Every man usually has something he can do better than anyone else. Usually it is reading his own handwriting.
I’m all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let’s start with typewriters
–Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959)
Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.
–Groucho Marx (1890 – 1977)
There is then creative reading as well as creative writing
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.
Many suffer from the incurable disease of writing and it becomes chronic in their sick minds.
–Juvenal (AD 60-130)
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)
Writers would be warm, loyal, and otherwise terrific people–if only they’d stop writing.
–Laura Miller from a salon.com review of the movie Finding Forrester
Fame often makes a writer vain, but seldom makes him proud.
–W. H Auden English-US poet, dramatist, editor
When I face the desolate impossibility of writing 500 pages, a sick sense of failure falls on me, and I know I can never do it. Then gradually, I write one page and then another. One day’s works is all I can permit myself to contemplate.
Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself – it is the occurring which is difficult.
Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
–William Strunk, Jr.
Most writers regard truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.
Another thing that Bezard taught was how to take notes and how to set up card files that are useful a whole lifetime. If I had followed his advice, today I would have a gold mine; none of my early work would have been lost.
–Jean Guitton (1901-1999) A Student’s Guide to Intellectual Work , Ch. 5:
Survival, with honor, that outmoded and all-important word, is as difficult as ever and as all-important to a writer. Those who do not last are always more beloved since no one has to see them in their long, dull, unrelenting, no-quarter-given-and-no-quarter-received, fights that they make to do something as they believe it should be done before they die. Those who die or quit early and easy and with every good reason are preferred because they are understandable and human. Failure and well-disguised cowardice are more human and more beloved.
–Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)
I read and walked for miles at night along the beach, writing bad blank verse and searching endlessly for someone wonderful who would step out of the darkness and change my life. It never crossed my mind that that person could be me.
Writing is like cooking…if you spill something, you should make it look like part of the act.
Writing is a lot like sex. At first you do it because you like it. Then you find yourself doing it for a few close friends and people you like. But if you’re any good at all…you end up doing it for money.
For a creative writer possession of the truth is less important than emotional sincerity.
–George Orwell (1903-1950) English novelist, critic
If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.
We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.
Nothing, not love, not greed, not passion or hatred, is stronger than a writer’s need to change another writer’s copy.
All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things.
Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers.
–T. S. Eliot
This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force.
All of the books in the world contain no more information than is broadcast as video in a single large American city in a single year. Not all bits have equal value.
Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators.
I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.
The man who doesn’t read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.
If you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.
Asking a writer what he thinks about criticism is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs.