perhaps, but one you’ll be glad to remember.
~Anne Sullivan Macy
3. 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. ~ Neil Gaiman
4. Few things are impossible to diligence and skill. Great works are performed not by strength, but perseverance. ~ Samuel Johnson
How to be a writer
5. The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to says ~Anais Nin
6. Start before you’re ready. ~Steven Pressfield
7. Do the work. ~Steven Pressfield
8. If you want to be a writer, you must do two things about all others: read a lot and write a lot…reading is the creative center of a writer’s life…you cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you. ~Stephen King
9. There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed. ~Ernest Hemingway
10. Writing is like sex; you don’t have to wait until you’re an expert to begin doing it. ~ Anonymous
11. Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere ~Anne Lamott
12. A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit. ~Richard Bach
13. The desire to write grows with writing. ~Desiderius Erasmus
14. The great advantage of being a writer is that you can spy on people. You’re there, listening to every word, but part of you is observing. Everything is useful to a writer, you see—every scrap, even the longest and most boring of luncheon parties. ~Graham Greene
15. Being a writer means taking the leap from listening to saying, “Listen to me”. ~Jhumpa Lahiri
16. 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
17. The one ironclad rule is that I have to try. I have to walk into my writing room and pick up my pen every weekday morning. ~Anne Tyler
18. Planning to write is not writing. Outlining, researching, talking to people about what you’re doing, none of that is writing. Writing is writing. ~E. L. Doctorow
Where to find inspiration
19. Inspiration is wonderful when it happens, but the writer must develop an approach for the rest of the time. ~ Leonard Bernstein
20. Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy. ~ Pyotr Tchaikovsky
21. Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work. ~ Stephen King
22. I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning. ~P eter De Vries
23. If you wait for inspiration to write; you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter. ~ Dan Poynter
Advice on writing
24. Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass. ~ Anton Chekhov
25. Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon. ~ E.L. Doctorow
26. Write with the complete palette of emotions. ~ Cindy Lambert
27. Write your first draft with your heart. Rewrite with your head. ~ Mike Rich
28. The difference between the almost right word and the right work is really a large matter—it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning. ~ Mark Twain
29. I try to leave out the parts that people skip. ~ Elmore Leonard
30. Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say “infinitely” when you mean “very;” otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. ~ C.S. Lewis
31. First, find out what your hero wants. Then just follow him. ~ Ray Bradbury
32. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper. Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material…..John Steinbeck
33. When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand. ~ Raymond Chandler
34. The objective of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story …to make him/her forget, whenever possible, that he/she is reading a story at all. Stephen King
35. Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. 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
36. Fiction does not spring into the world fully grown, like Athena. It is the process of writing and rewriting that makes a fiction original, if not profound. ~ John Gardner
37. It begins with a character, usually, and once he stands up on his feet and begins to move, all I can do is trot along behind him with a paper and pencil trying to keep up long enough to put down what he says and does. ~ William Faulkner
38. Writing a novel is like heading out over the open sea in a small boat. It helps if you have a plan and a course laid out. ~ John Gardner
39. Suit the action to the word, the word to the action. ~ William Shakespeare
What to write
40. Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth
41. Write what you know. Write what you want to know more about. Write what you’re afraid to write about. ~ Cec Murphy
42. Write about what makes you different. ~ Sandra Cisneros
43. Your intuition knows what to write, so get out of the way. ~ Ray Bradbury
44. Never tell a story because it is true: tell it because it is a good story. ~ John Penland Mahaffy
45. You can’t think yourself out of a writing block; you have to write yourself out of a thinking block. ~ John Rogers
46. I’ve often said that there’s no such thing as writer’s block; the problem is idea block. When I find myself frozen–whether I’m working on a brief passage in a novel or brainstorming about an entire book–it’s usually because I’m trying to shoehorn an idea into the passage or story where it has no place. ~ Jeffery Deaver
47. I think writer’s block is simply the dread that you are going to write something horrible. But as a writer, I believe that if you sit down at the keys long enough, sooner or later something will come out. ~ Roy Blount, Jr.
48. Mistakes are the portals of discovery. ~ James Joyce
49. Failure? I never encountered it. All I ever met were temporary setbacks. ~ Dottie Walters
50. You fail only if you stop writing. ~ Ray Bradbury
So don’t keep dreaming - keep writing.
We’re busy working with our DreamTeam to collect awesome quotes for a new e-book of quotes on writing and the writer’s life, but we didn’t want to wait to share at least some of the “good stuff.”
Our sincere thanks to the DreamTeam members who generously contributed quotes. As a token of our appreciation, each will be listed in the upcoming e-book and will receive a free copy when it becomes available.
Submissions for the e-book are now closed, but we’d love you to share some of your favorite quotes in the comments section.
We’ll let you know when the book is available for purchase.
So, what are your favorite quotes for writers?
By Cheryl Craigie, Contributing Editor at Write to Done. Cheryl also blogs at The Manageable Life. Please check it out if you’re interested in making changes in your life.
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