Where to Find Inspiration: 50 Quotes for Writers

Do you want to know where to find inspiration for writing? Take a look at these quotes for writers.

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

Writer’s Block

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.

Failure

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.

What are your favorite quotes for writers?

About the author

Cheryl Craigie

Cheryl Craigie blogs at The Manageable Life. Please check it out if you're interested in making changes in your life.

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