For writers who stimulate the world’s imagination with their powerful gift of storytelling, being a writer is not just a profession, hobby or art, it’s also a journey. And what better way to learn the pains and joys of being a writer on a rollercoaster ride than reading these Ernest Hemingway quotes from the legendary storyteller himself.
Who was Ernest Hemingway?
Ernest Hemingway was a novelist and journalist who won the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature back in 1954 after rousing readers all over the world with his classics including For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea.
As the celebrated Nobel awardee succinctly put it, a writer’s life is a combination of hardship and fulfillment, joy and sorrow, being a good listener and an individual who can invoke different emotions by writing mere words on paper.
If you’re a writer, these 50 quotes from Ernest Hemingway will help you get through the ups and downs of writing your poetry, novel or manuscript.
Ernest Hemingway Quotes to Inspire Writers
1.) “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway
2.) “All good books have one thing in common – they are truer than if they had really happened.” – Ernest Hemingway
3.) “From things that have happened and from things as they exist and from all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive, and you make it alive, and if you make it well enough, you give it immortality. That is why you write and for no other reason that you know of. But what about all the reasons that no one knows?” – Ernest Hemingway
4.) “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
5.) “If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water.” – Ernest Hemingway
6.) “There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” – Ernest Hemingway
7.) “They can’t yank a novelist like they can a pitcher. A novelist has to go the full nine, even if it kills him.” – Ernest Hemingway
8.) “Writing, at its best, is a lonely life.” – Ernest Hemingway
9.) “You know that fiction, prose rather, is possibly the roughest trade of all in writing. You do not have the reference, the old important reference. You have the sheet of blank paper, the pencil, and the obligation to invent truer than things can be true. You have to take what is not palpable and make it completely palpable and also have it seem normal and so that it can become a part of experience of the person who reads it.” – Ernest Hemingway
10.) “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” – Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway quotes to inspire your writing journey?
11.) “As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.” – Ernest Hemingway
12.) “But man is not made for defeat.” – Ernest Hemingway
13.) “Courage is grace under pressure.” – Ernest Hemingway
14.) “Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.” – Ernest Hemingway
15.) “There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – Ernest Hemingway
16.) “My training was never to drink after dinner nor before I wrote nor while I was writing.” – Ernest Hemingway
17.) “You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.” – Ernest Hemingway
18.) “A man’s got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.” – Ernest Hemingway
19.) “A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it.” – Ernest Hemingway
20.) “After writing a story I was always empty and both sad and happy, as though I had made love, and I was sure this was a very good story although I would not know truly how good until I read it over the next day.” – Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway to help you get through the ups and downs of writing
21.) “All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.” – Ernest Hemingway
22.) “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” – Ernest Hemingway
23.) “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” – Ernest Hemingway
24.) “I can’t stand it to think my life is going so fast and I’m not really living it.” – Ernest Hemingway
25.) “I drink to make other people more interesting.” – Ernest Hemingway
26.) “I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway
27.) “I never had to choose a subject – my subject rather chose me.” – Ernest Hemingway
28.) “If a writer stops observing he is finished. Experience is communicated by small details intimately observed.” – Ernest Hemingway
29.) “In order to write about life first you must live it.” – Ernest Hemingway
30.) “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” – Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway quotes about writing and life
31.) “It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.” – Ernest Hemingway
32.) “Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the Romance of the unusual.” – Ernest Hemingway
33.) “My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.” – Ernest Hemingway
34.) “Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with that there is.” – Ernest Hemingway
35.) “The first and final thing you have to do in this world is to last it and not be smashed by it.” – Ernest Hemingway
36.) “The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.” – Ernest Hemingway
37.) “The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof, shit detector.” – Ernest Hemingway
38.) “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places.” – Ernest Hemingway
39.) “There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly; sometimes it’s like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges.” – Ernest Hemingway
40.) “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master. – Ernest Hemingway
More Ernest Hemingway quotes to inspire you
41.) “We’re stronger in the places that we’ve been broken.” – Ernest Hemingway
42.) “When I have an idea, I turn down the flame, as if it were a little alcohol stove, as low as it will go. Then it explodes and that is my idea.” – Ernest Hemingway
43.) “When writing a novel, a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.” – Ernest Hemingway
44.) “When you start to live outside yourself, it’s all dangerous.” – Ernest Hemingway
45.) “Worry a little bit every day and in a lifetime, you will lose a couple of years. If something is wrong, fix it if you can. But train yourself not to worry: Worry never fixes anything.” – Ernest Hemingway
46.) “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” – Ernest Hemingway
47.) “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now.” – Ernest Hemingway
48.) “Write the best story that you can and write it as straight as you can.” – Ernest Hemingway
49.) “When I had to write it, then it would be the only thing to do and there would be no choice. Let the pressure build. In the meantime, I would write a long story about whatever I knew best.” – Ernest Hemingway
50.) “You shouldn’t write if you can’t write.” – Ernest Hemingway
You might also like these Homer quotes that reveal much about the elusive bard.
How can Ernest Hemingway inspire your writing journey?
Writing is not easy and it’s a lot of work but it’s also a meaningful way to create inspiration, to invoke feelings for a powerful call to action, to provide information, to educate, and to entertain by making readers laugh at life even for just a moment.
For those of you who just began their journey as a writer, there will be bumps along the way. Sometimes, the feeling of giving up and throwing away your dreams to create will be difficult to resist.
But as these insightful Ernest Hemingway quotes have shown us, although writing can make a writer bleed, there will be joy at the end of the tunnel especially after your beloved manuscript has finally been completed despite your struggles. Always remember, the hardest part about writing is finishing what you started.
Which of these quotes by Ernest Hemingway resonated with you best? Do you have any other inspirational quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.