Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Favorite writing quotes

Today I thought I'd bring you some inspiration in the form of some favorite writing quotes. 


Some of these make me nod in agreement, with that deep soul-connected feeling of "Yes! someone gets me!" Others bring a wry smile to my lips; still others make me think, and reflect on my own work.

I hope they do the same for you.


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Good writing is like a windowpane. ~ George Orwell 

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

If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it. ~ Anais Nin  

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

Easy reading is hard writing. ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne  

To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music that words make.
~ Truman Capote  

The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary. ~ J. K. Rowling  

 Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers. ~ Isaac Asimov 

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

Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history, there could be no 
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concept of humanity. ~ Hermann Hesse  

Habits in writing as in life are only useful if they are broken as soon as they cease to be advantageous.
~ W. Somerset Maugham  

However great a man's natural talent may be, the act of writing cannot be learned all at once.
~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau  

Two hours of writing fiction leaves this writer completely drained. For those two hours he has been in a different place with totally different people. ~ Roald Dahl


I learned never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.
~ Ernest Hemingway 

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  

For me, writing has always come out of living a fairly to-the-bone kind of life, just really being present to a lot of life. The writing has been really a byproduct of that. ~ Alice Walker  

For me, writing a novel is like having a dream. Writing a novel lets me intentionally dream while I'm still awake. I can continue yesterday's dream today, something you can't normally do in everyday life.
~ Haruki Murakami 


The desire to write grows with writing. ~ Desiderius Erasmus 


Which of these resonates with you most? Any you disagree with? Do you have a favourite quote you'd like to share?



Karen Schravemade lives in Australia. When she's not chasing after three small children, she spends her spare minutes daydreaming about the intricate lives of characters who don't actually exist. Find her on her website and Twitter.

5 comments:

Crystal Walton said...

These are all so great. I especially love the one that says if we don't breathe, cry, or sing in writing, then don't bother writing. I think that resonates with every writer's heart. Jean-Jacques Rousseau's quote also hits home because it's something I'm walking through right now. I tend to be a rusher by nature, so I have to continually remind myself that this journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Thanks for sharing these!

Karen Schravemade said...

Yes, Crystal! I love those too. The first inspires me to write with passion. The second encourages me that there's really nothing mystical about the process - just hard work and keeping on.

Southpaw said...

Those are great. I love the ones by Maugham.

Jeanne Takenaka said...

What a great collection of quotes, Karen! I think one that resonates with me right now is the one by Alice Walker: "For me, writing has always come out of living a fairly to-the-bone kind of life, just really being present to a lot of life. The writing has been really a byproduct of that."

My challenge has been to live all in the moment rather than always hurrying in my thoughts into the future. :)

Karen Schravemade said...

SOUTHPAW, yes, the one about the 3 rules always makes me grin.

JEANNE, I'm glad that quote resonated with you. Yes, living in the moment, so vital. And allowing ourselves to live widely and feel life deeply. Life experience is the best preparation for authentic art.